Welcome to the fourth edition of Happy Healthy Holidays, Strategies to help you Eat. Drink & be Skinny this holiday season! Each Wednesday from now until the end of the year we will give you Simple Swaps, Creative Solutions and Sneaky Tricks! With Thanksgiving behind you, we’re just about half way through! How are you doing this holiday season? Is the scale your friend or have you hide it under the sink? First and foremost, be happy. But if the mood strikes you, here you have this week’s strategies to be healthy too!
EAT: Creative Solution, Skinny Mac & Cheese
Sometimes when we get overwhelmed, we seek comfort food, especially when it’s cold outside! So hunkering down with a big bowl of Mac & Cheese can really hit the spot. And while warm cheese and pasta are delicious and soothing, it’s not always the best option if you’re trying to slim down this holiday season. Of course calorie ranges are all over the place based on specific ingredients and portion size, but don’t be surprised when you comforting classic hits you with about 750 calories per serving. But as always, I have good news! This is a killer recipe that is a Yellow Dinner in the 21-Day Diet Detox, Color Yourself Skinny and it is awesome! We use pureed cauliflower to cream this cozy classic up, so we get away with a fraction of the cheese. Skinny and optimized with more nutrition, my favorite combo!
Crispy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- 2½ cups Almond Milk
- 1 Cauliflower (5-6″)
- 8 oz Elbow Macaroni Pasta
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
- 1 T Dijon Mustard
- 1 oz Parmesan
- ¼ cup Breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat large pot with water and cook elbow macaroni until tender.
- In a separate pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Cook the cauliflower for 25 minutes. You want it to be super tender.
- Strain the cauliflower and put into a food processor until it is as smooth as possible. Add the almond milk, cheese, mustard, spices and continue to process until well mixed.
- Spray a pan with oil and add cooked pasta and top with cauliflower cheese sauce. Toss to mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 20 minutes until top is crispy!
Nutrition: This recipe makes 4 hearty servings for 385 calories, 22g protein and 5g of fiber! It is also great for leftovers, so double or triple up and have a healthy snack on hand all week long! It’s also not a bad idea to toss in some steamed broccoli at the end for more volume, nutrition and color.
DRINK: Simple Swap, Skinny Eggnog
I don’t ever like being the bearer of bad news, but the reality of the situation is that Eggnog, everybody’s favorite holiday treat, is not really that good for you. The standard carton you buy at the grocery store has 180 calories per HALF cup! Top that off with some booze and you are in real trouble. The good news is, we’re getting much savvier these days and there is a way to lighten it up. Thank goodness for SILK’s Holiday Nog, that has only 90 calories per half cup. And see below for my even skinnier tricks to thin it out, without compromising the traditional flavor we have all come to love so much. Here you have boozy and non-boozy options, which both have well under my promise of 50% fewer calories. Phew!
Skinny Eggnog (Boozed Up)
- 1.75 oz Vodka
- .25 oz Brandy
- 1 1/2 oz SILK’s Holiday Nog
- 1 oz Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/2 oz Sugar Free Cinnamon Vanilla Syrup
- Nutmeg to taste
Calories: Makes one 5 oz martini with 166 calories.
Optional Garnish: Cinnamon stick – ZERO calories
Directions: Add vodka, nog, almond milk, syrup and nutmeg to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 10-15 seconds to mix and chill. Poor into 5 oz martini glass, top with brandy, dust with a bit more nutmeg, garnish with cinnamon stick and serve.
Skinny Cinnamon Vanilla Eggnog (Booze Free)
- 3 oz SILK Holiday Nog
- 2 ½ oz Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- ½ oz Sugar Free Cinnamon Vanilla Syrup
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste
Calories: Makes 6 oz drink with 75 calories compared to traditional eggnog which can easily have 300+ calories.
Optional Garnish: Dust with additional nutmeg or pie spice.
Directions: Add nog, almond milk and syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to blend and chill and transfer into desired glass.
BE SKINNY: Sneaky Trick, Fitness Freebies
This really is a good one. Have you been eying a fancy fitness studio in your neighborhood? If not, do a Google search for boutique style fitness concepts nearby. Do you have some fun cross fit? Pilates? Yoga? High-tech spin? Fancy gym? Something else new and exciting? Call them and see what freebies they are offering for new clients. This season, if you’re seeking activity, you’re a kind of a minority so you have a bit of leverage. Most of them will give a free week, or a week at a very discounted rate. Given the fact that it’s December, you may be able to swing an entire month for a real deal. Even if they only offer a free class, see if they will cut you a deal for at least a full week. You really want to give a new concept more than one shot to see if you like it and it will work for you.
The point is get in there now! Check out what it’s like when it’s not super crazy, because it will be in a few weeks. Get to know the ropes, so you’re a regular when the New Year rolls in. And the best part? When you find the right studio for you, you’ll still have enough time to mention it to everybody as the best holiday gift idea ever. Supporting your new fitness endeavors in 2014 is truly a gift of health and happiness!
Last Healthy Holiday Tip:
We are halfway through the Holiday Weight Loss Challenge. If you’re in, awesome! I hope losing weight and making room for $$ in your pocket in the next few weeks! We have 250 people signed up and have lost over 600 pounds in just 2 weeks. If you missed out on the fun, or if you’re just getting your weight loss engine going, we will have a New Year game as well. It will start promptly on January 1, and sign up will start in a few weeks. Mark your calendar and don’t miss your chance to kick of the new year with a great incentive to make 2014 your best year yet!
There you have it, as promised! Simple Swaps, Creative Solutions and Sneaky Tricks to help you Eat. Drink & be Skinny this Holiday season. If you found this helpful, share it with your friends using the share buttons below and stay tuned, every Wednesday for the rest of the year, you’ll get a new edition!
In health and happiness,