The season of joy, giving, sharing and delectable food traditions is among us! For many, food is deeply intertwined in our gatherings and celebrations with family, friends and neighbors. It always seems to be a struggle to strike the proper balance between enjoying and overindulging. Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind to make it through the season without feeling the need to jump on a diet bandwagon come January 1st.
- Don’t skip meals to “save up” on calories. It’s a poor strategy that leaves you overly hungry and likely to overeat later.
- If you are concerned about their being a healthy option on hand, bring a dish to share, such as a Greek-yogurt based dip with whole-grain pita chips or my favorite: Spinach Phyllo Cups (see recipe below).
- Survey the table before making your selections. Keep portions small; one taste might be enough to quench a craving.
- Don’t let one slip-up get you down. If you overindulge at a party one evening, get right back on track the next day. The true pitfalls occur when slip-ups become routine.
- Wise food choices are definitely essential during the holidays but remaining active is another important piece of the weight maintenance puzzle.
Try not to steer too far from your normal eating and exercise routine. Keep all things in perspective and recognize the truth to the quote, “People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” Take a step back and enjoy the reason for the season.
The following recipe is one I have brought to holiday gatherings and it is a hit! It’s easy to make and waistline friendly!
Spinach Phyllo Cups
Serves: 30 pieces
All you need:
- 2 eggs, beaten (dairy department)
- 1 tsp jarred garlic (produce department)
- 5 oz crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese (in cheese case next to deli)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (in cheese case next to deli)
- 1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (aisle 15)
- 2 (2.1 oz) packages pre-baked mini phyllo dough shells (aisle 17)
- Roma tomatoes, diced (produce department)
All you do:
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Mix the egg, garlic and cheeses in a large bowl. Stir in the spinach. Place the phyllo shells on flat baking sheets, and fill with the spinach mixture. Top with diced Roma tomatoes.
- Bake in preheated oven until hot, 6-8 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts per phyllo cup: 29 calories, 2 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 82 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 1.5 g protein.