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Enjoy Holiday Eating Without the Guilt

By Jessa McClure
Halloween child friendly treats with bananas and clementines madWith so many good things to eat during the holidays, it is no wonder that come January 1, we are all looking for the celery and carrot sticks. There seems to be no end to the cookies, cakes, treats and hot beverages that make us swoon, and make our belts fit a little tighter.

If you're looking for some healthier alternatives to the traditional, high-calorie holiday food, then here are a few suggestions that will allow you to enjoy the tastes of the season without regretting your choices.

October
The month of pumpkins and candy can be particularly dangerous to a dieter. The change in the weather (slight though it may be in Central Texas) makes us reach for our sweaters and run to the local coffee shop for pumpkin-spiced anything. But, some of these treats aren't always figure friendly.

Instead of reaching for a gooey treat, try roasting some cinnamon pumpkin seeds that will have your mouth watering. You can add just about any flavor to this low-calorie snack. Try roasting them with some olive oil and a little sea salt. They taste just like buttered popcorn.

And if spooky foods are your thing, then try making some of these sweet and scary strawberry ghosts that will liven up any ghoulish get-together. Or, if you're trying to get your little ones to eat something other than their Halloween loot, try sticking a celery stalk into a Clementine orange. They look just like little pumpkins.

November
By this time, you have successfully avoided the leftover candy you confiscated from your children's plastic pumpkin, and are now looking forward to all of those wonderful Fresh Pumpkin SeedsThanksgiving dishes that are yummy and nostalgic all at once. But, don't give up on your desire to eat healthy through the holiday season.

If you're a fan of the pumpkin-spiced latte that seems to be on every street corner, then try this "skinny" recipe from Crunchcreamysweet.com. It combines almond milk, pumpkin puree and lots of other yummy ingredients without all of the sugary syrups that chain coffee shops can sometimes include.

But, if you're looking for something more than just a tasty drink, then try this low-calorie pumpkin pie recipe that contains Greek yogurt, butterscotch pudding and doesn't have to be baked. It's a win-win.

Southern girls know that Thanksgiving means pecan pie. But, as hard as it is to admit, that delectable Texas tradition is not exactly healthy. But if you're still craving that sweet pecan taste, then try your hand at making some maple glazed pecans. You get all the health benefits of the hearty nut, without all the sugar and fat of a pie.

December
Sleigh bells are ringing and you are more than likely buying sweet treats for stockings, baking cookies for class parties and getting Grandma's fruit cake in the mail. While you want nothing more than to sit down in front of the fire with a bowl full of sugar cookie dough, there are some better alternatives to classic Christmas goodies.

If cookies are your thing, then try mixing up a batch of one of the cookies featured here. There are 48 different kinds of healthy cookies that will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but will give you the energy to fight the crowds at the mall.

You can even make healthy eating a theme while you're enjoying your favorite holiday movies like Dr. Suess' " How the Grinch Stole Christmas" or "The Santa Clause" with these tasty kabobs and kid-friendly strawberry Santa sandwiches.

So, don't let the holidays be an excuse to over-do it. Find a healthy alternative and use those New Year's resolutions for cleaning out the garage or taking an improv class. Back To Top

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