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How to Keep Christmas Dinner Healthy

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It is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the unhealthiest. Sure, you may be resolving to lose weight in the new year, but why not start now? Losing weight starts with changing your eating habits, so here are a few ways to keep it healthy for Christmas dinner.

Ham, potatoes and scalloped corn are parts of many a Christmas dinner that I’ve stuffed in my face and they all contain butter. Rub the ham with butter to make it brown better, a mountain of mashed potatoes is always better when you hide a chunk of butter in the middle and let it melt so when you go to dive in, there’s a river of butter that comes oozing out the side. And what would scalloped corn be without the butter and the cream? Well, ham and potatoes is actually pretty healthy. It’s all the junk we put on the ham and in the potatoes that wrecks it. Instead of putting a half stick of butter in the bowl when you mash up those potatoes, I use a low sodium chicken broth as the liquid.

If you’re sauteing veggies, don’t use oil. Instead, use Pam. Green pepper, red pepper and zucchini sauteed with basil is fast, colorful and healthy! I’m also a big fan of asparagus. Arrange it on a baking sheet, drizzle it with a little olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and lemon juice. Stick it in the oven for five minutes at 450.

Don’t deep fry. If you’re planning on deep frying your turkey, make a different plan. A deep fried turkey is delicious, but it contains double the fat of a regular roasted turkey. Roast your turkey and use garlic, thyme, rosemary and your other favorite herbs to flavor it instead of just grease. Yes, grease tastes good, but high fat meals can trigger heartburn and make you very, very uncomfortable.

If green bean casserole is a part of your holiday table, you can still make it. Instead of regular cream of mushroom soup, try the healthy request variety. It still tastes good, but it’s 98 percent fat free. I use healthy request cream of celery soup when I make tater tot hot dish and Glen doesn’t know. Shhhh.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t go for the sugar loaded pie. Instead, try poached pears. It’s easy and a healthy, warm and spicy dessert or side. For a serving of eight, take four pears and peel them, core them and cut them in half the long way. Add one cup of orange juice, a half cup of apple juice, four cinnamon sticks, one teaspoon of nutmeg, half cup of raspberries and two tablespoons of orange zest. Combine the juices and spices and pour into a shallow pan. Place the pears in the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes. Make sure you turn the pears frequently and make sure nothing boils. Garnish with raspberries and orange zest and serve immediately.

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