Category Archives: Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Tip: Slimming Up Your Holiday Favorites

It is 1 week until Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is possibly my favorite holiday. My parents host Thanksgiving every year at our house and it is always fun planning out our menu and preparing all the food. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday eating season. Pies, cakes, cookies, high fat delicious comfort foods. It’s a tough time of year for someone who is trying to lose or maintain their weight. Below are some tips on saving calories where it counts.

10 tips for slimming holiday favorites:

1. Take the skin off of your turkey. For this, roast your turkey as you normally would. When you serve or take your portion just take the breast meat without any skin. The skin is fatty and while it tastes delicious can really add up on your calories.

2. Use reduced fat or skim milk in recipes instead of cream,half and half, or whole milk. This is an easy way to cut down on fat in a recipe and in most recipes you won’t even notice the difference.

3. Reduce the fat content of baked goods by substituting mashed banana, applesauce or pumpkin. Replace the full amount of oil with the same amount of the fruit/vegetable above. My favorite is to use applesauce or pumpkin instead of the oil or butter in quick breads. Not only are you cutting back on fat but you are amping up the nutrient profile of the unhealthy baked good. Its a double whammy.

4. Replace half the sugar in a cookie, cake or pie recipe with Stevia. This helps cut out half the calories from the sugar. If you want you can go 100% of what the recipe calls for with a sugar substitute but I find I can taste the sweeter aftertaste that isn’t very pleasant to my palate.  I go 50-50 stevia and real sugar. It still cuts back calories but I don’t taste the stevia aftertaste.

5. Use egg whites instead of full eggs. By skipping the yolks (or most of the yolks at least) you cut back on cholesterol and fat.

There you go. 5 tips to slimming up holiday favorites. You can always go to a website like or food network and search slimmed up holiday favorites for more ideas or recipes for your favorite foods.

What is your favorite way to slim up holiday recipes?



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Nutrition Tip: Healthy Snacks

Ok, I know I said it on my all about me page but I am a registered dietitian and I want to start putting up some quick nutrition tips. I haven’t decided if I want this to be a weekly thing or monthly but nutrition is part of my life and I want to share it with my readers. Today’s nutrition tip comes from a presentation that the intern’s at the hospital where I work did today. They were talking about “going the distance with healthy snacks.” This is a great topic. Almost everyone snacks between meals but how do we optimize those snacks into getting good nutrition.

Snacks are a great thing to add to any healthy eating plan for several reasons. A couple are they help you keep from getting too hungry, can help you slim down and help add vitamins and minerals in between meals. When someone gets too hungry, they tend to overeat which can kill any healthy eating plan.

A snack should be between 100-200 calories. If you are trying to maintain or gain weight go for the higher end and if you are trying to lose weight aim for 100-140.

When I was teaching culinary camp at SLU, we would talk to the kids about what a snack should contain. The best and easiest answer: at least 2 food groups. Now, not all food groups are created equally, though overall they are equally important to incorporate each day. An ideal snack should contain some carbohydrates and some protein. Some snacks that cover this would include: peanut butter and apple slices or celery, cottage cheese and fruit, or crackers and cheese.

When should you eat a snack? This really depends on your schedule and eating plan. For me, I usually need a snack to get me through the morning. I eat breakfast at 530 in the morning and eat lunch at noon. This is a long stretch for me so I will eat a snack around 10 am at work. Some people eat a late dinner and need something to get them through until dinner.

What’s your favorite snack combination?


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Filed under Nutrition Tips