Recipe: Green Eggs & Ham Scramble

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Earlier this week, I wrote about the health benefits of eggs, so I wanted to follow it up with one of my favorite breakfasts. Not only is this recipe perfect when you’re short on time in the morning — just throw everything into the pan at once and stir to cook — but it’s also not super scientific, so feel free to tweak the ratios of ingredients and experiment with different meats, cheeses and other add-ins.

Green Eggs & Ham Scramble (serves 4)

Ingredients: 

  • 8 eggs
  • 4 slices ham-off-the-bone, diced
  • 4 slices cheese, diced
  • 2 leaves kale, finely minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: 

  1. Prep your add-in ingredients first; wash, chop, then set aside.
  2. Crack the eggs into a pan that’s been heated with a little olive oil to coat the bottom.
  3. Add all the other ingredients, and stir until cooked to your desired consistency.

When I made this, I just happened to have deli chicken on hand, so I used that instead of the ham. And cheese-wise, I went with a Gouda, which lent a nice hint of smokiness to the dish.

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Wash, dry and finely mince the kale before tossing it into the pan with the other ingredients. That way it’ll cook down properly; the last think you want is to feel like you’re eating scrambled eggs mixed with a salad (ew).

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I happen to like my eggs on the drier side, too, so I cook everything longer — and this also gives the kale a chance to soften up. Make sure all the ingredients are incorporated evenly, and season to taste.

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Still not sure how you feel about eggs with kale? Well, in the words of our beloved Dr. Seuss:

You do not like them, so you say.
Try them! Try them! And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.

Happy, healthy eating! 🙂

 

Give ’em a Break: Make Eggs Part of Your Heart-Healthy Diet

2013-06-19-BROWNWHITEEGG_original

If you’re among the approximately 25 percent of Americans who avoid eating eggs at all costs because you think they’re an unhealthy, cholesterol-spiking ‘eggstravagance,’ it’s time to get ‘re-eggducated.’

Sorry…couldn’t resist.

But in all seriousness, eggs don’t get the credit they deserve. Not only are they easy to cook, nutritious and delicious, but eggs are also a low-cost source of high-quality protein. Incredible and edible, each little guy packs 6.3 grams of protein (13 percent of the daily value) for a mere 68 calories.

And despite lingering artery-clogging cautions from 20 years ago, you can easily eat an egg a day without any negative impact on cholesterol and blood fat levels. This ‘eggcellent’ source of complete nutrition has been proven as essential for weight management, healthy brain and eye function, plus optimal health during pregnancy.

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Eggs are the total package when it comes to eating well: rich in choline, which is critical to brain function and memory, and full of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. And if that’s not enough, eggs also contain vitamins, iron, folate (helps prevent birth defects) and Riboflavin (converts foods into energy), plus heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

According to the Egg Nutrition Center, there’s no difference in flavor or nutritional value between brown and white eggs; shell color simply reflects the breed of hen. Nutritional quality, however, can vary greatly based on the chicken’s diet. So hens fed a diet high in polyunsaturated fats – kelp meal, for example – lay eggs that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Similarly, free-range chicken eggs tend to contain higher amounts of vitamins and lower amounts of cholesterol than eggs from standard, factory-fed chickens.

Eggs in the U.S. are classified according to the USDA grading system, which includes labels of AA, A or B. This grading indicates quality based on several factors, including freshness, with AA representing the highest quality. Eggs are also labeled according to their size – jumbo, extra-large, large, medium and small and peewee – which is classified according to minimum net weight expressed in ounces per dozen.

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When shopping for eggs, look for shells that are clean and whole; never use an egg if it is cracked and leaking. Refrigerate immediately after buying; eggs will keep well for several weeks at temperatures of 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit. To test for freshness, place raw eggs in a deep bowl of water and discard any that float to the surface (as eggs age, more air is present in the shell).

Fry ‘em, scramble ‘em, boil ‘em or bake ‘em; whatever you do, don’t be a chicken about making nutrient-dense eggs a staple in your healthy eating regimen. For nutritional facts, a range of recipes and other information, visit the American Egg Board website here.

What’s your favorite way to incorporate eggs as part of a healthy diet?

Recipe: Thrive Energy Cookbook’s black bean, sweet corn & mango salsa

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While I’m no vegetarian, I do make an effort to incorporate plant-based, nutrient-dense, whole-food recipes into my meal planning.

Why? Well, as much as I love a good steak, I can feel my body processing it for hours on end; sometimes it’s nice to eat stuff that’s less intensive to digest, which means you’ll have more overall energy.

That’s why I was excited about checking out the new Thrive Energy Cookbook from Brendan Brazier (former pro triathlete, ultramarathon champ, creator of Vega). His purpose-driven recipes are intended to fuel performance.

This salsa, for example, is a twist on the southwestern classic. Bursting with flavor — and protein — it’s perfect over veggies, atop a salad or (my favorite) with chicken or fish.

Thrive Energy Cookbook’s Black Bean, Sweet Corn & Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (or rinsed canned) black beans
  • 1 cup peeled and diced mango
  • 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (from 2 cobs)
  • 1/4 cup finely-diced red onion
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp avocado or hemp oil
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Toss well. Best served immediately.

First, gather all the ingredients — note: I substituted olive oil for the avocado/hemp oil, though, and used the whole can of beans.

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Want a trick for dicing up those tough-to-handle mangos? Slice ’em, score ’em, then flip ’em inside out and scrape out the chunks. Easy!

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Since Hubby and I are big cilantro fans, I added a bit more than the recipe called for, too.

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Look at all that awesome color! It’s a perfect pairing for quick meal on hot summer days.

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A quick stir, and you’re done — eat alone, with veggies, or spoon over grilled chicken or fish for a heartier, non-vegetarian meal.

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I’ll be sharing more recipes as I experiment with the book, but if you’d like to check out other plant-based options in the meantime, visit the Thrive Forward recipe center for more information.

Recipe: Raspberry Mint Rice Balls

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Allow me to introduce you to my new favorite training companion: the Feed Zone Portables cookbook. If you’re weary of processed bars and gels and the same old pasta, there’s a good chance it’ll soon become your BFF (that’s Best Fueling Friend), too.

After my ultra pacer Jamie had success with the rice cakes during her Born to Run 100-miler, I jumped aboard the bandwagon and tweaked one of the recipes for my own race. It worked perfectly — not only is the rice-based treat quickly-digestible, but its mild flavor is also easy on a tender mid-event tummy.

Raspberry Mint Rice Balls (adapted from Feed Zone Portables)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely-shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Aluminum foil, cut into small squares
  • Olive oil spray

Directions:

  1. Combine rice, water and a dash of salt in a rice cooker and let cook.
  2. When rice is finished cooking, transfer it to a large bowl and add brown rice syrup, lemon juice and coconut. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Coat hands in olive oil, and place a spoonful of rice in the palm of one hand. Place a raspberry and a sprinkle of mint on top of rice, and then place another spoonful of rice over that (to encase raspberry and mint in rice). Roll gently between palms to form a ball.
  4. Place ball on foil wrapper (also sprayed with olive oil) and seal tightly. When finished forming and wrapping balls, store them in the refrigerator.

A few tips: First, make sure you prep all the ingredients ahead of time because forming the balls can get messy!

Although the book calls for flat “squares” or “cakes,” Jamie and I found that the balls are quicker to make. Plus, they tend to get squished around in your bento box or hydration pack anyway.

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Second, I did experience some trouble with the foil wrapper disintegrating during my trail race, which I attribute to the acidity of the lemon juice.

Next time, I may just try leaving it out, or I’ll look for an alternative wrapper (wax?) if I want to keep that nice citrus ‘bite.’

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The balls held up great, though, despite getting jostled around over the course of six-plus hours in my hydration pack on a hot day.

And the fresh fruity/minty flavor was a welcome change from the heavy nut butters I’m usually consuming, so I’ll definitely be relying on them again.

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Finally, I try to make them the day or evening before my race. Sure, it’s a little bit of last-minute race prep work, but it ensures that the fruit is at its freshest and that the rice stays nice and sticky for when you want to pop one (or 10) during your race. Bon appétit!

What’s your go-to fuel for training and racing? 

To Paleo or not to Paleo?

Paleo

As a verb, the word diet is not part of my vocabulary. But when we’re talking diet as a noun — meaning nutritional plan — I’m all ears.

In other words, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to improve performance through better fueling.

One plan, in particular, has always intrigued me: The Paleolithic Diet, which first emerged in the mid-1970’s, went mainstream in 2002 and has since earned a cult-like following.

Paleo Premise

Eat like our hunting and gathering ancestors — prioritizing animal protein and plants — and live a healthier, fitter, disease-free life.

On the menu: Meat, fish, eggs, poultry, fruits and veggies, healthy fats and oils, plus nuts and seeds in moderation.

Off the table: Refined sugar, dairy, legumes, grains, starches and any other processed Frankenfoods located in the center aisles at the supermarket.

Paleo Pros

Whole foods are nutritious, filling and fiber-rich, which makes it tough to overeat (even when dining out).

Another upside? Fewer hunger pains since protein and fiber are filling, and you’ll be getting plenty of both. Plus there are a plethora of recipe sites, cookbooks, web sites and books to help support you in your path to Paleo.

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Paleo Cons

Some of the top vegetarian sources of protein, such as beans and other legumes, are not allowed, so it’s tough to follow if you’re not a meat-eater.

And by avoiding dairy and grains, you could potentially miss out on a lot of nutrients. Also, if you’re not selecting lean meat choices, you can quickly raise your risk for heart problems.

Paleo Verdict

Bottom line: There is no “perfect” diet, plus I’ve never had any luck trying to restrict what I eat to certain food groups (sometimes you just need a cookie, damn it!).

Instead, I prefer to evolve my eating plan as I go, incorporating my favorite parts from different diets and adapting them to my own lifestyle. Call it pseudo-Paleo, if you will.

For example, we’d all do well to eat fewer refined sugars and starches, plus there are definite benefits to consuming more fruits and veggies. And I do my best to avoid a lot of processed foods, instead focusing on getting enough whole, nutrient-packed food.

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That doesn’t mean I’ll turn down the occasional doughnut, burger and fries, pizza or sugary cereal (hey, you gotta live a little), but it does mean that I’ll set myself up for success by having healthier snacks on hand when hunger hits (the PaleoKits from Steve’s PaleoFoods are killer, for example; I sprinkle dried berries on salads and mix PaleoKrunch in yogurt, too).

In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for optimal health, though, so your best bet is to take matters into your own hands and create a plan for healthy eating that suits your individual needs and fits into your lifestyle.

Because the “best” diet (noun, not verb) of them all is the one you’ll actually follow.

Disclaimer: I’m not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, so you’ll want to talk with your doctor before making changes to your meal plan.

Avoid the Bunny-induced binge: 8 ideas for a healthier Easter

Source: Lynda Giddens, Flickr

Source: Lynda Giddens, Flickr

Spring has sprung, but it’s not just the longer days and slowly-warming temperatures that signal the change in seasons – it’s the aisles of Easter candy that have hopped into area stores.

While children have been waiting with bated breath for the Bunny to bring baskets filled with goodies, it’s a holiday that can fill adults with dread when they are in the midst of trying to lose (or maintain) weight.

But don’t despair – there’s still hope for taking part in all the fun without abandoning your current diet plan. Below are a few easy tips for those who are on the hunt for a healthier Easter this year:

1. Focus on non-food traditions

For those who practice the holiday, it’s about more than candy-filled Easter baskets, so create lasting memories with some new family customs that highlight the true meaning of the season.

2. Plan for holiday splurges

Deprivation is never good because you’ll inevitably set yourself up for failure later; rather, make smart choices earlier in the day if you know that you’ll be eating heavier at afternoon parties.

3. Practice portion control

It’s not only about what you eat, but how much; give bags of pre-portioned candy or shop the bulk food section of your local store to purchase only what you need for baskets.

4. Hands off the goods

Resist the temptation to crack open that bag of jelly beans before breakfast; stores stock candy early expressly for this purpose, counting on the fact that you’ll polish it off and be back for round tw0.

5. Don’t go into meals unprepared

Never sit down with an empty stomach because you are almost always guaranteed to overeat; instead, drink plenty of water and snack sensibly between meals to prevent spikes and dips in blood sugar levels (at just 76 calories, a hard-boiled egg is a great option).

6. Add some activity to your day

Easter egg hunts, parades or even strolling to church or around your neighborhood to look at decorations are also other healthy options for getting fresh air and helping to burn some calorie.

7. Rethink the Easter basket

Non-traditional gifts such as bubbles, books, Dollar Store items, crayons, gift cards, sidewalk chalk, clothing and more are unexpected and can be even more exciting for recipients.

8. Consider healthy meal substitutions

Tweak traditional recipes to lower their calorie, fat and sugar content; try substituting applesauce for oil, skim milk for cream, egg whites for eggs, and simply reduce the amount of sugar in baked goods without sacrificing sweetness.

Do you have any favorite healthy Easter tips to share?

Make a heart-healthy dinner for two this Valentine’s Day

Source: Micko Photo

Source: Micko Photo

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so this Valentine’s Day, tempt him with a meal that will not only win over his ticker, but also keep it in tip-top shape for the long haul.

Pair this simple three-course themed menu with a selection of resveratrol-rich red wine, which is a natural antioxidant known to protect against heart disease, and you’ve got a red-hot dinner for two that’s cause for celebration!

Appetizer: Easy Caprese Salad

Heart-healthy hint: The olive oil in this appetizer helps to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while the tomatoes are packed with lycopene, another heart-friendly antioxidant.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

  • 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 package fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 10 to 20 leaves fresh basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. On a large plate, layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each.
  2. Drizzle with equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

~

Entrée: Simple Grilled Salmon

Heart-healthy hint: Salmon provides an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots.

Source: Simple Recipes

Source: Simple Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Season salmon fillets with garlic powder and salt. Grate fresh ginger.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, ginger and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  4. Preheat grill for medium heat, and lightly oil grill grate and place salmon on the preheated grill, discarding the marinade.
  5. Cook salmon for about six to eight minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Side: Berry Delicious Spinach Salad

Heart-healthy hint: Leafy greens offer a one-two punch of vitamin E, iron and folate, which helps keep homocycteine levels down, while the berries provide lots of good antioxidants.

Source: Betty Crocker

Source: Betty Crocker

Ingredients:

  • 2 packed cups torn fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh, or frozen, blueberries
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1oz gorgonzola cheese

Salad Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, strawberries, blueberries, onion and almonds.
  2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients. Shake well; pour over salad and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve immediately.

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Dessert: Heart-Shaped Chocolate Valentine Cake

(Adapted from Jean Carper, USA Weekend magazine)

Heart-healthy hint: As the grand finale, this cake features a hidden ingredient: Chickpeas. Odd, yes, but delicious nonetheless, and using legumes instead of flour adds fiber and protein and reduces unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.

Source: CS Monitor

Source: CS Monitor

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups (or 19oz can) cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs or 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Raspberry Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, melt chocolate in microwave (two minutes on medium power).
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine beans and eggs. Add sugar, baking powder and chocolate; process until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into non-stick nine-inch heart-shaped cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Microwave jam in a small bowl until melted (about 45 seconds), and then stir in juice and berries to make the sauce.
  5. When cake is cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut cake into 10 wedges and drizzle with sauce before serving.

Recipe: Grilled Steak and Rainbow Chard Salad with White Beans

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After all the holiday diet debauchery, hubby and I decided it was time to detox this month with some healthy meals. That, and I have a slight problem when it comes to tearing recipes out of magazines (and never making them), so we figured we’d kill the proverbial two birds with one stone on a recent weeknight.

This particular recipe was adapted from the January 2014 issue of Fitness magazine; I opted for a heftier green with more nutrients than the original watercress, and hubby suggested we throw on some Gorgonzola for an extra kick (it pairs so well with the steak).

The result? A hearty salad that’s full of fresh flavors — and pretty much the perfect dish to accompany those in-progress New Year’s resolutions.

Grilled Steak and Rainbow Chard Salad with White Beans (serves 4)

Ingredients: 

  • 1-pound flank steak, trimmed (and rubbed with salt, pepper, garlic powder & cumin)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 4 cups Rainbow Chard, rinsed and shredded
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles

Directions: 

  1. Heat a grill pan over high heat, cooking steak for about 6 minutes on each side for medium rare.
  2. Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let rest for at least 5 minutes before thinly slicing diagonally across the grain.
  3. While steak cooks, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus the garlic, in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat for about a minute.
  4. Add beans, tomatoes, juice of lemon and 1 teaspoon lemon zest, simmering over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
  5. In large bowl, toss salad with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add steak and bean mixture to greens, tossing gently to combine.
  7. Divide into 4 equal portions, topping each with a sprinkle of Gorgonzola cheese.

I’ll leave you with a parting shot of the beans and tomatoes simmering in the stove…I couldn’t resist capturing a moment filled with so much protein and so many antioxidants. Enjoy!

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Healthy holiday tips from Skinnygirl Bethenny Frankel

Source: Shutterstock.com

Source: Shutterstock.com

Before you resign yourself to having to undo a bunch of holiday damage come January, consider some of talk show host and former reality star Bethenny Frankel’s words of wisdom on how to partake without going overboard. Her no-nonsense approach to this month’s festivities just may allow you to enjoy the rest of 2013 without regretting it later.

Here are seven of her healthy holiday tips to keep in mind throughout the season:

1. Half and half hot chocolate: If you’re in the mood for the sweet stuff, cut it in half with coffee. You’ll still get the shot of sugar, but save a few calories in the process.

2. Spoil your dinner: Smart guests know not to show up to parties empty-handed, but smart eaters know not to show up with empty tummies. Eat a fiber- and protein-packed snack before you make the rounds and you won’t be as tempted to “belly” up to the buffet.

3. Invest wisely: The holidays call for celebration, not deprivation, so go ahead and enjoy the seasonal treats. Just have a plan on where you want to spend your calories (i.e. alcohol versus desserts) and stick to it.

4. Ditch the clean plate club: The simplest yet most-ignored principle of eating is to stop when full. Don’t feel guilty for leaving a few bites – or even skipping the big entrée and snacking on more manageable appetizers.

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Order cocktails on the rocks to get some water from the diluted ice cubes, alternate alcoholic drinks with water, and aim to drink more H2O throughout the day. Water keeps your system running properly, helps to curb appetite and – contrary to popular belief – helps beat bloat.

6. Splash it with soda: Add a dash here and there to any cocktail in place of full-strength heavy mixers. You’ll cut calories and enjoy a new bubbly take on your go-to holiday drinks.

7. Beware of the binge: Finally, don’t go into the holidays with an all-or-nothing mentality; this will only lead to a binge. Instead, make smart choices, but don’t hold yourself to unrealistic expectations.

By following a few common sense guidelines for healthy holiday eating, it is possible to ring in the New Year without wishing for your old figure!

For more healthy eating ideas and lifestyle tips, visit Bethenny’s website here.

10 tips for healthier eating at this year’s holiday parties

Source: PGOA Media

Source: PGOA Media

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with holiday appetizers; we love to eat them, but hate the toll they take our waistlines come January.

Here are my 10 tips on how to indulge in delicious party starters without finishing the season filled with regret.

1. Start with a strategy. “Heavy appetizers” do not a meal make; although it may sound counter-intuitive to eat dinner beforehand, you’ll be less apt to overindulge at that next soirée if you arrive without a grumbling tummy.

2. Come prepared. Better yet, bring your own delicious dish to a potluck, and rest assured you’ll have something good to snack on without blowing your healthy eating habits over the holidays.

3. Make simple swaps. Get creative with traditional recipes; use yogurt in place of sour cream, try ground turkey instead of beef, drop creamy dressings in favor of vinaigrette, and sprinkle a salad with walnuts instead of croutons, just to name a few.

4. Go nuts…in moderation. Fast and festive, protein-packed and full of “good” fat, nuts are a favorite holiday snack. They’re healthy, too – just not in an excessive number of handfuls.

5. Corner the crudités. Fill up on veggies during the first round, and you’ll not only squeeze in a few of your recommended daily servings, but you’ll also be less tempted by the siren song of the pigs-in-a-blanket platter on round two.

6. Amp up flavor, not fat. It’s easy to make a meal of the cheese tray (guilty, as charged), but try to target dry, aged varieties over soft ones; not only will you need to nibble less of a bolder-tasting cheese, but it’ll also pack fewer grams of fat and calories.

7. (Try to) fly by anything fried. Does this one need any explanation? But if you simply can’t part with a family-favorite recipe, try baking for the same crunchy texture with diminished damage to the diet.

8. Seek smarter dips (and dippers). Steer clear of anything that oozes, skip the chips, and opt instead for something veggie-based, such as this Seven-Layer Fat-Fighting Dip from TV’s Dr. Oz.

9. Rethink the drinks. By all means, toast to the season with your favorite cocktail or glass of wine – just don’t go overboard, lest you’ll be tempted to throw caution to the wind…diet, and otherwise (and, let’s face it, no one likes a sloppy party guest).

10. Remember, less is more. Follow the lead of the French, originators of the phrase “amuse-bouche” (meaning, “amuse the mouth”), and go for for quality over quantity by offering a refined selection that is light, luxurious and, most importantly, memorable.

How do you retain some sense of self control at holiday get-togethers?