Getting into the holiday spirit is easy when you have a delicious and inexpensive dessert to create for your family gatherings. You could even start a new holiday tradition to officially kick off the Christmas season! At Memphis Cash Saver, we have everything you need to prepare for this year’s Thanksgiving feast — from baking ingredients and staple side dishes to fresh turkeys and hams. Here are a few recipes to get you started this holiday season.
The holidays are right around the corner. While it is an exciting and family-friendly time, it can also be an expensive time of year. Especially if you are hosting this year’s festivities, you’ll need some saving tips when it comes to big meals. The good news, you don’t have to break the bank to have an exquisite holiday feast. A feast that will have your guests talking for years to come. If you follow these tips on how to save on holiday meals, you can prepare a fantastic meal and still have money left over for gifts.
Part of enjoying a fulfilling holiday season is making choices that encourage and uplift your spirits. As you celebrate this year keep a few of these healthy choices in mind.
ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY FOODS Have those special items like stuffing and pie, since you may not typically have them any other time of year. Then skip the foods you could have on a regular basis like potato dishes and rolls. Keep your portions in moderation and try to have a colorful plate. This will ensure you’re getting a variety of vegetables, fruits, and protein.
DON’T SKIP MEALS TO SAVE UP FOR ONE BIG MEAL This often leads to overeating and blood sugar imbalances. Have several little snacks throughout the day with vegetables and fruit. By having healthy snacks you can help stabilize your mood and have more energy.
MAKE A PLAN If you know festive holiday drinks and desserts are going to be part of your evening, plan extra exercise time before or after big events. Also, be sure to drink one glass of water after every holiday beverage. By establishing a mental plan you’re more likely to find balance and moderation with your food choices.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE Some people find it helpful to keep a lifestyle journal with notes about meals and exercise. Others find that stepping on the scale every few days is a way to have a reality check during the holidays. December 29th is National Get on the Scales Day. This is a good time to check in on your body composition. The holiday season is a time where many people let their guard down concerning healthy choices. This simple act of getting on the scale can help you stay in touch with your weight. It can take months to lose the 5 pounds that are easily gained in a few weeks.
RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY Holiday time is about connecting with those you hold most dear. Don’t let food or bad habits be the focus. Take a deep breath and listen to the loved ones around you, even if that looks different this year.
Around the holidays everyone is thinking about their favorite festive traditions. Many family traditions involve special recipes and bountiful meal times. Making it challenging to eat healthy this time of year. Grandmas recipes are not typically low calorie, but at the same time, it’s comforting to enjoy some family favorite foods once a year. Therefore, the holidays are a great time to focus on portion control. Eat what you want, just don’t overdo it. Some general principals to follow when you are enjoying a festive family meal.
*Skip the seconds. Enjoy one plate of your favorite foods and resist the urge to fill up again. One plate is typically all it takes to be satisfied.
*Focus on the healthy nutritious foods that you love. Try not to go down a mental list of vegetables that you hate, or the foods you are allergic and intolerant to. Simply enjoy the fruits, vegetables and grains that make you happy.
*Don’t be afraid to bring a healthy dish to a holiday party. Most friends and family members appreciate a well made healthy recipe, so don’t be shy about bringing your new favorite healthy appetizer or side dish
Striking the right balance with food, family time, fun and relaxation around the holidays is not easy. Even if we have good intentions to eat healthier and exercise during the Christmas season we usually lose sight of that goal the minute the first cookie platter shows up. Here are a few simple tips to help you stay motivated during the busy holiday season.
1. Plan ahead. As you put more holiday events in your schedule be sure to also put your workout time in your calendar. Picking a day and time for exercise makes it far more likely to happen. Planning ahead also means keeping your kitchen well stocked with fresh vegetables and lean protein. Pre-chopping veggies or cooking meals in advance helps most people consume a more portion controlled balanced diet.
2. Try something new. Allow the change in your daily routine to bring change to your exercise regimen. Try a new class at the gym, sample some new YouTube workout videos or hire a personal trainer for the month.
3. Stay moving. Even if you can’t get in a structured workout you can always do a few sit ups, push ups or squats. Start your days with a quick heart rate jump by doing 30 squats, jumping jacks and some leg lifts.
Place fresh cranberries and orange juice in a small sauce pot. Heat over medium heat. Add honey, granulated sugar and orange zest to the pot and bring to a boil. The cranberries will start to pop and become more liquid.
Reduce heat to medium low and let ingredients simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove cranberry sauce from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Contents will jell upon standing. Cranberry sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
5 Tips For Healthy Meal Planning During The Holidays
Stock your pantry. Having your go-to items already at home makes meal planning one step easier. Beans for chili, noodles for chicken noodle soup, rice for casseroles and whole grain crackers for dips are great stock up items for the busy holiday season.
Prep challenging recipes in advance. If a meal calls for lots of chopped ingredients, consider cleaning and chopping ingredients the night before. Vegetables in particular can take a lot of time to skin and chop, so it’s great if you can tackle time consuming steps a day early.
Have healthy snacks ready to go. You’re much more likely to eat veggies and fruit as a snack if it’s prepped and ready to eat. We often grab high carbohydrate (and high calorie) snacks because they are convenient when we’re starving. If fresh vegetables and fruit are made just as easy to consume then chances are we’ll make the right choice.
Dust off your slow cooker. One dish hearty meals that can fed multiple people are easily made in your slow cooker.
Make breakfast the night before. If you despise mornings then make them easier by prepping breakfast the night before. Overnight oats with chia seeds, an egg bake and muffins can all be made the night before so you can sleep a bit longer.
Many people have family traditions of baking cookies, candies or breads around the holidays. These time honored traditions are a great way to connect with loved ones and cultivate creativity in the kitchen. During the month of December we’ll be highlighting delicious holiday treats. Cookies and sweet breads are my favorite holiday foods, to eat and share! I’ll be baking up several festive creations that you could serve at your Holiday party or share with your family and friends.
Any recipe is only as good as its ingredients. Be sure to have fresh baking soda, baking powder, eggs, flour and sugar in your pantry. Fresh oil, butter and coconut oil are also great to keep on hand for last minute holiday baking. By cooking up your own holiday treats you’re limiting the amount of extra preservatives, artificial ingredients and food dies that are often found in store bought desserts. It’s also possible to create mostly organic treats in your own kitchen by choosing base ingredients that are USDA certified organic. Let the baking season begin! Have fun preparing, sharing and enjoying your favorite holiday treats.