7 Healthy Holiday Swaps

by Allen Gil November 20, 2014

7 Healthy Holiday Swaps

Photo Credit: blog.gmrtranscription.com

Do you love the holidays because of all the tasty foods?

The yummy desserts and of course the amazing after dinner dessert drinks?

Well, heck! I think we all do!!!

But how much of a good thing is too much?

I am going to help ensure that you don't pack on the pounds this holiday season.

We are talking about swapping high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar, processed ingredients for more healthy alternatives.

You and your family can still enjoy the holiday treats and side dishes but your waistline won't have to suffer... as much!!

Here are a few smart swaps for your everyday cooking ingredients:

• Replace olive oil, butter and other fats with organic coconut oil.

Or, do a half and half mixture of fats. Coconut oil has been shown to reduce cholesterol, improve thyroid functioning, protect against illness-causing bacteria and viruses, and aid digestion.

Use sea salt in place of processed salt, which contains additives.

• Sweeten foods and beverages with grade B maple syrup instead of sugar.

Replace your bread-based stuffing with organic corn bread or no stuffing and

o serve quinoa,
o brown rice or
o wild rice instead.

You can even add mushrooms and/or nuts to your healthier side dishes!

Meat Swaps

1. SWAP in the Lean Cuts!

Of course we all want to have our turkey and eat it too...

Try using your amazing new side dish as your center dish versus the dark meat of the turkey or the sodium-filled ham.

If you offer an array of side dishes the meet won't be as important... but since we all serve meat,

• swap it for lean cuts such as turkey breast, turkey loin or pork loin.

thanksgiving platelifefitnessbydane.files.wordpress.com

Side Dish Swaps

2. Mashed Potatoes SWAP

Instead cooking mashed potatoes loaded with whole milk and butter, why not

• swap it for mashed potatoes made with almond milk or broth (chicken or vegetable).

Another great idea is cauliflower mashed instead of mashed potatoes. (see recipe)

thanksgiving cauliflower mashed 4.bp.blogspot.com

3. Sweet Potato and Yam SWAPS

We all love candied sweet yams. We even top it with marshmallows or whipped into a frothy casserole with pineapple... but maybe instead

• swap it for sweet yams with cinnamon and almonds!

Think of the calories we are saving that we can put towards our dessert!

thanksgiving yamsi1.wp.com

4. Cranberry Sauce SWAP

Instead of serving canned cranberries, why not pull out the food processor and

• swap it for homemade, fresh cranberry sauce... no sugar or additives.

thanksgiving cranberries4.bp.blogspot.com

5. Green Bean Casserole SWAP

Don't serve the ever-popular green bean casserole drenched in canned soup and onion strings layered on top....instead

• swap it for fresh steamed green beans with almond slivers.

You (and your guests) will thank you later.

thanksgiving green beans almondsfoodnetwork.sndimg.com

6. Spinach Artichoke Dip SWAP

Come on now. What are those goals you’ve set, again? How about you take that off the menu and

• swap in guacamole, a healthy fat side dish.

... as opposed to that spinach dip which is calorie-dense, and made with saturated fat-rich mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream and shredded cheese.

7. Eggnog and Wine SWAPS

Let’s try to skip the egg nog this year, forgo the few glasses of wine and ditch the soda filled cocktail. This year let’s

• swap in wine spritzers and hot apple cider!

thanksgiving apple cider19twentythree.com

You can even go out and buy fun festive drink ware to make it more exciting!

I get it: swapping new foods into your holiday menu may not be on your agenda.

But why not serve lighter and healthier?

Start creating some new holiday traditions.

I'd love to hear if you use any of my swap out ideas! 

Allen Gil
Allen Gil


Leave a comment