Light Recipes for the Holidays


The Christmas season means so many delicious treats. Gooey, cheesy, buttery and bacon-wrapped, chocolate-dipped wonders are at our fingertips. Whether we are visiting friends, heading to the break room at work or going to a church social, the holidays offer everyone a chance to showcase those favorite recipes. It seems inescapable. Did I only imagine my dentist was offering caramels? Or was that a fitness instructor? My new neighbor delivered a box of warm, homemade doughnuts. Were we just supposed to look at them?

Try to enter the holiday season with a plan in place. Ideally, this will include self-care in good nutrition and rest. It should also include the enjoyment of special treats in moderation. The New Year does not have to begin with reprimands and defeat. Plan well. Enjoy the treats. Stay active. Gain a couple of pounds. Remember … that’s just two.

A few years ago, I was invited to join an enthusiastic group of carolers. We sang through about 3 miles of neighborhood before we shared our potluck dinner. The exercise and fresh air balanced the evening in a way that made all of us feel more energized. It was a wonderful way to incorporate a bit of movement into an already pleasant activity. Even shopping can be a fitness opportunity. We don’t have as much time to go to the gym during the holiday season, but we can park further from the mall entrance, do some laps when we get there and substitute the pumpkin spice latte (400 calories) with sparkling water (0 calories). Let’s keep a spare pair of walking shoes in the car.

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Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce

To help out in your own kitchen, I’ve planned a menu that substitutes some calorie-laden comforts with lightened up options. As an entrée, try Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce, ideally on a buffet. Set it out when well chilled, and it will be gone by the time it reaches room temperature. It is flavorful, fresh and light. We’ve all heard the heralds of salmon. It’s great to work this omega-3 seafood into the menu.

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