Light Recipes for the Holidays

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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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Orange Glazed Carrots

Also in a supporting role are Orange-Glazed Carrots. The common carrot can be grown almost year round in North Carolina. This dish is lighter than many side dishes and offers a pretty addition to the table.

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