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Keeping Your Diet on Track During the Holidays

No matter how much you expect to eat at Grandma's, stick with your regular meals. Skipping breakfast and barely eating lunch will only make you more ravenous and prone to overeating at a holiday party. Just because your holiday agenda involves sitting around, telling stories, and eating doesn't mean you have to stop your regular exercise routine. The more active you are around the holiday season, the better you'll feel, and hence, you'll be more likely to feed your body in a healthy manner. What's more, exercise doesn't have to mean hitting a gym: you can do little things such as parking your car a little further from your destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a quick walk around the block.

It's also important to be selective with your food choices. Survey the spread before you dive in and eat everything. Figure out what you really want, and then monitor everything else so you can balance it out. Don't deprive yourself ! If you want a piece of cake, have some, but remember that quality is more important than quantity.

Follow these simple holiday menus to help cut your calories and fat intake down from one holiday to the next. Keep in mind that the nutritional info was based on real-life, generous holiday portions.


The spirit of Easter is all about new beginnings. It's the onset of spring; there are flowers blooming and birds returning. As the days start to get longer and the sunshine gets warmer, it's time to shed those winter doldrums, peel off those big winter sweaters, and add some spring to your step—and your meal.

Your Easter meal doesn't have to be heavy and filling; it can be light and airy, like the holiday. Just revamp your traditional menu, and lose half the calories and one third of the fat. Besides, it'll leave a little room for those sweet marshmallow chicks.

Traditional Meal

  • Poached salmon with cucumber dill sauce
  • Baked ham with pineapple, drenched in syrup
  • Potato and cheese gratin
  • Peas with black olives and hard-boiled eggs
  • Buttery biscuits
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Easter candy

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 1,532
  • Total fat: 77 grams
  • Saturated fat: 37 grams
  • Cholesterol: 366 mg
  • Sodium: 1,381 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 9 grams
  • Protein: 69 grams

Healthier Meal

  • Poached salmon with honey mustard dill sauce
  • Baked ham with fresh pineapple
  • Wild rice salad with chopped dried fruit
  • Asparagus with shallot vinaigrette
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Coconut sorbet
  • Chocolate fondue (small bowl of chocolate syrup or any other ice cream topping with strawberries, orange slices, and banana chunks for dipping)

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 867
  • Total fat: 27 grams
  • Saturated fat: 7 grams
  • Cholesterol: 138 mg
  • Sodium: 523 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 60 grams

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition © 2005 by Joy Bauer. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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