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Keeping Your Diet on Track During the Holidays


< ahref="/kwanzaa/family-traditions/32933.html">Kwanzaa, from the African language Kiswahili, means first fruits of the harvest— contrary to how we celebrate this holiday, with foods that are high in fat and low in fruit content. As this is a relatively new holiday, now is the time to start some healthy traditions and indulge in a festive meal (with 400 fewer calories and 35 percent of the fat) that's good for you, too.

Traditional Meal

  • Peanut soup
  • Sweet potato fritters
  • Southern fried okra
  • Kale with bacon
  • Black-eyed peas with ham
  • Jerk chicken
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Benne cakes

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 1,979
  • Total fat: 90 grams
  • Saturated fat: 26 grams
  • Cholesterol: 349 mg
  • Sodium: 3,933 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 28 grams
  • Protein: 101 grams

Healthier Meal

  • African Tomato-Avocado Soup
  • Winter squash and yams
  • Kale with garlic
  • Black-eyed peas with ham
  • Jerk chicken
  • Sweet Potato Soufflé
  • Benne cakes

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 1,568
  • Total fat: 59 grams
  • Saturated fat: 18 grams
  • Cholesterol: 215 mg
  • Sodium: 2,795 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 28 grams
  • Protein: 95 grams


With homemade Christmas cookies, creamy veggie dishes, and what always seems like 24 hours of nibbling, you'll be praying to open up boxes of oversized sweaters from under the tree. What better way to hide all the pounds we tend to pack on during the chilly season of decked halls and tons of parties? Well, you can still splurge on warm, rich comfort foods that are good for the soul, but if you lighten up your menu just a tad, you'll be indulging in yummy eats that are good for the arteries, too. See, it can still look a lot like Christmas with almost half the calories and 20 percent of the fat!

Traditional Meal

  • Oyster stew
  • Roast beef with gravy
  • Yorkshire pudding
  • Oven-roasted potatoes
  • Creamed spinach
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Christmas cookies

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 1,915
  • Total fat: 122 grams
  • Saturated fat: 56 grams
  • Cholesterol: 717 mg
  • Sodium: 2,516 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 107 grams

Healthier Meal

  • Manhattan oyster chowder
  • Beef tenderloin with horseradish yogurt sauce
  • Potato and Caramelized Onion Gratin
  • French green beans, tied with leek bow
  • Chocolate angel food cake
  • Peppermint frozen yogurt

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 1,068
  • Total fat: 25 grams
  • Saturated fat: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 130 mg
  • Sodium: 1,620 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 10 grams
  • Protein: 66 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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