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Healthier Holiday Sweet Swaps

By HERWriter
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swap some holiday treats and make them healthier iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Visions of sugar plums, candy canes, cakes, cookies and pies are all holiday indulgences leading us to pack on the pounds. However, if we merely dabble in self-control it can make a difference.

The Cleveland Clinic says, “Controlling even the slightest chance of coming in contact with ‘tempting’ foods is one way to effectively reduce your intake. While you won’t be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can.”

One of my favorite ways to control calories is to swap out some of the ingredients in my favorite treats and still satisfy my festive sweet tooth. Let’s start with a traditional way to toast the holiday, egg nog.

Health.com warns to avoid egg nog, saying just “one cup has 343 calories, 150 milligrams of cholesterol, half of the USDA's suggested daily limit, and 21 grams of sugar, almost a day's worth.”

Instead, I have a great recipe for what I like to call FAKE NOG:

½ Gallon of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
¼ Cup of ice
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 tbsp. of agave nectar

Mix milk, vanilla agave and ice in bleeder, pour into glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. (Serves 8)

While you may think it is funny that your great-aunt always brings you a fruit cake, this confectionary concoction is no joke. Health.com also warns against fruit cake.

“Don't let the name deceive you. Though this sweet treat contains fruit, it can also have plenty of butter, sugar, and corn syrup. One slice we tried clocks in at 410 calories and 13 grams of fat.”

To avoid added sugar, try this alternative to fruit cake, with added protein, too:

(Fruit, Macadamia nuts, cottage cheese)

1 Cup of Cottage Cheese
¼ Cup of Fresh Blueberries
¼ Cup of fresh peaches, diced
¼ Cup of fresh raspberries
4 macadamia nuts, chopped

(Mix all ingredients together. Sweeten with stevia powder)

The abundance of pumpkins lingers from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Cheesecake is also a holiday favorite.

Combine the two flavors and swap both out for my Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert Cups:

½ Pkg. of sugar free vanilla pudding
1 cup of almond milk

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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