ON THE JOB
Q: Winter holidays are a time for family get-togethers - and a lot of big meals. How can we eat right while enjoying our holiday favorites?
A: Offer to bring a dish that you have made or purchased that you know is a healthier choice.
Substitutions are the key to making your recipes lighter and lower in calories. Modify and rethink your recipes by using low-fat and light substitutions, such as 2 percent cheese, fat-free cream cheese, evaporated skim milk, egg substitutes and sugar substitutes.
When filling your plate, choose a few special foods that you really want to try. If they are higher in calories, take smaller portions. Just a taste of the higher-calorie items can be very satisfying. What tastes better than the first few bites? Then fill up your plate with lowercalorie choices such as fruits and vegetables, and lean meats such as turkey breast.
Q: Many people travel for the holidays. How can we eat right while out on the road?
A: Plan ahead. Try to eat small, frequent mini meals. Pack and carry snacks such as highprotein bars, 100-calorie packs, low-fat cheese and baked snacks such as pretzels. Keep your hunger under control so that you don’t overeat. When traveling, use the following apps for your smartphone to review menu items and compare nutritional information:zCalorieKing, MyFitness-Pal, Fooducate, LoseIt, FastFood:CalorieCounter and DailyBurn.
Q: Shopping makes us tired and weary, and we give in to pumpkin lattes and peppermint milkshakes. Are treats OK in moderation?
A: Look on the menu for lighter alternatives for your favorite treats. But if you really crave that special item, remember that all foods are OK occasionally and in moderation. Enjoy your special holiday treats, but select smaller portion sizes. Eat or drink slowly and savor the taste and texture.
NAME: Shirley Chambers, dietitian
BUSINESS: Diabetes Education Program, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, 23900 Katy Freeway, Katy
EXPERIENCE: Has worked in the health industry for 40 years, including as a diabetes educator at Memorial Hermann Katy
EDUCATION: Master’s in education, University of Houston; bachelor’s in home economics, Sam Houston State University
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