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This time of year I am commonly asked, “How can I survive the holidays without gaining weight?”. My reply usually stuns them: Eat what you want! The mind plays cruel tricks- trying substitutions only leaves you unsatisfied and still desiring what you truly wanted in the first place. Besides, no one makes fudge like Grandma, so why would you expect anything else to take its place?


If still weary of this concept, consider that particular foods are not responsible for weight gain. It is the overeating of food that causes weight gain. For some, overeating may result from people pleasing or for others it may occur due to nervous nibbling during uncomfortable social & family get-togethers.

As a dietitian, I have come to appreciate that we are well equipped to eat without dieting and we all have the ability to stick within our healthy weight range. No, this isn’t magical but it does require being a good listener. Take time to listen to your hunger level and continue to listen to when your hunger has shut off – this means you are “full”. When you override this signal you have crossed the point that leads to weight gain. Below gives some guidance on how to survive the holidays eating according to YOU!

Consider your Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights, as we enter the holiday season, to help you foster inner peace with food, mind and body.

  1. You have the right to savor your meal, without cajoling or judgment, and without discussion of calories eaten or the amount of exercise needed to burn off said calories.
  2. You have the right to enjoy second servings without apology.
  3. You have the right to honor your fullness, even if that means saying “no thank you” to dessert or a second helping of food.
  4. It is not your responsibility to make someone happy by overeating, even if it took hours to prepare a specialty holiday dish.
  5. You have the right to say, “No thank you,” without explanation, when offered more food.
  6. You have the right to stick to your original answer of “no”, even if you are asked multiple times. Just calmly and politely repeat “No, thank you, really.”
  7. You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.

 

Christmas Petit Fours

(courtesy of Taste of Home)- great way to enjoy 4 bites of delicacy.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling YIELD:70 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

GLAZE:

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tube each red and green decorating frosting
  • Holiday sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to egg mixture with milk and butter, beating well after each addition. (Batter will be thick).
  2. Spread evenly into a greased and floured 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  3. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut a thin slice off each side of cake. Cut cake into 1-1/4-in. squares. Freeze cakes.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 226°. Cool to 100°; beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  5. Keeping glaze warm, dip cake squares into glaze with a two-tine fork, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wire racks over waxed paper. Add hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if glaze becomes too thick. Let dry completely. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles. Yield: 70 petit fours.

Editor’s Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.