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Holiday Health: Keeping Treats & Sweets While Dieting


Holiday Health: Keeping Treats & Sweets While Dieting

By Amy Lignor


Can you have yourself a “merry little Christmas” while watching ones who eat mounds of fudge, drink down egg nog, and sit down at a family Christmas dinner and load a platter up so high that it actually looks like they are feeding ALL of Santa’s reindeer parked on top of the roof? Many will cry just thinking about it. They are rare, but those people who eat everything and never gain an ounce always seem to have the ability to show up at a holiday party or event right in front of us…the ones who eat a Hershey’s kiss and somehow gain far more than the 22 calories it supposedly has in it.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten-Free Chocolate Turtle Thumbprint Cookies


Now, it is important to note that, yes, there is a ‘Dessert Lover’s Diet’ where you could lose up to five pounds in a month. There are others that claim even more. But what’s really the case is that when we are trying to watch our weight, our cranium automatically tells us that sweets and treats are forbidden. In fact, you can almost see a line of CAUTION tape stretched over the platters when you walk close to them. In truth (and, yes, this is true), doctors say that forbidding everything that is good, every little dessert that offers a happy smile, is actually a bad thing for the human body as well as for losing weight. Why? Because the brain feels deprived. The point is not having a dessert; the point is not consuming four of them.


If your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the “good side of the Force” when it comes to fats, then choosing to have a dessert each and every day is just fine. Big enough to satisfy the craving and small enough where the calorie intake doesn’t skyrocket.


Desserts can be rich in “bad” fats, like the ever-present butter. Which means that having meals that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids – like fish – can offset the issue. Denying the body sweets is not the best plan when wanting to stay on track with a diet. And there are a variety of okay treats to choose from that actually allow less than 100 calories.

“Tis the Season” season brings on that ultimate fear of doing things wrong. Not fair, considering it is a time to be with family and enjoy oneself, not glare across the table at the one with the platter overflowing with food. One of the biggest things to avoid are actually drinks. The holiday-themed coffees run extremely high in fat and cholesterol, not to mention calories. But just by sticking to your own coffee and simply adding a drizzle of vanilla or peppermint extract to it, you save hundreds of calories. If your mind needs to believe that Starbucks is at work, buy one of those mugs and pour the less-calorie coffee into it.

When it comes to holiday baking, there are those temptations that you want to “test” so that the people you plan to serve

Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies
Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies

really like it Just remember, testing too much of that cookie dough will have you spending way more dough on the gym once you make (or re-make for the hundredth time) that New Year’s resolution.


You can cut the fat and calories without sacrificing taste during the holidays. If you use half the sugar amount the recipe calls for in, say, a fruit pie, you will save almost 750 calories for every cup of sugar you do not apply.


When it comes to cookies, use a mixture of half whole-wheat pastry flour and half all-purpose flour. (Guests won’t notice

the difference.) In your cheesecake that everyone is coming to the party for, substitute part-skim ricotta cheese for cream cheese and cut the fat by close to 60 grams for each cup you use. Brownies? Of course you can have them, just use pureed pumpkin instead of oil and for every half-cup of oil you eliminate, you’ll save more than 900 calories and 100 grams of fat.


See? There are ways to make sure that this holiday season is enjoyable, while also making sure the scale stays the same – or even lowers. Again, it is the New Year where you need to speak your resolution, but if you’ve already learned the ins-and-outs of cutting calories and still enjoying treats, then this January 1st won’t be so difficult.

Images:  http://www.brit.co/healthy-christmas-cookie-recipes/

Source:  Baret News




Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts


Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts

By Burt Carey

There’s no better way to take in all that the Thanksgiving holiday offers than to spend the weekend before turkey day where the Pilgrims landed.

Plymouth, Massachusetts dutifully refers to itself as America’s Hometown, and it celebrates Thanksgiving each year with a bevy of events to regale visitors with the Pilgrim story and other significant events in American history.

Thanksgiving-BrownscombeThe weekend of festivities has become a beloved holiday occasion as well as an important link to our nation’s history and heritage. For 19 years, hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life have traveled to the historic Plymouth Harbor and Waterfront to experience a bounty of authentic Americana. The celebration of Thanksgiving becomes history-brought-to-life as Pilgrims, Native Americans, soldiers, patriots, and pioneers proudly climb out of the history books and onto the streets of Plymouth.

Beginning Nov. 20, historic tours of Plymouth and her monuments are offered to the public free of charge by Education Director Dr. Paul Jehle. That evening a free Veterans Memorial Concert will be presented to honor all who have served in our Armed Forces. Friday Night will also feature an illumination event in collaboration with the Plymouth 400.

On the morning of Nov. 21, the opening ceremony of the America’s Hometown parade symbolically portrays the faith of the Pilgrims with the
lighting of a candle and a brief explanation of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims leading up to 2020. In addition, an explanation of the historic nature of the parade is told both on the waterfront as well as in studio on a live broadcast on local cable television. As it crosses by the waterfront staging area, the parade immerses visitors with a chronological history of America as each float passes.

Following the parade on Saturday, and during the day on Sunday, a feast of historic education awaits all who visit the waterfront:

  • The New England Food Festival – come sample cuisines from around the region while listening to period music and cast your vote for Plimoth_Plantation_FenceNew England’s best. The New England Food Festival features the very best soups, chowders, desserts, party foods, entrees and décor in the region. Food festival tickets can be purchased on site: adults $12; children under 12, $7; and children under 5 get in for free.
  • Colonial crafters demonstrate trades – from blacksmithing to weaving and other crafts that illustrate earlier time periods of American history.
  • Living historians tell historic stories – from Pilgrims who interpret the various monuments and are waiting to discuss life in the 1600s, to soldiers in the American Revolution and later wars, stories that bring history alive await all on the waterfront.
  • Saturday Concert – On Saturday night a Drum and Bugle Corps reunion features the best of patriotic music from the post-World War II era. An explanation of some aspect of the history of Drum and Bugle Corps takes place during the evening, as well as an explanation of each unit and their unique accomplishments. Memorial Hall is filled with those who gather to hear their favorite Corps that demonstrates loyalty and commitment to American values.

The Waterfront in Plymouth is one of the most historic locations in America. Millions of tourists come to see the Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower
II, which grace the shores of the Plymouth waterfront.

Everything gets under way Friday, Nov. 20 with the first concert, a patriotic affair that honors those who have served in any branch of the United States military. Premier units of national significance and notoriety are invited and the concert is free. It is patriotic, moving, and involves entertainment, drama, music, color and honor guards, as well as special recognition for all veterans.

The concert takes place at Memorial Hall in Plymouth, from 7-10 p.m.

Tickets ($27) are required for Saturday’s concert. To purchase tickets for this concert, click here or call the office at 508-746-1818.

A host of hotels and other accommodations are available locally. Go online to http://www.usathanksgiving.com/index.php for all of your arrangements.


Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle