What are some good alternatives to delicious but fattening eggnog?
You can purchase low-fat versions of eggnog or make your own with skim milk instead of whole milk or Egg Beaters instead of real eggs, and you can even sweeten it with a calorie-free sweetener. I’d recommend Truvia or PureVia if you are trying to stay away from sugar substitutes. These are more natural alternatives made from the stevia plant.
Some more fun eggnog tips … A 16-ounce McDonald’s eggnog shake will run you 560 calories, 13g fat and 97 grams of carbohydrates. Also, any time you reduce fat or sugar from a recipe, you can add extra vanilla or cinnamon/nutmeg/etc. to boost the flavor.
My nephew has gluten allegies. Any tips on gluten-free treats we could make for our holiday dinner so he won’t feel left out of the fun?
I actually just made gluten-free cookies last night for a friend of mine who has celiac disease. Betty Crocker actually has a lot of great gluten-free mixes. I made the chocolate chip cookies, and my friend raves about the Betty Crocker brownies. Also, if you buy oats from a reliable source (I’d recommend Whole Foods), there is less risk for cross-contamination of the gluten. Oatmeal bars can be made with dried cranberries or raisins and chocolate chips. Gluten free can still taste good!
Fruit is also a great holiday treat. Make a fruit salad a bit more interesting by mixing it with low-fat vanilla yogurt, cinnamon, a touch of vanilla extract, and sprinkle with crushed walnuts or dried coconut. Delicious!
Janine Gauthier, a psychologist at Rush, participated in our Rush On Call Q&A last week about staying healthy over the holidays. Here’s her advice about stress management:
There are some basic stress management techniques we can incorporate each and every day.
Deep abdominal breathing — breathing in your belly
Progressive muscle relaxation — relaxing one muscle group at a time until your entire body is relaxed
Massage therapy — this promotes relaxation both physical and emotional
Yoga — central to yoga is deep breathing
Guided imagery — imaging yourself in a very relaxing place
Physical exercise — engaging in cardiovascular exercise helps to promote endorphins in our body which helps us mangage stress
Mindfulness meditation — where you allow yourself to do a body scan to find where you hold your stress and then allowing self to breathe and stay in the present moment.
The nice thing is that many of these strategies (breathing, mindfulness) you can engage in even when you are in the mall, in the car, standing in line or with family and friends. The goal is to make these a regular part of your life, which will become more natural the more often you engage in them, and you will find your are managing life more effectively.