Avoid Noshing in the Kitchen This Holiday

Do you spend much of the holiday season in the kitchen? Perhaps you are responsible for anything and everything related to holiday food — grocery shopping, cooking and baking for the kids, potlucks, gifts, and preparation of lavish holiday feasts.

You may find that while in the kitchen, you are sampling and tasting, nibbling and noshing your way to a larger clothing size. If you would rather not cook up those extra pounds, try some of these tips for keeping a healthy distance between the wrong foods and your mouth.

Eat before you cook — You will be less likely to munch if your stomach’s not growling for goodies.
Keep healthy snacks at hand — Cut up some raw fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, carrots and oranges, and snack on those when you get the urge.
Think low-fat — Bake a fruit pie instead of pecan; or carrot cake instead of nut bread. You can find plenty of delicious recipes that reduce the fat or substitute some of it with healthier ingredients.
Watch the sugar — Ditto for sweets. Look for recipes that are lower in sugar, and those that replace all or part of the sugar with fruit or juice.
Sip water — Have a glass of water at the ready and drink frequently. Water keeps you feeling full. Also, your body sometimes mistakes thirst for hunger. Working in a hot kitchen can be dehydrating, and you may be thirstier than you realize.
Stay out of the cookie dough — Do not eat any dough or batter that contains raw eggs, which can contain salmonella. Egg substitutes are OK as long as they are pasteurized (they are usually lower in fat, too).

Oil and vinegar — Instead of giving rich baked goods as gifts, make flavored oils and vinegars or special herb and spice blends.
Wrap it up — If you are baking something for a gift, put it in the gift can and wrap it, so you won’t be tempted by it. When possible, store foods in the freezer or somewhere that is not easily accessible.

Try to prepare just exactly what you will need. Give leftover goodies away or throw them out. Putting unhealthy food in your stomach is as wasteful as putting it down the disposal.

Take breaks — During those marathon kitchen sessions, take breaks for meals, for a short walk outdoors, or just to sit down and relax for a few minutes.

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