Healthy Holiday Hors d'oeuvres

Get the party started with these two must have healthy holiday party hors d'oeuvres! Your friends and family will be forever grateful if you serve or bring healthy appetizers at your next holiday party. Sure, we all like the usual eggnog and spinach artichoke dips, but the holidays are indulgent enough without the extra contribution. Offering healthy appetizer recipes will be a breath of fresh air during the holiday season. 

Protein on protein on protein! Deviled eggs are easy to forget about, but always a welcomed addition. Drop the bacon and spice up this old favorite with a little Krave jerky – that is sure to surprise and delight whoever is lucky enough to give them a try!

Deviled Eggs & Jerky

Serves: 6

Ingredients

12 large eggs
1 3.25oz Bag of you favorite KRAVE Jerky Flavor
1/3 cup Walden Farms Calorie Free Mayo
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped chives for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lets Cook

Place eggs in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 1". Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and let cool completely, about 10 minutes; peel. Halve lengthwise and remove yolks.

Slice jerky in small or large pieces – whatever you desire and set aside.

Finely mash reserved yolks, mayo and mustard in a medium bowl; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer to a large re-sealable freezer bag, then cut 1/2" off 1 corner. Pipe into whites; garnish with thinly sliced scallions and reserved jerky.

Nutrition (2 deviled eggs)

Cal. 203  |  Prot. 14g  |  Carbs. 7g  |  Fat 9.5g

Can you say crowd-pleaser? Impress your friends and family with these lightened up baked Jalapeno Poppers. They will make the perfect holiday party appetizer. 

Jalapeno Poppers

 Serves: 8

Ingredients

1 bag Quest Cheddar & Sour Cream Protein Chips
8 jalapeno peppers
6 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
2 1/2 ounces sharp light cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 egg white, lightly whisked
Nonstick cooking spray

Lets Cook 

 Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice each jalapeño in half and remove seeds and membranes. 

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together cream cheese, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Hand crush Quest Protein Chips into crumbs and place into a small bowl. Set aside.

Spoon cheese mixture into each jalapeño half. Place egg white in a bowl that’s big enough to fit one of the jalapeño halves. Dip each jalapeño half in egg white and coat with chips.

Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Add poppers to dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve.

Nutrition (2 poppers)

Cal. 60|  Prot. 7g  |  Net Carbs. 3g|  Fat 2g

Holiday Survival Plan

The holidays are notorious time of weight gain for most people. Instead of gaining unwanted pounds this season, try my FREE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL PLAN. Just follow my daily tips to give yourself an extra edge against the holiday pitfalls. I look forward to helping you holiday-proof your waistline! 
Remember as you work to manage your weight through the holidays, small steps can add up. Take time to read the tip for each day and take action to minimize weight gain. 

November 21: Be Realistic

Trying to lose weight during the holidays may be a self-defeating goal. Maybe a better goal is to just maintain your weight. Set a goal that's realistic. 

November 22: Eat Before You Eat

Your first challenge is here! A lot of people try to starve themselves before the big meal. Don't do it! The best strategy is to eat before you eat. An ideal amount is at least 60 calories of lean protein 20 minutes before the party.

November 23: Celebrate The holiDAYS

Remember it is a holiDAY, not a holiWEEK, not a holiMONTH. Only allow yourself the actual holiday to splurge if you want, but keep to your plan the rest of the holiday season. 

November 24: Get Enough Sleep

During the holiday season, prioritize your sleep. This is a busy time of year, but at least 7 hours of sleep helps control your hunger and stress levels. 

November 25: Don't Sample While Cooking

As you are preparing food, do not sample the food you are preparing. The "small" bites and "little" tastes can add up to a LOT of calories.

November 26: Sneal® Every 2-3 Hours

Try to eat a small meal or sneal® every 2-3 hours to keep your digestive system constantly working. Learn more about Snealing® at Carbessential.net.

November 27: Plan for Parties

Before you go to a holiday party, decide how much you are going to allow yourself to eat and remind yourself of your weight goal. And eat a sneal® before you go to the party. 

November 28: Get A Weight-Loss Partner

Be accountable to someone else for your weight. Have someone else weigh you weekly. That way someone else is seeing your weight instead of just you.

November 29: Fill Up On Water

At a party, drink lots of water to help fill you up. 

November 30: Protein, Vegetables, Dessert

A good buffet strategy is to get a small plate, fill it with protein first and eat that. Then go back for vegetables. Save desserts for last when you'll be less hungry. 

December 1: Stick To Special Treats

When is comes to treats and desserts during the holidays, try to choose only special occasion treats that you cannot get the rest of the year and skip all other sweets.  

December 2: The Secret To Losing Weight Is Eating

Don't skip meals. This backfires because you come to the next meal over-hungry and eat even more. eat sneals® throughout the day. 

December 3: Have A Strategy For Stress

If the holidays are stressful for you, have a healthy plan in place to deal with your emotions and stress instead of turning to food. Try to find a healthy activity that you can turn to when you feel stressed. 

December 4: Fill Your Hands

When you attend a party, grab a glass of water to hold in your hand so that you aren't as easily tempted to keep reaching for the finger food. 

December 5: Always Use A Plate

Even for the smallest snack, put your food on a plate and sit down to eat. It will help you avoid grazing. 

December 6: Be Aware Of Why You Are Eating

Make sure you are only eating if you are hungry, and not just munching because food is near.

December 7: Slow Down

Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful. You'll eat less. 

December 8: Be Careful About Treat Purchases

Don't buy goodies to far ahead of an event or you may be tempted to eat them. Store them out of sight to help save them for the event instead of becoming a snack. 

December 9: Find Eating Alternatives

Make a list of things to do besides eating: take a walk, call a friend, do some cleaning. 

December 10: Beware Of Liquids

Eggnog, beer, soda, and wine go down easy and can add hundreds if not thousands of calories to your daily intake. Drink more water. 

December 11: Use A Plate

Always eat everything off of a plate. This helps you see exactly how much you are eating vs. snacking or sampling that can add up to more than you've estimated. This is called food amnesia. 

December 12: Use A Small Plate

When you select your plate, pick the smallest plate available so that your portions will be smaller.

December 13: Add Minutes Between Seconds

Try to wait at least 15-20 minutes between each trip to the buffet. This will help your body get to the point of feeling full before you overeat.

December 14: Have A 2-Drink Limit

If you're drinking alcohol, remember that it is high in calories and try to limit your consumption to a drink or two. 

December 15: Eat A Sneal® Before Drinking

Alcohol on an empty stomach will make your blood sugar drop and your body will eant to EAT. Be sure to eat some protein and carbohydrates prior to drinking, and it is best to never drink on an empty stomach. 

December 16: Know Your Treat Intake

If you have a sweet tooth, allow yourself one candy cane to enjoy instead of eating out of a candy dish. It will help you eat the amount you plan to eat. 

December 17: Avoid Office Landmines

If you work in an environment with lots of holiday treats, request that the treats are placed away from your cubicle, deck or office. Do what you can to avoid office treats.  

December 18: Give Your Leftovers To The Guests

If you struggle with eating too many leftovers, give away all the leftovers if you host a party this season.

December 19: Socialize Over Eating

When you first get to a party, take time to engage people in conversation instead of heading directly yo the buffet line. 

December 20: Move Your Body

Any additional activity will burn calories. Go on a walk, play with the kids, do anything that helps get you up and about to help counteract the inevitable extra holiday calories. 

December 21: Have an Eggnog Strategy

Eggnog is heavy in calories, so if you choose to indulge, do so in limited supply. Sip eggnog from a shot glass and not a regular glass or cup!

December 22: Ignite Your Metabolism

Despite the holiday rush, eat something when you fist wake up and start your day.

December 23: Slim Down Favorite Recipes

Look for and invent lower-calorie versions of your favorite holiday recipes. CarbEssentials has many ingredient options that can help you with this. Come in and ask our staff for help! 

December 24: Water, Water, Water

Drink lots of water throughout the day to maintain a sense of fullness and hydration. 

December 25: Look for Small Steps With Big Rewards

Small things can help cut your total calories, such as scrapping off some of the icing from a cake or cupcake. 

December 26: Focus On Food Passions

You don't have to eat only carrot sticks, but practice moderation and don't eat every dessert available. Pick one dessert that you love and savor it.

December 27: Avoid Grazing Stations

If you tend to graze during buffets or parties, do not stand in the same room as the food.

December 28: Remove Temptation

When you are are full, have the plate taken away so you won't keep eating from it. 

December 29:  Take A Break Before Overeating

If you are tempted to overeat at a meal, tell yourself that you can always eat more later, and put your utensils down and take a break. 

December 30: Does The Taste Justify The Weight

If  you taste something and don't enjoy it, do not waste your calories eating it. 

December 31: Have An Alcohol Protection Plan

On New Year's Eve, if your going to drink, be sure to be well hydrated with water and keep some carbohydrates and protein in your stomach throughout the night. 

Quest Pumpkin Spice Latte

It's that time of year for cozy sweaters, slippers, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Fall has arrived, and how do we know? People are rushing to the nearest Starbucks for their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte. Reality check: for all of those who are rushing to wait in line at Starbucks for your favorite drink, the standard Grande (made with 2% milk and topped with whipped cream) has 380 calories and 14g fat! Starbucks isn't the only one on the long list of offenders. There are healthier alternatives for your favorite fall drink and at the convenience of your own home! Try this Quest Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe with 15.5g of protein!

Yields: 2 Servings 

Ingredients: 

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, microwave unwrapped Quest Bar, almond milk, and syrup for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Whisk.
  • In a blender, ad bar mixture, sweetener, and pumpkin pie spice, and blend for 30 seconds. 
  • Pour into two mugs.
  • Reheat in microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition (Per Serving):

  • Calories: 150  |  Protein: 15.5g  |  Carbs: 10.5g  |  Fat: 8g  |  Fiber: 7g

 

Six Tricks to Avoid Treats this Halloween

Halloween can be pretty darn tricky if you’re trying to stick to a diet plan. Regular sugary treats that you’d otherwise be able to resist shrink down to delectable, fun-size versions. Having just one certainly can’t be so bad, right?

Most likely not, but the problem is, we normally don’t just have ONE. We tell ourselves 'one wont hurt', then what happens is we have a few more until we look down and there is a pile of tiny wrappers that is now equivalent to a king size candy bar. Not to mention your kids’ massive trick-or-treating supply that takes weeks to munch through, adding additional calories and pounds.

To help steer the holiday in a healthier way, we would like to share the best tips to control your sweet tooth, indulge without going overboard.

 1. Stick To Your Regularly Scheduled Sneals®

 Don’t be tempted to skip a few Sneals® on Halloween so you can bank your calories for those sweet treats that are sure to head your way. The worst thing you can do is not eat; if you’re hungry you will have no willpower to resist. Instead eat your usual Sneals® during the day with a high protein Sneal® right before the Halloween festivities begin. If you feel full you will not be as likely to go overboard on the treats.

 2. Buy Your Candy Last Minute

 Buy your candy the day of Halloween, that way you are not tempted to dip into the candy stash on a daily basis. Also don’t buy your favorite candy, buy candy you don’t particularly like that way you’re not lured in, if you are a chocolate fan then go for the gummy or tart candies.

 3. Be The ‘Boring’ House On The Block

 If you are the kind of person who will eat whatever is around the house, don’t set yourself up for failure by stocking up on candy. Have you considered passing out non-candy goodies? Perhaps from the dollar store, toys, temporary tattoos, sticker, etc. Or healthier options like boxes of raisins or nuts? You might get some kids thinking you’re not the coolest house on the block but at least their parents will like you!

 4. Take Control

 Okay, yes it is Halloween, a holiday dedicated to treats. In order to survive this holiday without derailing your diet, control your binge. Make it exact, 'you’ll only have three ‘fun-sized’ candies the entire night.' Then you can spread them out or have them all at once. If you have a plan you’re most likely to stay in control.

 5. Limit Mindless Eating

 Are you going to a Halloween party where there is sure to be endless treats? Keep your hands busy, your purse in one and a glass of water in the other. If your hands are full they are not going to be grazing the candy bowls or buffet. This will significantly reduce your temptation to nibble.

 6. For Those Of You Who Did Splurge – Bounce Back

 If you are in a sugar coma on November 1st, don’t freak out! One day will not hurt you; it is the mindset that triggers the mental game of, ‘I blew it’ that can lead you to ditch your diet. You just need to recover, make sure to stick to your six healthy Sneals® the next day and drink plenty of water and you will be ok.