The end of the year is a busy time for most of us. With all the shopping and holiday partying it can be easy to let go of those healthy behaviors we’ve been working on during the year. But focusing on positive “to-do” strategies can help reduce stress and keep that holiday weight gain at bay. Try a few of these daily challenges to keep your holidays happy and healthy!
- Eat 2 cups of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit.
- Drink 6-8 glasses water.
- If you’re already active, add 10 minutes and/or an extra day to your exercise routine.
- If you’re new to fitness, do five 2-minute walks. (around your house or office is fine!)
- Take 10 minutes to unplug, sit quietly, breathe slowly, and give thanks for the goodness in your life.
- Keep a gratitude journal during the holiday season.
Melt in Your Mouth Mousse
If you’re looking for a special holiday dessert, look no further. The surprise addition of avocado adds to its silky texture and the monounsaturated fats along with the flavonoids in the cocoa powder provide cardiovascular benefit. Enjoy!
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped in small pieces
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 med-large ripe avocado, peeled, halved, and pit removed
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 4 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon liqueur of choice: Kahlua, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Melt chocolate chips or dark chocolate in microwave on high for about 1 minute. Stir until smooth.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth. Taste and adjust for sweetness and thickness. (You may need a little more maple syrup if you use the dark chocolate instead of the semisweet chocolate chips). Keep in mind the mixture will firm up as it chills.
- Place in 4-5 small bowls and cover.
- Chill for a few hours before serving. For a special treat, serve with fresh or thawed raspberries or strawberries.
Sharon Lehrman, MPH, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian with a private practice and corporate wellness business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read health-related articles, subscribe to her free monthly nutrition newsletter, or contact her at www.nutritionhealthandwellness.com.
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