The holidays can be a time of happiness riddled with guilt, especially when it comes to food and parties. There’s so much good food that only comes around once a year, but then there are those feelings of regret when we indulge too much and see the scale go up. Is there a way to enjoy the holiday parties and family gatherings without gaining weight? I reached out to one of my fitness/foodie friends, IFBB Pro Megan Rigby, to get her advice.
Megan is a wife, full-time pediatric GI nurse practitioner, certified nutrition consultant, IFBB Figure Pro, blogger (TheMacroMini.com), macro lover and Pro Physiques Online director/trainer. She obtained her doctorate degree in 2013 with an emphasis on treatment/prevention of family obesity.” Megan is incredibly balanced in her fitness pursuits and real life, which is why I am so excited to share her tips with you!
Megan’s Top Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
“My motto is ‘you only live once,’” said Megan. “For that reason you need to learn balance and not restrict all your foods, especially when you are going to holiday parties.”
Here are Megan’s tips for enjoying yourself this holiday season without going overboard:
• Eat lower carb the day of the party.
• If you are a carb cycler, rearrange your carb days to make the holiday party your high carb day.
• If you take a cheat meal once per week, make the holiday party your cheat meal. There are options for everyone and you can enjoy the holiday season!
• Have breakfast and lunch, but keep them healthy on party day. Then allow for some treats and goodies at the holiday gathering.
• Have one plate of dinner and a treat or two. Do not binge or gorge yourself because it’s holiday food.
• Drink water or diet soda throughout the party and try to socialize and not focus on food.
• When drinking alcohol, try one or two lights drinks, such as clear liquor with a diet mix in. Megan’s go-to drink is vodka with diet sprite, lime and pomegranate seeds for a festive twist. One shot of vodka is only 60 calories and the diet mix-ins add minimal calories.
Megan recently created a healthy recipe for the holidays, Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake Bites, and she was kind enough to share with us!
“These ‘Bites’ are low in sugar, but full of flavor. You can make these little morsels without sacrificing taste, but confidently know you are saving calories,” said Megan. “The Oreo Thin crust decreases the sugar content, but allows for a satisfying chocolate crunch. The creamy topping adds a perfect amount of peppermint flavor and pairs amazingly well with the chocolate crust. Give these little treats a try and sneak them into your next cookie exchange this holiday season.”
PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BITES
8oz Greek yogurt cream cheese or low fat cream cheese (softened)
4 tbs sour cream
3 tbs liquid egg whites (pasteurized)
2 packets Stevia
1 scoop Quest Nutrition vanilla protein
1 package sugar-free vanilla pudding
1 tsp peppermint extract
15 Oreo Thins
1. With a hand mixer, blend together all the “filling” ingredients until fluffy and smooth.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place liners in muffin tins.
3. Place 1 Oreo Thin in bottom of each muffin liner
4. Split mixture into 15 portions. Use a round tbs measure, scoop the mixture and place in each muffin tin
5. Place pans in oven for 5 minutes. Then remove and slightly smooth out warm mixture evenly throughout each muffin tin and return to oven for another 15 minutes. Bake until center is firm to touch
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack until room temperature.
7. After they reach room temperature place in fridge for one to two hours.
8. Once cools, remove each cheesecake from muffin liner.
9. Remove from fridge before serving and top them with your favorite candies (pictured: Melted Andes Mints drizzled on top).
Makes 15 Mini Cheesecake Bites
Serving size 1
For more on Megan Rigby, aka Macro Mini: