It is a challenging time during the holidays to keep it together. I know the last thing I want to do this time of year is reach for an apple instead of a chocolate chip cookie. It’s the end of the year, and I feel I deserve to have a treat. The problem is these little bouts of indulging begin to add up in more than one place —and usually in the most noticeable of our bodies. 

Here are some healthy tips that can help you avoid all those sugary high fat, high calorie snacks:

Cheese and Crackers: Snacks high in protein can sometimes be hard to find. Cheese and crackers can be a great alternative to a double-chocolate chip cookie. Although, depending on the cheese and the cracker, you can end up having the same result. You can use low-fat cheese or string cheese with low-sodium crackers to make it a good nutritious healthy alternative.

Festive Fruit Bowl: Fruit should always be a go-to for us when we need sweet foods. A bowl of fruit carries nutrients the body really needs to keep in its optimum health. Most fruit is low in calories and a high source of fiber and vitamin C. If you need to make it more interesting, add low fat cottage cheese and a little honey so you don’t feel too deprived.

Turkey or Tuna Holiday Salad: I know it’s not the first thing you think about when choosing a snack, however adding different flavors to a salad can be quite satisfying. Creating a salad with dried cranberries and nuts can satisfy the cravings for sugary sweets. Try it!

Veggies and Hummus: This is a great alternative to chips and dip. Hummus is made with chickpeas and is a much healthier alternative than high fat chip dips, and actually tastes much better with carrots and celery sticks. I can’t imagine feeling bad after eating too many carrots.

Greek Yogurt with Protein Powder: My friend and trainer Lauren Kern taught me this very full-filing snack. Adding chocolate protein powder to plain non-fat Greek yogurt tastes just like chocolate pudding, without the added sugar of course. It is a great source of protein and is satisfying to your taste buds and is a great late night snack.

 

Bonus: Turkey Cranberry Salad Recipe

This my favorite go-to salad when I’m in the kitchen and want to have a box of cookies. I love to bake this time of year, so our home is always filled with the works, banana bread, cookies and chocolate fudge. This salad helps satisfy both the sweet and salty cravings.

Ingredients
• 2 cups lettuce of choice
• 4 oz. low sodium sliced turkey breast or 1 can of tuna
• 3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
• 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
• 1 cup Cooked or raw broccoli
• 1/2 cup Croutons (optional)
• 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil and vinegar
• Lemon Pepper (optional)

Preparation
Rinse, dry and chop lettuce. Cut turkey slices into strips or place tuna on top of salad. Place lettuce and turkey in a salad bowl and top with cranberries, sunflower seeds, broccoli, croutons and walnuts. Toss with dressing and serve. Serves two.

As the time for new beginnings, new projects and new goals nears, it is important to keep our bodies healthy. It is a fun time to be with loved ones, enjoy dinner dates with friends and enjoy our families. Now more than ever we need to be mindful about our body’s health, so let’s continue our journey and finish this year feeling good.

 

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com

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