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Healthy-Eating Tips and Recipes for Easter and Passover

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04.01.15
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Hi Hungry Girl,

I celebrate Easter, and my roommate celebrates Passover. We both need to know how to make it through the next week without packing on the pounds. Come to our rescue, HG!

In Need of Holiday Help

Hi Holiday Help,

I'm with you there! It can be tough to make smart food choices and to avoid overeating during these holidays. You've got celebratory feasts, leftovers, and (in the case of Passover) food restrictions. So here are some tips 'n tricks...   

Healthy-Eating Tips for Easter and Passover Food DOs. One of the most iconic Easter foods happens to be eggs, and I'm a big fan of using hard-boiled egg whites as a snack base. Click here and here for some easy and amazing recipes! And baked ham isn't a bad choice; just avoid any cuts that look fatty. Or use lean ham to make a dish yourself, like our Ham-It-Up Egg Bake. As for Passover, matzo is actually pretty reasonable in the stats department -- a full sheet of it typically has around 110 calories and half a gram of fat. Check out this guilt-free take on matzo brie, a.k.a. fried matzo. (It's an oldie but a goodie!) And I've got a fantastic recipe for apple matzo kugel. At either holiday dinner, load up on broth-based soup (just don't go overboard with the matzo balls), lean protein (skinless turkey breast is great), and veggies (watch out for heavy sauces or too much oil).

Food DON'Ts. I'm not going to tell you to skip the traditional holiday foods that only come around once a year. But I will give you some info so you can choose what to indulge in. Your best strategy at a holiday feast is to fill up on the healthy stuff and have small amounts of the more decadent dishes. A 4-oz. serving of brisket (a Passover staple) has about 330 calories and 22 grams of fat. Leg of lamb, which is common at Easter events, has about 275 calories and 19 grams of fat. And at any holiday meal, it's not unusual to see mashed potatoes (generally calorie heavy due to cream and butter) and fruit pies (deceptively fattening). So like I said, pick a favorite or two, and savor a small serving. Better yet, bring your own guilt-free holiday dish for everyone to enjoy!

Exercise Advice. Ever heard of a turkey trot? The idea behind an organized Thanksgiving Day run/walk is to burn a bunch of calories before you indulge in a big meal. Why not apply the same theory to Easter, Passover, or any other holiday? Gather your family members and buddies for a group walk. Or just work Housewalking into your pre-holiday-meal plans!

To drink or not to drink? Do yourself a favor -- don’t waste calories on cocktails. It’s no secret that many alcoholic drinks pack a serious caloric punch. Plus, if you get tipsy, you'll be more likely to make poor food decisions (not to mention embarrass yourself in front of your out-of-town cousins!). If you do want to enjoy a low-cal cocktail, stick with a glass of wine or champagne. Or have a single shot of clear alcohol (like vodka or rum), a calorie-free mixer (like club soda), and just a splash of juice (like cranberry).

 
 

Got friends who celebrate Easter or Passover and could use some healthy-eating advice? Click "Send to a Friend" now!

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