Girls enjoying the pool.

Spring Break-Don’t Break It!

Here at New Image Camps, we give our campers all of the tools they need to continue a healthy lifestyle. All New Image campers attend fitness classes, nutrition and cooking lessons, and behavior modification classes. They also go home with a New Image booklet that contains a broad foundation of nutrition knowledge, sample menus, and great recipes to use at home.

With spring break coming up, it’s understandable that people will be taking vacations or just spending the week off at home. This is not a time or excuse to pause all of the hard work and dedication you have put in to continue your weight loss journey back at home. Here are suggestions for you to use while you’re on break, whether you’re going away or not, to ensure that you will be maintaining this healthy lifestyle while still having a fun and relaxing break!

Keep your body moving: During a week off from school, it’s definitely tempting to relax and be lazy-whether it’s being lazy by the pool or being lazy on your couch at home. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable with this. Keep your momentum going. If you’re on vacation, wake up just 30 minutes early and get in some exercise before you start your day. Utilize the hotel gym, go running outside if you’re somewhere where the weather is nice, or do some floor workouts in the comfort of the room where you are staying. If you’re spending your break at home, this could be the time for you to discover other fun ways to work out in your neighborhood. Take a really cool class that you haven’t had time to take because it interfered with school!

Resist the urge to splurge: A lot of times, fun family vacations mean cool restaurants with great food. At the same time, being at home all week during break, you could also end up going to cool and fun restaurants to give yourself something to do. Try and find a healthy and tasty dish on the menu. Most restaurants will be accommodating to some modifications to a dish. If you’re tempted to order something on the menu that is high in calories and fat and served in a large portion, why don’t you try splitting it with someone else, eating half and taking home the leftovers, or even ordering a yummy appetizer as your entre! Only go out to get ice cream once and get one scoop with minimal toppings. Share a small dessert with the rest of your family!

Give yourself a compromise: Having one treat a day while on vacation is okay! But, try and compromise with yourself. If you’re going to get a treat that is high in calories, you can walk to get it! If you know you’re going to a good restaurant and want dessert at dinner, then have a healthy lunch and breakfast!

Enjoy yourself: You’re on vacation! Have fun and relax! And be healthy while doing so! It’ll be worth it in the end when you get back to school and get back into your routine of eating healthy and working out daily. A week can easily get you off track and then all the hard work you’ve put in would be pushed back. It’s not worth it! Keep up a healthy body and a healthy mind when you’re on break!


Happy National Nutrition Month!

If you didn’t already know, March is National Nutrition Month! At New Image Camps we promote living a healthy lifestyle for children’s weight loss, which includes well-balanced nutrition.  All 3 of the meals served each day and both snacks given out are based off of the new “My Plate” guidelines focusing on portion control, balancing all food groups, and proper nutritional elements. New Image campers attend nutrition lessons, cooking lessons, and behavior modification classes, providing them with the tools to continue this healthy lifestyle back home. The nutrition sessions cover child and teen nutrition and include lessons like reading nutrition labels, modifying all time favorites to be healthier, and teaching the basic principles of nutrition. 

In the honor National Nutrition Month, here are some fun nutritional facts:

  1. A serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.
  2. Avocados are naturally FULL of nutrition, so there’s no need for special labels. They’re full of flavor; think of all of the meals you can healthify with avocado!
  3. Fruits with a lot of vitamin C, like oranges, will help your cuts heal faster. They can also make your teeth nice and strong.
  4. To burn off one plain M&M, you must walk the full length of a football field.
  5. Soda intake leaches calcium out of the bones, which contributes to lower bone mineral density.
  6. Dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants that can help reduce blood pressure. A serving size of dark chocolate after dinner is a great dessert to satisfy that after-dinner sweet tooth!

To continue the celebration of National Nutrition Month, here are some tips on how you can maintain good nutrition:

  1. Don’t forget to eat breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast gets your body going for the rest of the day.  It’s the most important meal of the day!
  2. Substitute whole grains for white breads and pastas. They have a lot of more nutritional value and keep you full for longer. Plus, they’re just as tasty!
  3. Raw vegetables make a great snack! Increasing the amount of vegetables in your daily intake is always helpful. They have a high vitamin and mineral content and a low calorie count. They’re great for snacking and still provide that “crunchy-munchy” feeling we all crave!
  4. Drink plenty of water. Try and replace a sugary or even diet drink with a glass of water. Though diet drinks have no calories, they still have plenty of chemicals. Drinking water makes you feel fuller and can increase your metabolism. Infusing fresh fruits and vegetables into your water is a great way to make a tasty drink! Plus, you’ll drink some of the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables!

At Home Winter Workouts

Although we’re already in March, winter weather is still unfortunately here. Just because the weather may prevent people from getting outside or to the gym, it doesn’t mean that workouts should be forgotten. There are plenty of fun ways to get those calories burned and that body moving in the comfort of your own home and without any machines.  Whether you have an in-house exercise room or not, these are some fun approaches to exercising, while still being able to avoid that frigid chill:

1. Floor Workouts: If you have an open space to work with or you need to move around some furniture, workouts that only require floor space are super easy and fun.  Exercises that can be done on the floor include crunches, push-ups, sit ups, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, high knees, planks, and bicycle crunches. You can even try adding some 5 lb weighs to your floor routine!

2. Using your stairs: If you have stairs inside of your house, using them to exercise is a great way to get your heart going. No matter how you want to approach it-if you want to follow a routine or make one up yourself-climbing stairs is a great way to get your workout in. You could even burn up to 150 calories in just 15 minutes when climbing stairs!

3. Workout Videos: Getting workout videos are very fun because there are so many out there and you get to pick them out yourself. This can ensure that you’re working out the way you want to! You have a virtual trainer there, keeping you motivated throughout the entire workout. Pop the DVD into your TV or computer and you’ll instantly get an amazing workout experience. Plus, even if you don’t have a workout DVD there are many videos online that you can follow!

4. Dance- It’s very underrated that something as simple as dancing in your bedroom can make you burn calories. You can blast the music on your parents’ stereo and it’ll keep you moving. It’s fun, exciting, and you can do it with multiple people. I know it can sound silly, but who cares? Break out of your shell and bust a move. You’ll feel more confident that you exceeded your comfort zone and burned calories while doing so.

5. Make your own Circuit: Circuit routines are perfect for in house workouts, especially in the winter. All you need is 5-7 of your favorite floor workouts. You can even add in a couple of friends or family members to make it fun. Set a station for each workout. Some suggestions are a cardio station like jumping jacks, a core station like crunches, an arm station such as push-ups, and even a station dedicated to using the stairs in your house. You could even put on a 7-minute workout video or a 7-minute section of your favorite video as one of the stations. Get creative and make it fun!




8 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Fun and NOT Impossible

It’s hard to force yourself to exercise and eat healthy when you are only focused on the end result. I want to lose weight, so bad! You might tell yourself. When you don’t see results immediately it can be hard to stay motivated.

Here are 8 kid-friendly reasons why losing weight can be a fun, exciting challenge. You will look back on this experience with pride when you are on the other side, I promise.


  1. Track your progress. Focusing on results can be discouraging, but if you keep a log of how much you exercise and what you weigh each week you will slowly be able to see some real results. Remember, drinking lots of water and eating low-sodium foods helps keep water weight down.
  2. Have a workout buddy. Having a friend for the gym, for a jog, or a Zumba class can help you motivate each other. It’s hard to say no when your friend texts you to go on a jog.
  3. Start a new hobby. Zumba classes, Yoga classes, running, Soccer, Football, and dance. There are so many awesome ways to get your heart pumping. Learn new soccer tricks on YouTube, practice Yoga at home, or join a team at school.
  4. It Feels Great. Ever heard of dopamine? It’s the chemical released in your brain when you laugh, smile, or receive a text from a friend. Imagine feeling like that all the time. Exercising regularly releases dopamine that makes you feel great – and boosts your confidence.
  5. Make new friends. Joining a team gives you the opportunity to make a lot of new friends. Teammates hang out with each other all the time. If you don’t like being super competitive there are others like you! Join an intramural team at school or in your community.
  6. Learn how to cook. At our weight loss camp we teach everyone how to make healthy, delicious meals. But it doesn’t have to stop there! YouTube has a lot of easy recipes you can learn how to make. There are also some great recipes you can check out on our blog. Cooking can be fun and they’re lots of chances to be creative.
  7. Go shopping. Walking around the mall can be a fun way to lose weight without even realizing it.  Studies show that walking for 45 minutes every day is important for losing weight, so make sure to check out all your favorite stores (and take the stairs!).
  8. Give your music some life. I love to run to music. Timing a stomp to the drop is exhilarating and there’s no better rush. Running, or walking to the beat makes you feel like you are composing the piece with every step you take.


If you try one or more of these tips losing weight shouldn’t feel like such a scary, daunting task. It can be fun. Just be consistent, drink lots of water, and eat healthy and you’ll start noticing weight loss is like a game and those lost pounds become points in your pocket.

12 Easy and Healthy Resolutions

The first step to achieving any resolution is to be realistic. Choosing attainable goals with small benchmarks help keep things realistic. Achieving intermediate benchmarks gives a sense of success and inspiration, and helps to curb getting overwhelmed. Start small with two or three goals. Pick the most important ones that will inspire you to stay on track.

A resolution form the heart is always more likely to succeed than one that others set for you. Rely on your friends and family to help support you on your way to your healthy resolutions, and vice verse. Emotional support and encouragement is a great source of motivation.

Below is a list of resolutions to help you on your way to your overall wellness goals. To make your resolutions stick choose goals that are important to your life and the life you want to create for yourself.

  1. Control portions – Make a fist, this is the average serving size. Portion control keeps your metabolism active and prevents overeating.
  2. Be active – Get out and take a walk or play in the park for 30 minutes a day. Moving around gets your heart rate up and can improve your overall health.
  3. Cut back on sodium – to decrease blood pressure and bloating.
  4. Increase consumption of antioxidants – to defend your body against free radicals. Free radicals have been proven to cause abnormalities in cells, and by consuming antioxidants you can increase your ability to fight off the bad things.
  5. Wear sunscreen – Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from premature wrinkles, sunburn and skin cancer. Most skin cancer comes from overexposure to the sun during childhood, so lather up and protect your lovely skin.
  6. Strength train – Adding strength training to your workout or daily healthy lifestyle increases your metabolism and helps build strong bones for the future.
  7. Unplug daily – In a world where we are always connected to our phones, computers, & tablets it is good to take a break and connect with those around you. Try to take at least 30-60 minutes a day to disconnect from all electronic devices.
  8. Hand write a note – Hand write a note to a friend or family member. In the world of digital this small gesture can make their day and yours.
  9. Get enough sleep – Give your body time to reset and recharge. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep per day can help you stay focused and feel more energized throughout the day.
  10. Take time to create or learn – carve out a portion of your day to focus on things that you enjoy and find stimulating and challenging. Use this time to do crafts that you enjoy, read or start a new hobby.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Often, Thanksgiving can lead to overindulging from grease base gravy to seconds of pumpkin pie. However, it doesn’t need to be that way! Break the cycle this year and serve wonderful, healthy dishes that don’t skimp on taste. Read on and use these healthy updates to traditional dishes for a new take on classic table staples.

Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey & White-Wine Gravy – Use an organic or natural turkey to avoid the additives of a conventional supermarket turkey. This recipe uses fresh herbs and spices to minimize the need for fat saturated ingredients like butter, cream and salt.

The specs:

  • Makes: 12 servings, 3 ounces turkey & 2-3 tablespoons gravy each, plus leftovers
  • Active Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes (plus 24 hours brining time)

The Ingredients:

  • 10 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 12-pound natural or organic turkey, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or dry vermouth
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth


  1. Crush 6 cloves of garlic and add to a very large stockpot. Stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt and 4 quarts of cold water.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey and trim away any excess skin. Submerge the turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If the turkey is not fully submerged, turn it every 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and pat dry. Discard the brine.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Place the remaining 4 cloves garlic, lemon zest, oregano, oil, pepper and 2 tablespoons of water in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. (Alternatively, chop garlic, lemon zest and oregano on a cutting board until finely minced, then place in a small bowl and stir in oil, pepper and water.) Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the paste all over the turkey, under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat and a little inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast-side down in a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
  6. Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Turn it breast-side up on the rack, add 1 cup water to the pan, and continue roasting 1 hour more. Baste the turkey with pan drippings, tent with foil and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer (inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F, then roast 30 to 45 minutes more.
  7. Transfer the turkey to a large cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before removing the string and carving.
  8. Pour any pan juices and fat into a large glass measuring cup and place in the freezer until the fat rises to the top, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, pour the pan juices and fat into a fat separator then pour the defatted juices into a large measuring cup.) Whisk flour with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl.
  9. Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add wine (or vermouth); bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Continue cooking until reduced, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan juices from the freezer, skim off the fat with a spoon and discard. Add the defatted juices and broth to the roasting pan; return to a simmer, whisking often. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the flour mixture and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve and serve with the turkey.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Roasting sweet potatoes is a tasty alternative to boiling and mashing them. As an added benefit, it is also easier!

The Specs:

  • Makes: 12 servings, about 1/2 cup each
  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

The Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat.
  3. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.

Cranberry, Cherry & Walnut Marmalade – Go for fresh cranberries instead of canned as this limits preservatives and adds a nice crunch.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 4 cups
  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours (including cooling time)

The Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup port, or other sweet red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest


  1. Combine sugar, water, port (or wine), cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium nonreactive saucepan (stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass); bring to a boil. Add cherries and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until about half the cranberries pop, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in walnuts and orange zest. Let cool completely. (The marmalade will thicken as it cools.) Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Wild Mushroom Stuffing – Wild mushrooms make a great, rich tasting, base for a hearty and healthy take to traditional stuffing.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 10 servings, about 1 cup each
  • Active Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 3/4 hours

The Ingredients:

  • 10 cups day-old bread, crusts removed, cubed
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 pounds chanterelle mushrooms or mixed wild mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place bread in a large bowl and toss with milk. Let stand, tossing or stirring occasionally, until saturated.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add liver and cook, stirring once or twice, until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and butter to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushroom have softened and the liquid released has evaporated, 8 to 12 minutes. Add to the bowl with the liver.
  5. Drain and squeeze the bread and add to the bowl with the mushroom mixture (discard any remaining milk). Add parsley, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in eggs. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake until heated through and golden on top, about 45 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Sage – Perfect for freeing up valuable oven space as this dish can be done on the stove.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 12 servings, about 1/2 cup each
  • Active Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

The Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped chestnuts, (about 4 ounces; see Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Melt butter with oil and broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and sage and cook, stirring often, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pumpkin Coconut Tart – Cut back on the carbs by making a pumpkin tart instead of a pie. This tasty creation pairs perfectly with a cup of chai and a warm fire.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Active Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 1/4 hours

The Ingredients:


  • 1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons cold reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)


  • 1 1/2 cups canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk


  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut chips, (see Ingredient Note) or flaked coconut, toasted (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 11-inch round or 8-by-12-inch rectangular removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Combine flour, almonds, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely ground. Add butter one piece at a time, and then cream cheese by the tablespoonful, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust.
  3. Bake the crust until set but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare filling: Beat pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar, rum, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Beat in coconut milk. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.
  5. Bake the tart until the filling is just set (the center may still appear soft, but will become more solid as it cools), 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Serve room temperature or refrigerate until chilled. Remove the pan sides before slicing. Garnish with coconut, if desired.

There you have it! Some great twists on traditional dishes that will keep your guests on their toes and their taste buds tickled. For more guidance and recipe ideas see our Healthy Holidays Recipes.

All of these recipes came from and more tips and tricks to making these delicious dishes can be found here and here.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Setting a Healthy Holiday Table

It’s that time of year again to start planning your holiday meals. Whether you are hosting or heading to a friend or family member’s house with tasty dishes in tow, you are probably starting to think about what dish (or dishes) you are going to serve.  Here are some recommendations to serve up festive fare that is both light and delicious! No matter your traditions, these adored and time honored dishes can be made with less fat, fewer calories and a reduced amount of sugar. The best part is that these recipes skimp on fat, but not on taste!

Although there are plenty of holiday foods that are actually healthy and full of nutritional benefits, the problem is that we go about preparing them the wrong way. Adding cholesterol, fat and sugar to healthy foods is counterintuitive but common around the holiday season. If you prepare these holiday table staples in a healthy way and watch your portion size, you and yours will gain numerous nutritional benefits!

Turkey – Is an excellent, healthy source of protein. That is of course, if you prepare it properly and don’t take the deep fried and covered in gravy approach! A 3 to 4 ounce healthy serving of turkey is a great source of folic acid, vitamin B, zinc and potassium. These nutrients have been proven to help keep cholesterol down and protect against heart disease or cancer while providing a boost to the immune system. If you are watching your weight, stick to the white meat and skip the skin as this will save you hundreds of calories. The best news is that turkey will fill you up without all the calories. It is one of the best lean proteins and should be a staple of your holiday diet if weight loss and fitness are a goal. Recipe idea

Sweet potatoes – Are arguably some of the healthiest veggies around. However, most holiday recipes don’t exactly translate the healthy nature of this yummy vegetable. This holiday season, try roasting your sweet potatoes as it keeps the flavor without adding the fat. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, vitamin A, potassium and phytochemicals and all help promote a health body while staving off arthritis and aging. These spuds are also very filling, saving the need for an overloaded plate or seconds! Recipe idea

Cranberries – Cranberry sauce is a go to garnish for many Americans during the holidays. However, most of us don’t realize that our antioxidant packed berries are pumped with sugar because of their less than sweet nature. Cranberries are naturally low in sugar, which has many recipes calling for large doses of added sweetener to combat bitterness. Avoid all that sugar by sticking to a healthier option like Stevia or maple syrup. Recipe idea

Stuffing – This starch rich side is often regarded as one of the holiday’s most fattening and filling dishes. However, at its heart it is satisfying side that just needs a makeover. With a few minor changes, stuffing can be made into a healthy holiday staple. Consider packing it with nuts, carrots, celery, and dried fruit to add a range of vitamins and a dose of fiber. In addition, substitute low sodium chicken broth or oil (coconut or olive) instead or butter. Recipe idea

Gravy – The quintessential Thanksgiving staple. Sadly, a single serving of homemade gravy can added 200 to 300 calories to your holiday meal. Rather than cutting the gravy altogether, instead opt for substituting ingredients. Using coconut oil instead of butter and almond milk instead of cow’s milk while eliminating the meat drippings altogether will help shave calories from your holiday gravy. Upgrade your gravy with these substitutes or cut half the fat with this recipe. Recipe idea

Bread – Do we really need more carbs on our holiday plates? Probably not. Between stuffing and potatoes, do we really need rolls that are slathered in butter? Instead, opt for a crisp and flavorful flatbread that doesn’t require a creamy spread. Recipe idea

Potatoes – This simple way to cut carbs will have your guests wanting the recipe! Try this mashed cauliflower dish as a fantastic substitute to traditional spuds. This is a great way to avoid the food coma that can be caused by over indulging in copious amounts of Thanksgiving Day carbs. With a dish so tasty, your guests will be hard pressed to believe they are eating cauliflower instead of potatoes! Recipe idea

Pumpkin – Let’s be honest as nothing says Thanksgiving quite like pumpkin pie. This heart-healthy veggie is packed with vitamin A and rich in fiber. A big plus is that pumpkins are naturally moist, so you don’t need to add a lot of unhealthy ingredients to make this dish tasty. Substitute almond milk for cow’s milk and egg whites whenever possible. Cut back or even eliminate white processed sugar and opt for Stevia instead to provide a healthy twist on a classic Thanksgiving dessert.  Recipe idea

Take some stress out of holiday planning by ensuring that the meals you prepare are healthy and filling while maintaining personal traditions. Remember that by looking at food from a healthy perspective, you will be able to make it through the holidays without wishing you hadn’t had that last piece of pie!

The holidays are a time to indulge, but do it the right way. Indulge in love, laughter, time with friends and family, and perhaps one extra side of your favorite dish.

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