How to cut calories from holiday meals

Do you want to get through the holidays without taking a few extra pounds?

Kristin Porter, author of a food and recipe blog Iowa Girl Eats, says it’s not hard make healthy holiday dishes without sacrificing taste.

“It’s all about moderation, enjoy yourself, because ‘tis’ the season,’ but be mindful about what you’re eating,” said Porter.

There are tips and tricks to people looking for tasty meal ideas without adding a lot of extra fat.

As the mom of a young son, porter has been gluten free ever since giving birth. She says the main reasons people gain weight over the holidays is because they indulge without potion control.

She recommends enjoying holiday’s foods but is small servings. Be mindful of alcohol, she says, because it tends to cause people to overeat and is packed with calories. If at a party with an appetizer table, fill a plate and take it away to eat, instead of standing by the table and grazing.

Porter suggests cutting calories in recipes by making smart substitutions.

“Herbs are a great thing to add to any dish to add a lot of flavor but little to no calories,” said porter.

Butter can be swapped for applesauce and Greek yogurt can be used in baked goods instead of heavy cream, sour cream, or butter. For good health consume mashed potatoes, trade half the potatoes for steamed cauliflower. It won’t change the consistency or taste enough for picky eaters to notice and they’ll be getting veggies while indulging.

She recommends making side dishes with more veggies and less cream. Porter have some recipes like hot to make a quinoa, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts dish that is packed with flavor but not fat.

And as a way to get 2015 off to a fresh start, Porter also has a green detox smoothie for after the big meals, before or after a workout, or for a healthy breakfast.

“It’s a great way to reset after you’ve indulged, and a great way to start the New Year on a healthy note,” said Porter.