My latest “On Nutrition” column in The Seattle Times gives some of my favorite tips for making the holiday meals more healthful while still enjoying the tradition and memories that come from certain favorite holiday foods.
The column was born out of some of my misguided attempts to “healthy-up” a holiday dish to the point where it was barely recognizable…and barely palatable (as always, tofu pumpkin mousse comes to mind). It was also inspired by the fear I hear as the holidays approach from people who are struggling with their weight or health.
There was a time when holiday excess was perfectly fine, because most people ate very simply day in and day out. Today, it’s very easy to eat to excess every single day, and many people do. Maybe not major excess, but a slighter degree of excess that adds up over time.
Holidays are meant to be special and joyful, and food is part of that. When we can hone in on what foods we enjoy the most and ditch the ones that have just been along for the ride, we bring a bit of sanity to the holiday table without feeling deprived.