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5 Ways to Eat Healthier This Holiday Season

It’s December – the time of year that’s full of friends, family, food and parties. But this year will be a bit different. I’m really sad that I won’t be able to share a delicious meal with my whole family on Christmas day, but I’m committed to making this holiday season the best it can be! For me, feeling good means eating healthy – most of the time! (psst…check out my decadent chocolate torte below)

Here are my top five tips for healthy eating during the holidays this year.

Give veggies a leading role

Aim to make half your plate vegetables when you can, and include them as snacks (with a dip if you choose – my favourites are hummus and tzatziki) throughout the day.

Take 10 before going for seconds

After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break before going in for seconds. It takes a few minutes for your stomach to register the “Oh, I’m getting full” signal to your brain. 

Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach

Alcohol has this sneaky ability to increase your appetite and diminish the ability to control what you eat. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have something in your stomach before you do.

Put your dancing shoes on

Dancing around in your living room is a great way to burn off some energy. Not a good dancer? Do it anyway! If dancing is not your thing, a nice walk outside can have the same effect. 

Pay attention to what really matters

Put your focus on family, friends, laughter and cheer this holiday season – even if it’s over a Zoom! 

 

Decadent Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

Did someone say chocolate? When it comes to that special meal or two that I plan on enjoying this holiday season, you can bet your bottom dollar that chocolate will be on the menu! This one is a must-try and incredibly easy to make! It’s rich, fudgy and a wise choice when satisfying that sweet tooth!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz (283 g) unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) hazelnut extract 
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • Your favorite ice cream and chocolate sauce, or whipped cream and berries to go on top!

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan. I like to use a springform as it makes the removal way less complicated. If using a regular cake pan, make sure to grease well. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan for easy removal. 
  2. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high at 30 second increments until fully melted. You can also use a double boiler to do this step, but I like to keep it easy! Mix well and set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, hazelnut until combined using an electric mixer. Add the flour and salt and mix. Add chocolate mixture and beat until combined. 
  4. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbly bits.
  5. Let the torte cool completely before removing. For either pan, flip over onto a plate and remove parchment paper, and then flip over again on to a serving plate. 
  6. Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of sauce. Or if you want to be creative, decorate with whipped cream, and arrange a few red berries with mint leaves so it looks like holly or mistletoe
  7. Enjoy a delicious slice sans regret! 

Jenn Giurgevich is a Registered Dietitian and former contract Professor at Brescia University College with a wealth of nutrition knowledge. Over the last 10+ years, Jenn has paired her love for nutrition and health with her undeniable love for fitness, working as both a personal trainer and fitness instructor.

 

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