Healthy Holidays

Tips for Tackling the Season

H3 Top1118 
November 2018 Issue

by Lindsay Gifford
Information, Recipes and Photography provided by Hilton Head Health

Holiday traditions are drenched in delectable desserts and delicious holiday staples—all of which tend to bring our healthy eating habits to a skidding halt. So, this year, we sought out the experts at local weight loss and wellness resort, Hilton Head Health (H3), to help us find a healthy-ish way to get through the holidays.

With more than 40 years of innovation, Hilton Head Health is in a class of its own. Nestled right here on the island, their world-renown resort has helped thousands of guests lose weight and stay healthy with custom fitness plans, nutritional workshops and gourmet cuisine. And, best of all, it's not just for visitors! The H3 Healthy Kitchen focuses on a weight loss approach that's good for mind, body and soul, teaching nutrition at its finest. The state-of-the-art kitchen features hands-on cooking classes, demonstrations, private cooking lessons, lunch and learn classes and meal planning lectures—available to locals and visitors when space permits. And,  you can get a sneak peek by logging on to their blog for great health and wellness tools.

This year, H3's Healthy Kitchen has taken some holiday favorites and given them a makeover, creating delicious options everyone will enjoy. (Shhh, they may not even notice the difference.) They've given us everything we need for an all around healthful holiday with fitness tips, nutrition advice, heavenly recipes and leftover suggestions.

Turn the page to indulge in some of the classics without dreading the sleep-induced food coma. Happy Holidays!

Thai Braised Brussels Sprouts  
by Chef Karla WilliamsH3 BrusselsSprouts1118
We are making Brussels sprouts cool again! This recipe is packed with tantalizing Thai flavors, creamy coconut and zesty curry.

1 tsp Sesame oil                    
½ tsp Crushed red peppers flakes
2 Tbsps Peanut butter, natural
½ tsp Salt
4 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered  
1 Tbsp Curry powder
1 cup Coconut milk, light, shaken  
2 Tbsps Cilantro, chopped

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add sesame oil and evenly spread oil around the warmed pan. Next, add Brussels sprouts. Allow the Brussels sprouts to sauté and lightly caramelize, only stirring every 2-3 minutes to avoid burning. Add peanut butter, coconut milk, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and curry powder to the pan, stir. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 7-10 minutes. Remove lid, top with fresh cilantro, and enjoy!

Nutrition:  Servings: 4   |   Serving size:  ¾ cups   |   Calories: 140   |   Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 310 milligrams   |   Carbohydrates: 12 grams   |   Protein: 5 grams   |   Fiber: 4 grams


Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini  
by Chef Karla WilliamsH3 BrieCrostini1118
Get ready to entertain this holiday season with traditional cranberries and brie in this healthy appetizer.

½ each French baguette, sliced thin        
12 oz. Fresh cranberries
2 Tbsps Balsamic vinegar            
¼ cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Rosemary                
3 oz. Triple cream brie
4 tsps Sage, fresh, chopped            
1 tsp Black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray a sheet tray with non-stick spray.

Place the thinly sliced baguette on the sheet tray. Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes or until crostini is slightly toasted. In another small bowl, stir together the cranberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar and rosemary. Spread cranberries out on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the cranberries in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes. At this point, the cranberries should be popped open with juices running out. Remove both the cranberries and baguette slices from the oven. Top each baguette with a ¼ ounce slice of brie and one tablespoon of cranberries.

Nutrition:  Servings: 12   |   Serving size: 1 thinly sliced crostini + ¼ ounce brie + 1 Tbsp cranberry   |   Calories: 130
Fat: 3.5 grams  |  Sodium: 160 milligrams   |   Carbohydrates: 21 grams   |   Protein: 3 grams   |   Fiber: 2 grams

Nutrition Tips

Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. Those foods can traditionally be high in calories that come from added fats and sugars, increasing the caloric load. For dishes like candied yams, green bean casserole, and the array of desserts that may decorate our plate on Thanksgiving Day, we can eat mindfully. Below are unwise, better and best options for your yam or sweet potato dish.

UNWISE: Candied yams. Included in candied yams are both added fat from butter, typically saturated fat, and added sugar. They may taste good but a ½ cup serving has 200 calories plus, depending if you like marshmallows or not, or the 5 tsps of added sugar. Just with this side, we are almost meeting the maximum intake of added sugar, 6 tsps/day, for women.

BETTER: Baked sweet potato. A baked potato can act as a vehicle for calorically dense foods like butter, sugar, or cheese. If you decide to have baked sweet potatoes on your Thanksgiving table be mindful of the portion size of the potato and the toppings you choose. Shoot to have a baked potato that is the size of a tennis ball on your plate, the smaller the potato the less “stuff” you can put on it.

BEST: H3’s Whipped Sweet Potatoes. Whipped sweet potatoes made the H3 way! We have a fantastic whipped potato recipe that has only three ingredients (1) sweet potatoes (2) dash of cayenne pepper (3) dash of salt. A ½ cup has only 100 calories with no added fat or sugar. Keep the skins on to make a sweet potato mash and increase your fiber intake!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes
4 cups Sweet potatoes, peeled, baked
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

Bake sweet potatoes in oven until fork tender then cool slightly. Peel sweet potatoes. Using a ricer, purée sweet potato then mix well with salt and cayenne. Serve ¼ cup cooked per serving.
Nutrition:  Servings: 16   |   Serving size: ¼ cup
Calories: 45   |   Fat: 0 grams  |  Sodium: 140 milligrams   |   Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Protein: 1 gram   |   Fiber: 2 grams

Green Bean Casserole   
by Chef Karla Williams
Our Green Bean Casserole with H3 Cream Sauce, when compared to a traditional green bean casserole, is lower in calories, sodium, and fat, but not flavor!

8 cups Green beans, cleaned, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup Skim milk
¼ tsp Salt
Pinch Pepper
2 tsps Onion powder
2 Tbsps Butter, unsalted
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsps Parsley, fresh, finely chopped
2 cups H3 Cream Sauce (recipe below) or cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place all cut green beans in mixing bowl. In a smaller sauce pan, warm H3 cream sauce or cream of mushroom soup, and add skim milk. Warm sauce until hot and season with salt, pepper and onion powder. Lightly spray a 15x10 casserole dish with non-stick pan spray. Then add cut green beans to baking dish. Pour “cream” mixture over green beans. Wrap casserole dish with plastic wrap and foil. Bake for about 20 minutes. In another bowl melt butter and mix with panko breadcrumbs and parsley. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle panko mixture over top. Bake in oven for about another 15 minutes or until panko crust is golden brown.

Nutrition:  Servings: 16   |   Serving size: ⅓ cup   |   Calories: 150   |   Fat: 3.5 grams   |   Sodium: 370 milligrams   Carbohydrates: 21 grams   |   Protein: 7 grams   |   Fiber: 2 grams

H3 Cream Sauce for Green Bean Casserole
2 cups Vegetable stock, low sodium    
1 tsp Olive oil            
¼ cup Shallots, small dice
1 tsp Onion powder            
3 Tbsps Garlic minced        
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Salt                
¼ tsp White pepper        
1½ cups Skim milk
2 Tbsps Half and half            
2 Tbsps Cornstarch        
2 Tbsps Water, cold
2 Tbsps Fat-free cream cheese

Heat medium size sauce pot to medium heat. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic; sauté until caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. Add stock, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer. Reduce mixture until about 1 cup. Then add skim milk, half and half, and cream cheese. Whisk until all ingredients are evenly mixed. In a separate small bowl combine cornstarch and cold water, mix well, creating a cornstarch slurry. While milk mixture is simmering slowly whisk in cornstarch slurry. Add cornstarch slurry slowly until desired consistency is reached.

Nutrition:  Servings: 6   |   Serving size: ½ cup   |   Calories: 90   |   Fat: 2.5 grams   |   Sodium: 320 milligrams   Carbohydrates: 9 grams   |   Protein: 5 grams   |   Fiber: 1 gram


Jack Daniel's Black Bottom Cupcakes
by Chef Karla WilliamsH3 JackDaniels1118
1½ cups Sugar
2 Tbsps Instant espresso granule
2/3 cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tsps Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Water
1 cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey
2/3 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
2 Tbsps White vinegar
4 tsps Vanilla extract
16 ounces Cream cheese, non-fat
1 cup Powdered sugar, sifted
2 Eggs
1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine water, applesauce, vinegar and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth. Add powdered sugar and eggs to the cream cheese and beat together until combined. Grease muffin tins. Using a ¼ cup scoop fill the muffin tins. Spoon 2 Tbsps of cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate batter. Evenly sprinkle each cupcake with chocolate chips. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Nutrition:  Serves: 32  |  Serving size: 1 cupcake  |  Calories: 170  |  Fat: 2.5 grams
Sodium: 240 milligrams  |  Carbohydrates: 30 grams  |  Protein: 4 grams  |  Fiber: 2 grams

Be a Thoughtful Grazer This Thanksgiving

Focus on expressing gratitude rather than ruminating on food this Thanksgiving. Spend your time connecting with family and friends, or practicing being thankful for your year of accomplishments. Try occupying your mind and body with activities like getting together for a flag football game or entertaining your guests.

When you do reach for food, grab for nutrient dense fare made of vegetables or fruit. Skip on the creamy and choose herbs and spices as flavor enhancers. For dessert think sliver, not slice, or dollop, not scoop. Make your Thanksgiving beverage a low-calorie Thanksgiving herbal iced-tea like cranberry vanilla or make that holiday wine spritzer.

Make your day more about the thanks and the giving and less about the thoughtless grazing.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Reinvented

In H3's Healthy Kitchen we think leftovers are one of the best parts about Thanksgiving! We spend all day preparing a meal that is devoured in less than an hour. Make the most out of your hard-work and turn those holiday classics into new meals that are not only healthy, but they won’t bore you come Black Friday. These quick and easy transformations will give your holiday favorites a second chance to please!

Wild Rice and Turkey Chowder; Turkey Pot Pie (sub turkey for chicken); Turkey Caesar Wrap

Stuffing-Stuffed Mushrooms: stuff leftover stuffing into portobello mushroom caps

Roasted Butternut Squash:
Roasted Butternut and Caramelized Onion Mash

Cooked Vegetables:
Vegetable Strata

Vegetable Casserole: Creamy Vegetable Soup: Purée the casserole into a smooth, creamy soup

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet Potato Scones or a Roasted Sweet Potato Parfait

Mashed Potatoes:
Potato Gnocchi

Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry Aioli Spread: 1/2 cup cranberry sauce mixed with ¼ cup reduced fat mayonnaise. (Tasty on a turkey sandwich!)


Fitness Tips

It’s that time of year again, when your regular schedule is busier and your fitness schedule gets pushed aside. You’re traveling more and time just seems to fly by. Don’t lose your new healthier lifestyle just because the holiday season has arrived. Carry your momentum through these last two, food-filled months of the year. Stay active with these five fit tips so you can reach your wellness and weight loss goals and create new ones for the New Year.

1. Plan Your Workout Schedule Before the Holidays Arrive:
What do traveling, gift shopping and exercise all have in common. They all require a pre-determined plan in order to be completed with utmost success. Before the challenge of staying active even arrives, come up with a plan of how you can combat it and be specific. What type of exercise will you do? Where will you exercise? What equipment do you need? When will you exercise? How long will you do it for? How many days per week will you exercise?

2. Prioritize Physical Activity in Your Life:
When times get busy, do you stop bathing? Do you stop sleeping?  Do you stop brushing your teeth? Do you stop eating? If your answer to that is no, then you probably enjoy taking care of yourself. Staying active is arguably the single best thing you can do to take care of yourself. Make it a priority to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Even if it is broken up into three 10 minute sessions, that is great!

3. Use It as a Stress Reliever:
Stress is a reality in our lives, but during the holidays it’s almost inevitable. Stress is a physiological response to real situations that happen in our lives. Too much stress can cause poor decision making skills, frustration, sadness, and even anger. The great thing about exercise is that it generates a different physiological response that releases serotonin, dopamine, and other hormones that make us feel good afterwards. This results in having more clear decision making skills. What better time to start managing our positive decision making skills than during the holidays!

4. Do Body Weight Exercises:
One of the easiest excuses to use when the weather gets bad is “there is nothing to do and no time to do it.” Body weight exercises are a great way to terminate that excuse. There is never a time when you don’t have access to your body. You need very little time and can use limited space. Here’s an example of a workout you could do in the convenience of your own home or even in a small hotel room, without any equipment.

Repeat these movements continuously for 10 minutes:
> 20 Jumping Jacks
> 10 Body Squats
> 10 Push-ups against a wall or on the floor
> 20 Second Plank

5. Wake Up and Work Out:
It is great to have intentions of doing something active. But unless it actually happens, those intentions don’t help you. In fact, those intentions can lead you to disappointment. Working out first thing in the morning is a great way to make sure you get your needed exercise for the day. After all, it is your number one priority and all you need is your body to perform it! Now that you can think more clearly and make more positive decisions, you can now more effectively execute the plans you made for the rest of your day!

Interested in learning more about what Hilton Head Health: Wellness Retreat and Weight Loss Spa Resort has to offer? Log onto or call 866-368-3010 for more information.

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