While doing some research today, I happened across WebMD's "Naughty List of Holiday Foods." I had to investigate further, because, for one, the name annoyed me: it was either going to be about stigmatizing fat or...uh...nevermind.
They provided a list of 15 or so fat and sodium laden delicacies with ideas about how to make them healthy. One or two of the ideas sounded edible. For instance, it probably wouldn't kill me to eat white meat turkey and not pick the skin off the bird while my grandpa isn't looking. The vast majority of their suggestions, however, were either just plain silly or just plain revolting.
Can't stop yourself from eating piles and piles of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes? Leave out the dairy and mash the potatoes with low-sodium fat-free (taste free) chicken broth. Not only will there be fewer calories in the potatoes, you'll suddenly lose the desire to die eating them.
Love pecan pie but hate yourself for eating so much sugar for dessert? Eat a handful of mixed nuts. You won't notice the difference. Honest. Equally interchangeable: caramel corn and popcorn (doubtless, butter and salt-free), Christmas cookies and whole-wheat crackers.
And drinks don't escape the purge. White wine and cranberry juice spritzers stand in for festive cocktails. Nevermind the fact that if you liked white wine spritzers you'd be drinking them anyway. Or--my personal favorite--serve their super secret recipe low-fat egg nog: skim milk, artificial sweetener, and egg substitutes. Mmmmm.
Please, just let good food be good food. If you're on a diet, eat REAL healthy food. If you feel the need to indulge in Christmas treats, it is possible to do so with moderation. Is there any point in eating traditionally rich foods with the good stuff --fat, salt, and sugar--removed? Foods that are genuinely healthy are delicious. Splenda and egg substitutes? Not so much.