6 Healthy, Filling Christmas Dishes That WON'T Turn You Into Santa Overnight

6 Healthy, Filling Christmas Dishes That WON'T Turn You Into Santa Overnight

The ultimate guide to prevent you from becoming Santa.

Past Halloween and now Thanksgiving, Christmas is around the corner, and families are bound to gather around a table heaping with buttery mashed potatoes and warm snickerdoodle cookies. With those in mind, it can be quite difficult to stay on a healthy regime when temptations are offered to you left and right. Nonetheless, there are six foolproof ways to eat healthy over the holidays.

1. Drink homemade fruit smoothies.

The loads of carbs will surely take up most of your appetite; therefore, to fit in a healthy boost of vitamins, make a fruit smoothie of bananas, strawberries, apples or whatever suits the taste and down a glass every morning. This way, breakfast or even an afternoon snack will present full servings of fruit on even the most carb-filled days.

2. Swap that seven-course feast with a pot of soup.

Soup — a perfect matrimony on a chilly Christmas night with a strong wind rustling the ferns outside the window. When paired with several dices of carrots, potatoes and celery, any soup (without much butter or cream) is just as filling as a three-course appetizer. Not only does it nourish bodies with over-night broth and vegetables, soup can fill stomachs quicker, leaving less room for empty calories. This can definitely help limit calorie intakes..

3. Throw some nuts into those chocolate chip cookies with two percent milk.

Nuts are high in Omega-3 nutrients and are often very filling. By incorporating a few crushed walnuts, pecans or peanuts into cookie dough, cookies will take a prized new flavor and texture, a unique twist for the kids. Additionally, by using nuts, chocolate chips can be substituted to cut back grams of sugar and saving multiple cavities. Now, don't forget to pair them with a cool glass of two percent milk instead of whole!

4. Cut back on the butter and use alternative fats.

Canola oil is one of the most common oils used in cooking; however, it can often be processed. Instead of mixing that entire stick of butter into your roast pork, use a fourth and add some coconut oil for extra silkiness. Olive oil is yet another alternative fat that is more pure and contains more polyunsaturated fats, which is healthy for the heart in moderation. By cutting back on the butter, the meal could be reduced by 500 calories!

5. Incorporate a few glasses of cranberry juice and apple cider vinegar.

As a resort, if the meal is truly the traditional fatty feast Christmas gatherings have to offer, incorporating cranberry juice and apple cider vinegar can aid in digestion and stable bowel movements. Even after a food coma, these superfood miracle remedies clear out the intestines and neutralize the acids in the stomach, suppressing the symptoms of heart burn.

6. Substitute ice cream with frozen yogurt or sorbet.

Though the weather is frigid, nothing can stop the kids from carving out the entire supply of ice cream in the fridge. Too ease worries on consumption of sugar, replace ice-cream recipes with frozen yogurt. It has a third less of sugar and still tastes fabulous. It may even be better tasting than ice cream for some, so try out different recipes to find your perfect fit. Sorbet can also be used to as a festive twist!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Joshua Ness

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​21 Things You Need To Do The Year You Turn 21

Cheers to twenty-fun!

There’s a reason people call 21 "twenty-fun." This is one of those years that has the potential to beat all others. All you need are some great friends, a spirit hungry for adventure, and this list of 21 crucial things to fill your year with.

1. Get carded as often as possible.

There’s pretty much no better feeling than when you’re finally 21 and you can order drinks with no fear of being turned down.

2. Tell people what you want with #NoRagrets.

This year is no longer the year to hold in your thoughts out of fear that you don’t deserve what you want. Decide on your dreams (life, career, whatever) and shout them from the rooftops.

3. Find your “Go to Hell” outfit.

You know the one – that outfit you feel so good in that you could tell literally anyone to “go to hell” without blinking an eye. Yep. Buy it. Own it. Kill it.

4. Experience more than normal.

Look at life through someone else’s eyes, visit another country, practice empathy. There’s more to life than black and white. Just experience a little more than your normal. You’ll be a better person for it.

5. Kill the LinkedIn game.

It’s cool to be professional AF.

6. Go on a few dates.

With your significant other, mom, dad, best friends, that stranger you’ve been crushing on, yourself.

7. Learn how to be comfortable with uncomfortable.

Not everything is going to be your cup of tea and not everyone is going to be exactly like you. Learn to appreciate everyone’s differences and your days will get a little brighter.

8. Find a quality genre of music and stick with it.

Top 40 is cool and all, but there are so many genres out there so don’t be afraid to grow your musical palette.

9. Treat yo-damn-self.

To a nice meal out. To those new shoes. To that second Starbucks. To that big piece of cake. To that crazy concert. Self-love is important, too.

10. Strike up conversations with as many strangers as you can.

You never know who you could meet if you just take a second to talk to the person in line in front of you or walking the same way as you. This is the age to form good networking habits.

11. Explain why your license isn’t flipped the ‘right’ way.

Yes, you’re really 21. You just haven’t gotten your new flipped ID yet.

12. Make your forever friends.

What’s life without your forever friends?

13. Gym so hard.

Hit up the gym and eat some spinach every once in a while. It’s good for ya.

14. Buy your parents drinks.

Imagine how funny (or scaring) it’ll be hearing your dad tell the hot bartender some of his ‘high-quality’ dad jokes.

15. Splurge a little money.

Like I said before, treat yo-damn-self.

16. Save a little money.

But, treat yo-damn-self within reason. Your future self will thank you.

17. Always give a solid tip at restaurants.

A nice tip can go a long way… and I mean the monetary kind.

18. Perfect your Insta game.

Juno? Ludwig? Valencia? Choose your favorite filter and throw it over everything. Whether it be your #foodie lunch or your beach pics, find your ~aesthetic~ and stick with it.

19. Make sure your jerk radar is properly calibrated.

This will get you so far in life and save you so much wasted time.

20. Cross a few things off your bucket list.

If you don’t have a bucket list, now’s the time to make one and start checking things off one-by-one. You’ll never realize how much you’ve really done until you see a big list with a bunch of marks through it.

21. Live. A lot.

Okay, so maybe 9+10 is not 21 (#RIPVine), but this is a huge year for you. This might be your last big birthday before the big 5-0 so make sure you’re always living every moment to the fullest.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren LeBouef

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...


In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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