SAN ANTONIO — During the holidays, it is hard not to pack on the pounds with all of the homemade recipes and never-ending streams of parties. 

"During the holidays, it's not like you should avoid anything really; it's more about the quantity that you are going to be eating," said Dahlia Gomez, who is a registered dietitian who works primarily with Texas Diabetes Institute within the University Health System. She said one of the ways to not blow your diet is to watch your portion size. "Serve yourself on a smaller plate because we eat with our eyes first. So if you get a big plate and don't fill it up, you're already psyching yourself out that you are not going to be full."

Also, avoid the foods you eat all year long, and stick to those that are served only during the holidays. Gomez said, "Let's say you really love your aunt's broccoli cheese casserole. I'm going to eat some of that, and then my mom's stuffing and then the turkey and things like that, but I'm going to avoid the store-bought rolls or food that we have every day."

Other ways to cut down on the calories include avoiding sugary drinks, eating non-fat or low-sodium canned foods, eating your protein and vegetables first and high calorie foods last, and don't fry a turkey. Gomez added, "You can smoke it, you can roast it or bake it, but you want to avoid frying your turkey because that's just going to add extra fat."

Recently at the Texas Diabetes Institute's 20th anniversary celebration they held several cooking demos, including an apple yogurt parfait.

The recipe calls 1 and 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt, a cup of unsweetened applesauce, half of a cup of granola raisins, and fresh raspberries and blueberries to top it off.

Gomez told us, "You want to be eating mindfully, so eat good, and then maybe don't go back for seconds. Things like that, or balance it out that day with a walk with your family."

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Here are some healthy recipes you could use during the holidays...

Roasted winter squash and roasted potatoes
Butternut squash and roasted potatoes

Butternut squash and roasted potatoes

Preparation time:  1 hour
Number of servings:  8

Ingredients:
1 unpeeled acorn squash, washed, halved, cut into 12 equal pieces
4 medium (about 2 lbs.) unpeeled butter potatoes, washed and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large sprig rosemary

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.|
2. Combine squash, potatoes and garlic in 9 x 13-inch shallow baking pan. Drizzle with oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with rosemary sprig.
3. Bake 45-50 mintues, turning once after vegetables are browned on one side.
Option: Squash may be peeled if desired

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 150
Carbohydrate: 24 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Total fat: 5 grams
Sodium:  10 milligrams

Source: www.wegmans.com

Healthy pumpkin pie
Healthy pumpkin pie

Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Preparation Time:  1 hour 25 minutes
Number of Servings:  10

Ingredients:
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 (14-ounce) can fat free sweetened Condensed Milk
8 egg whites
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Whisk pumpkin, condensed milk, egg white, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth.
3. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 207
Carbohydrate: 35 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Total fat:  4 grams Sodium:  240 milligrams

Source: www.sparkpeople.com

Cranberry Walnut Feta Salad
Cranberry Walnut Feta Salad

Cranberry Walnut Feta Salad

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Number of Servings:  4

Ingredients:
1 package (10 oz.) mixed salad greens
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 package (4 oz.) Athenos Crumbled Feta Cheese
½ cup coarsely chopped toasted California walnuts
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground black pepper
¼  cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Layer salad green, cranberries, cheese, and walnuts in shallow bowl or on large serving platter.
2. Whisk vinegar, honey, mustard, and pepper in small bowl. Slowly add oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended.
3. Pour over salad. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 354
Carbohydrate: 32 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Total fat: 21 grams
Sodium: 303 milligrams Protein: 12 grams

Source:  www.livestrong.com

Creamy mashed cauliflower
Creamy mashed cauliflower

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Preparation time:  30 minutes
Number of servings:  6

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower
1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions: 
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer to a food processor.
4. Add oil and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and puree untilsmooth. (or, mash cauliflower with a potato masher.)
5. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 110
Carbohydrate: 8 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Total fat: 9 grams
Sodium: 330 milligrams Protein: 3 grams

Source:  www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Healthier Green Bean Casserole
Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Number of Servings: 10

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced1 pound blanched green beans, cut into
2-inch pieces, or 1 (1-pound) bag frozen, cut green beans, thawed and drained
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3/4 cup mushroom broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 ounces onion-flavored potato chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9- x 9-inch ovenproof dish and set aside. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Add onions and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add green beans, sour cream, bread crumbs, broth and salt and pepper to bowl and toss to coat. Add cheese and toss again.
4. Transfer to prepared dish and crumble potato chips over the top.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until hot throughout and chips are golden brown. Serve hot.

Nutrient Analysis:
Calories: 410
Protein: 17 g
Carbohydrate: 44g
Sodium: 690 mg
Source: www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Cranberry Orange Relish
Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Number of Servings: 10

Ingredients:
1 medium navel orange, rinsed and pat dry
1 pkg (12 oz) fresh cranberries, rinsed and pat dry
¾ cup sugar

Directions:
1. Cut unpeeled orange into eighths; remove any seeds.
2. Place half of cranberries and half of orange sections (including peel) in food processor. Process until mixture is evenly chopped; transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange.
3. Stir in sugar to desired sweetness. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrient Analysis: 
(2 T) Calories: 40
Carbohydrate: 10 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 0 g
Total Fat:0 g
Sodium: 0 mg

Source: wegmans.com

Roast turkey breast with herb stuffing
Roast turkey breast with herb stuffing

Roast Turkey Breast with Herb Stuffing

Preparation Time: 2 hours
Number of Servings: 10

Ingredients:
2 pounds whole, boned turkey breast
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon Morton Lite Salt Mixture
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated fat-free mozzarella cheese
2 ounces lean ham, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups water
1 package (1 teaspoon) chicken bouillon granules

Directions: 
1. Lay 3 clean cotton strings, each about 24 inches long, across a large roasting pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Set turkey breast skin side down, over strings.
2. Sprinkle turkey with parsley, thyme, Morton Lite Salt Mixture, pepper, cheese and ham. Shape turkey breast into a roll and tie with strings. Turn roast over, so that skin side is up. Insert thermometer into center.
3. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours (or until thermometer reads 170 degrees).
4. Place on a serving platter and keep warm for 10 minutes. Mix wine with cornstarch, water and chicken bouillon granules. Add to pan drippings. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl for spooning over slices of meat.

Nutrient Analysis:
Calories: 133
Carbohydrate: 2 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 25 g
Total Fat: 1 g
Sodium: 319 mg

Source: www.diabeticgourmet.com

Apple Cranberry Crumble
Apple Cranberry Crumble

Apple-Cranberry Crumble

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Number of Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces fresh cranberries, washed and picked through
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp butter, cut into tiny pieces

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Placed sliced apples and cranberries in an 8x8 inch glass baking dish. Drizzle with lemon juice.
3. Pour all but 2 tbsp of apple juice over sliced apples and cranberries.
4. Whisk oats, brown sugar and flour together. Rub butter pieces into oat mixture. Sprinkle on top of apples. Drizzle remaining apple juice.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Nutrient Analysis:
Calories: 245
Carbohydrate: 50 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 3 g
Total Fat: 3 g
Sodium: 40 mg
Source: www.lowfatcooking.com

Creamy turkey gravy
Creamy turkey gravy

Creamy Turkey Gravy

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Number of Servings: 10

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon drippings from chicken or turkey
¼ cup finely chopped onion and celery
¼ tsp salt
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cup chicken stock
¼ cup skim milk
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf

Directions: 
1. In a medium-size pan, heat the drippings over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until they are soft.
2. Turn the heat down, stir in the flour and cook, for 3 minutes more or it's golden and bubbling
3. Stir in the chicken stock and bay leaf, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer. Stir occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and simmer for about 2 minutes or until heated through.
5. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Nutrient Analysis: 
(1/3 cup) Calories: 34
Carbohydrate: 2 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 0 g
Total Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 107 mg

Source: http://southern-ute.nsn.us/ShiningMt/brochures/gravy.html

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad
Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Number of Servings: 10

Ingredients:
2 bunches kale (about 1 pound total), tough stems and ribs stripped out, leaves sliced
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red onion, sliced
4 pitted dates, very finely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Directions: 
1. Put kale and 1/2 cup vegetable broth in a large pot and place over medium heat. Cook, covered, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted, about 3 minutes.
2. Add squash and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until kale and squash are tender but not mushy, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup broth, onion, dates and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, until onion is very tender and liquid is reduced by half, about 6 minutes.
4. Cool, toss with kale and butternut and serve room temperature or chilled.

Nutrient Analysis:
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 24 g
Sodium: 45 mg
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 3 g                

Source: wholefoodsmarket.com

Creamy spinach dip
Creamy spinach dip

Creamy Spinach Dip

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Number of Servings: 16

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained very well
1-1/2 cups low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced mint
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup minced water chestnuts
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Prepare the spinach and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, vinegar, mint, garlic, water chestnuts, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Add the spinach and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Nutrient Analysis:
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 2 g
Total Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 27 mg

Source: The Diabetes Food and Nutrition Bible

Here is a link to recipes already posted in the recipe section of our Health Focus SA blog. https://healthfocussa.net/category/living-well/

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com