top of page
  • Jill Maher

Holiday Plan of Attack

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by skype/facetime with my clients.

It's officially the holiday season, and the baking and parties are in high gear! This is a difficult time for those of us trying to stick to a healthy eating plan.

I believe an occasional indulgence that is totally worth it, is not going to throttle your overall healthy lifestyle or even weightloss. In fact, restricting too much can make you over indulge later. Just make sure it's worth the bang for the buck ;)

Have a game plan so that there are parameters to your indulgences.

For example, you know you are going to have a slice of your grandma's homemade pumpkin pie. Plan it, and do it! Have a small slice and savor every bite, and then move on.

I ask my clients, "Is it worth it?" Just make sure you ask yourself this. If you have multiple parties, prioritize where you are going to indulge, and stay on track at the others. If you indulge every single time, unfortunately the scale will reflect your poor choices.

Remember, it's not all about the food - although, that is part of the fun! It's more about the people and time spent with your friends and loved ones.

It's also great to replace desserts with healthier options, like frozen bananas and other fruits. Or, if you have a salty, fried hankering, try broiling or baking foods to crisp them up and sprinkle some sea salt over top!

These are great alternatives, but what about baking holiday goodies? I save some great ideas to my Pinterest board!

I also discovered this alternative 'Healthy Recipe Substitutions' chart on

I love anything with a gingerbread flare this time of year! This recipe on EatingWell is too delicious to pass up:

Orange Spice Molasses Cookies

Adapted from

Recipe By: Shyla Huber


Cookie Dough

  • 1½ cups rolled oats

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest

  • ½ cup light or dark molasses

  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2¼ cups organic whole-wheat flour or alternative gluten-free flour

Optional Rolling Sugar

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

  2. To prepare the optional rolling sugar: Pulse ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon orange zest in a food processor until well combined. Place in a shallow dish and set aside.

  3. To prepare cookie dough: Grind oats in a blender until they look like a fine powder, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.

  4. Beat butter and ⅓ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons orange zest and beat another 2 minutes. Add molasses, applesauce, egg yolk, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt; beat on medium-high until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium and slowly add the ground oats. Scrape down the bowl; with the mixer on medium, slowly add flour. (The dough will be moderately sticky.)

  6. Using a slightly rounded tablespoon of dough, roll into balls, then roll in the rolling sugar to coat. (If necessary, wet your fingers to help roll without sticking.) The zest will make the mixture slightly wet and it will clump; lightly brush off the excess so that just a thin coat is on the cookie. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

  7. Bake the cookies in batches until the edges are set and the tops are cracked, but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 10 minutes.

  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 8 minutes. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition information

Serving size: 1 cookie

Per serving: 85 calories; 2 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 mcg folate; 8mg cholesterol; 9 g sugars; 8 g added sugars; 53 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 13 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 49 mg sodium; 77 mg potassium

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: ½ starch, ½ other carbohydrate

Have a very healthy holiday!!!

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by skype/facetime with my clients.

122 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page