Nov 252015

Yay! Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I am a huge fan of the holiday. It has some of my favorites foods. I love the mashed potatoes, I love stuffing, I love pumpkin pie!

Thanksgiving dinner is a feat in itself. I remember when Michael and I did Our First Bird. We had a bunch of friends over and did thanksgiving at our place. It went well but yeah…it was a lot of work!

Over the years I’ve written a lot of posts about the holiday and how to balance the splurge and still lose weight. You can read some of those old posts here:

Any Way You Slice That Pumpkin Pie

Repost: Why You Don’t Quit for the Holidays

Repost: Setting a Skinny Table



In the past I usually started reigning in the food and alcohol intake after Thanksgiving until Christmas, trying to be balanced and eat in moderation without going overboard. Inevitably I’d gain around 3-5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s but I’d lose it pretty quickly and easily in the new year. This year feels a little different, obviously. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m not too worried about gaining a few pounds, and my priorities have shifted a bit.

Instead, I wanted to share some favorite recipes you may want to try at your holiday:


Grandpa’s Atomic Garlic Dip – My grandpa’s famous dip. It’s super garlicky, like prepare-yourself-garlicky, but it’s SO good. It’s a fabulous appetizer to take to your holiday party and goes great with raw veggies.


Buffalo Celery Appetizer  – Another easy appetizer that is low in calories.

Side Dishes

I love me some Brussels Sprouts! I have two favorite recipes I wanted to pass on. The first is a super easy and fast side dish (that we often do with just dinner on a regular night):

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions:


This Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad was one I made for a previous Thanksgiving holiday and it was absolutely delicious and a hit. Plus, even people who weren’t fans of Brussels Sprouts, liked this recipe!


Martha Stewart’s Mac n’ Cheese – I don’t know that this is really a “side dish” but it’s an AMAZING recipe and is a must-make for any holiday party Michael and I get invited to. He made it once and now it’s requested. By everyone. It’s seriously that good. This particular recipe is a huge time investment but it’s so worth the effort.


Red Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Currants, Chickpeas and Cashews – This would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s healthy, delicious and goes with everything.


Butternut Squash Cashew Soup – another great option for a side dish or appetizer. Make a small batch and serve it in tiny bowls or even in shot glasses!


Main Dish

If you’re not a fan of turkey, but want to do something similar, check out this recipe that was a fantastic dinner: Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Another alternative to turkey: Roasted Garlic, Herb and Lemon Cornish Game Hens


We’ve done Cornish Game Hens instead of turkey a few times. On years when we were not getting together with family and doing the big “thing”, this was a nice option because it was MUCH less work, similar to having a turkey, but no massive quantities of leftovers.


Here are few recipes for bread type things:

Apple-Cranberry-Pistachio Bread

Star’s Cornbread – Her cornbread is amazing! Cheesy, moist, spicy…all my favorite things!

Cornbread Stuffing – Okay…for most of my life I was a firm “traditional stuffing” kind of girl…then I had cornbread stuffing and don’t want anything else now! I love cornbread stuffing and have had a few different variations of it and it’s all good…some cashews, some spicy sausage mixed in? Delicious!

Now it’s your turn: what are your favorite alternative recipes for the holidays? Share your links here!

Nov 182015

I wanted to share a few things I’ve discovered lately and become obsessed with. Not a sponsored post, just sharing some of my new obsessions. :) Here goes:


No idea where this craving came from. I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of pumpernickel bread. But I recently saw these babies at Trader Joe’s and had to try them:


They are seriously delicious! I’ve been eating them like crazy when I’m craving something salty and crunchy. It’s only 110 calories a serving and I don’t eat too many of them in one sitting–maybe because the flavor is pretty strong? Definitely give them a try. They are so good!

Kashi Go Lean

I stopped eating cereal for a long time. I’ve written about it before — basically, cereal feels like an empty waste of a LOT of calories and I never feel full or satisfied. Well that is still mostly true but sometimes (like on weekends) I want a lighter breakfast before I go to the gym and I’ve been trying out some different cereals. I liked the Trader Joe’s Fruit & Nut high fiber medley cereal. But this one is my new favorite:


I love the protein and fiber count! And it’s absolutely heavenly tasting! Love this cereal!

Guilty Pleasure

Oh my goodness! These were 100% an impulse purchase at Trader Joe’s and they are addicting and SO tasty! The little balls of caramel and butterscotch have the perfect amount of sea salt and then covered in chocolate. Seriously addicting. I don’t recommend buying these things unless you have will power because once you start eating them it’s hard to stop!


11 balls are 200 calories.

Apple Sticks

There is really nothing nutritional about these snacks (that I bought on a whim) but they sure are tasty and a good snack. 140 calories for a serving. The apple cinnamon flavor is amazing and it would be way too easy to just eat the whole bag….


Chobani Flip

I love these things! They are so good! I don’t eat them often and considered it a treat when I do get them at the store simply because the calories are just too high for a snack. This one is 240 calories. That’s pretty high. I usually end up having these as a dessert instead of a snack. But it’s a nice treat and a nice change from the plain Greek Yogurt I usually eat.


Your turn. Have you discovered anything amazing lately? Clue me in!