Ahh, Holiday Weight Gain. Why in the world has this been something we're so willing to accept??? I suppose it's because most people set their New Year's Resolution to (once again) lose weight and get fit. I call Shenanigans on the whole situation. If you think about it, you're simply stuffing yourself like crazy for weeks because you have convinced yourself that somehow magically you will be skinnier on Jan 1st. How about eating healthier while still enjoying the Holidays and looking smokin' hot on New Year's Eve?
If you decided right now, today to be healthier and fit; you would already be well on your way to your goal. Then, you could set a meaningful Resolution to help others, like resolving to volunteer more! A healthy lifestyle shouldn't be just something you think about after the Christmas bloat belly has settled in. But, I do believe that enjoyment in moderation is crucial to staying on track.
On that note; here are some AMAZING healthy side dishes to make for your Thanksgiving Day Feast!
~Bikini Mom Green Bean Casserole

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, (half diced, half thinly sliced), divided
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt , divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)
1 pound frozen French-cut green beans, (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder, (see Ingredient Note)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and sherry and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and buttermilk powder. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

3. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup flour, paprika, garlic powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add sliced onion; toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Spread the onion topping over the casserole.

4. Bake the casserole until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

~Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rings
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350u. Place the sweet potatoes on a piece of aluminum foil and roast until they can be easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly.

2. Trim the ends and pull off the peels; slice into 1/2-inch rounds.

3. Butter a small (31/2-quart) casserole dish with half the butter. In a bowl, stir together the cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Arrange half the apple rings and sweet-potato rounds in alternating layers in the dish; sprinkle with half the spice mixture and half the maple syrup. Layer in the rest of the apples and sweet potatoes, ending with the apples. Sprinkle with the remaining spices, drizzle with the remaining syrup; dot with the rest of the butter.

4. Cover and bake until the apples are very tender, about 45 minutes.

~Pear, Prosciutto and Hazelnut Stuffing

4 ounce(s) prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
2 cup(s) onion, chopped
2 cup(s) diced fennel bulb
1/4 cup(s) minced shallot
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh sage
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon(s) minced fresh rosemary
8 cup(s) stale baguette, preferably multi-grain (not sourdough), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Bosc pears, ripe but firm, chopped
1/3 cup(s) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup(s) chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 can(s) (14 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.
Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel and shallot and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add sage, thyme and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer everything to a large bowl and gently stir in bread, pears, parsley, hazelnuts and the prosciutto. Add broth; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the prepared baking dish; cover with foil.
Bake for 40 minutes; remove the foil and bake until the top is beginning to crisp, 25 to 30 minutes more.
To toast chopped nuts & seeds: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Ingredient note: If you don't have stale bread ready to use, spread the baguette cubes on a baking sheet and toast at 250°F until crisped and dry, about 15 minutes.

~Indulge Yourself Pumpkin Pie :)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flour (Almost any will work, but not coconut flour) (42g)
1/3 cup xylitol or brown sugar (You can use a liquid sweetener. It’ll just be a bit gummy) (53g)
2 nunaturals stevia packs, or 2 extra tablespoons brown sugar
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk of choice (210g)
2 tbsp oil, or omit and increase milk to 1 cup
1 tsp ener-g powder or 1 tablespoon ground flax
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 F, and grease a 10-inch round pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine first 7 ingredients, and stir very well. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients with the ener-g or flax, and whisk. Pour wet into dry, stir to combine, then pour into the pan and bake 35 minutes. (It’ll still be gooey after baking, but that’s ok.) Allow to cool completely before transferring uncovered to the fridge to “set” for at least 6 hours before trying to slice.

Author's Bio: 


Audrey the Bikini Mom


P.S. -> I am giving a free Teleseminar the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Shopping is done, eating is done, you've eaten too much and gotten fat so let me help you change your life by making 2013 the best year ever! Click Here! www.HotBikiniMoms.com/free-teleseminar

P.P.S. -> Get the free Report 'Mom's Guide to Happiness, Beauty, Fitness, and Health at http://www.HotBikiniMoms.com and reread this article, there is some really great information in here!