“A healthy lifestyle is an important weapon in the fight against disease, so this holiday season Texas Oncology encourages people
to make small changes that could result in big health payoffs.To make it easy, Texas Oncology shares recipes and tips to promote healthier
eating and exercise during the holidays.”
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, catch Cleverley’s radio show,
Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM. (PS: She gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)
Small Changes, Big Health Pay-Offs
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly a third of cancer deaths could be prevented by improving nutrition,
limiting alcohol intake, participating in more physical activity, and quitting smoking. When planning holiday gatherings
and creating new traditions, here are some tips to help you stay on track while still spreading holiday cheer:
. Start the day with a hearty breakfast. Fill-up on fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, and lean protein like turkey sausage to stay full longer and get your metabolism going.
. Challenge yourself to make holiday menus more nutritious by adding fresh vegetables and fruits and foods that are high in dietary fiber like whole grains and beans.
The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends filling at least two-thirds of your plate with these types of foods.
. Try these easy substitutions:
. Shortbread: Reduce the sugar by half and intensify the sweetness by adding vanilla.
. Brownies: Substitute butter with baby prunes to cut more than half the fat and calories.
. Salad: Replace iceberg lettuce with arugula, spinach, or kale to add more nutrients.
. Stuffing: Instead of dry bread crumbs, use rolled oats for added fiber.
. Breakfast Casserole: Use lean turkey or Italian prosciutto instead of bacon to cut calories and fat.
. Leave Santa a nutritious midnight snack. Promote healthy eating to children early by encouraging
them to leave Santa apple slices and apple cider with Merry Mulling Mix beside the fireplace.
. Sneak in a workout. Make a goal to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. If you’re unable to break
away for a jog or the gym, play with your kids, go on a family holiday hike, or pick the farthest parking spot to get moving and maintain a healthy weight.
. Create healthy, fun family traditions that include physical activity like cutting down your own tree, building a snowman, or playing a friendly game of flag football.
. Give delicious, healthy treats as gifts. Make healthier items to give to neighbors, coworkers, and friends instead of candy and high-fat baked goods.
Texas Oncology’s Healthy Holiday Recipe Collection offers Holly Jolly Biscotti, Gingerbread Granola, Jingle Jam, Holiday Crunch Time and Merry Mulling Mix.
Merry Mulling Mix contains orange peel with antioxidants that have the potential to lower cholesterol and help normalize blood pressure.
Orange peel also contains vitamins that have been shown to reduce the growth of lung and skin cancer cells.
The nutmeg provides a good source of minerals like calcium and potassium – the latter of which helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
The spice is also rich in Vitamin C and folic acid, which are essential to optimum health.
Cranberries are a powerful source of flavonoids, a family of phytonutrients with antioxidants.”
Merry Mulling Mix
Makes 20 individual packets
4 large oranges, rinsed and dried
4 whole nutmeg
4 oz. cinnamon sticks (about 16 large)
1/4 cup each: whole allspice and whole cloves
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
3/4 cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
20 small cheesecloth squares
1 quart of water
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 to 60 minutes total
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Cut away just the bright orange part of the peel with a small sharp knife, then cut into 1/4-inch wide strips.
Place on a large baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes or until very dry.
3. Place nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, allspice and cloves in a gallon-size freezer bag; fold over top.
Place on a dishtowel and pound with a meat mallet. Add dried orange peel, cranberries and ginger to bag and mix well.
4. Place about 1/3 cup into individual packets such as loose tea bags or cheesecloth squares. Tie tightly with kitchen string to enclose.
5. Simmer 1 mulling spice packet in 1 quart of apple cider for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how desired strength.
Makes 16 servings
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raw slivered almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons flax seeds
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins
1. Preheat oven to 300˚F.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and spices.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the agave nectar, brown sugar and molasses. Pour over dry mixture and stir until incorporated thoroughly.
4. Evenly spread the granola mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Cool slightly before adding apricots and raisins. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight jar or sealed bag.