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Nutritional Training to Beat Holiday Stress

Follow this food plan to celebrate in good cheer.

Dinner to Relax You

Meatless marinara and pasta with veggies thrown in
Salad
Slice of whole-grain bread
Or:
Chinese steamed veggies and rice, sauce on the side
Or:
Spinach burrito with plenty of salsa
Or:
Couscous with falafel

If you wouldn't know a couscous if it bit you back, Duyff has other suggestions for making the three-meal-a-day obligation easier during the holidays. "Make everything quick and easy," she says. "You need time to chill with your family." Pick up a cookbook full of five-minute recipes.

And, of course, indulge in some comfort food. Without stress, comfort food would not have been invented and we would all be the poorer for it. "When you're stressed, you want to go back to the time 'when'" -- when life was simpler, when things tasted better, when you didn't know what you do now. This can vary by generation, Duyff points out. Comfort food for a baby boomer might be meatloaf, for a younger person, sushi or pizza.

If you like creamy soups and chowders, cut the damage a little by using evaporated skim milk or canned pumpkin as a thickener. Substitute apple juice for sugar or fluids in cakes.

If you can't cut the calories and fat without desecrating your comfort item, dish up a serving in advance and put the rest away.

Just keep your eye on the prize. You and your family will feel more cheerful during the holiday fun -- and when you do stop in front of the shellfish platter on the buffet table, you will be glad you had tuna with sunflower seeds for lunch. More room for stress-free lobster! Yum!

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