Eating Light Tip #16: Be a Smart Christmas Cookie

“Focus on one special dessert—something that you can get only this time of year—and savor it,” suggests Forberg. Skip the cheesecake bars (219 calories, 16 g fat) and have a gingerbread man (79 calories, 3g fat), thumbprint cookie (102 calories, 6 g fat), or a piece of peppermint bark (75 calories, 3 g fat for 1 ounce).

Eating Light Tip #17: Use Your Bean

Cheese, creamy soups, and fried onions quickly turn green beans into a calorie bomb. Instead of the classic green bean casserole, Vicens suggests infusing the beans with flavor, not fat. “Sauté beans with olive oil, shallots, tarragon, and parsley,” she says. “Garnish with sliced roasted almonds and dried cranberries for crunch and sweetness.”

Eating Light Tip #18: Make Healthy Gravy

“Porcini and cremini mushrooms have a meaty flavor that’s perfect in gravy,” says Forberg. “They’re also high in heart-healthy nutrients, like selenium and vitamin B12.” Sauté mushrooms, garlic, and shallots in canola oil, then add a pinch of flour, salt and pepper, and lowfat chicken broth or turkey stock. Transfer all to a blender and pulse until creamy.

Eating Light Tip #19: Dress Lighter

“The secret to moist, delicious stuffing is using chicken broth in place of water,” says Forberg. Boost the nutrient content with herbs (rosemary and sage), fruits (raisins or apples), vegetables (carrots, celery, or mushrooms), and whole grains (whole-wheat bread or wild rice). Then bake it in a separate dish. When you bake stuffing inside the bird, it absorbs the drippings—and extra fat and calories.

Eating Light Tip #20: Can the Canned Cranberries

Pre-made cranberry sauce is convenient, but a quarter cup has almost as much sugar (21 grams) as a cup of soda. Homemade relish is much healthier. Simmer 2 cups fresh cranberries with 1∕2 cup each honey and water or orange juice until thick (about 20 min). Add in grated orange zest for more flavor. Cover and chill until set (30 to 60 min).