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This is the time of year that we crave some traditional foods associated with the holiday. Maybe it’s your grandmother’s famous stuffing recipe or the chicken and dumplings, or maybe the tamales, or perhaps it’s the cranberry sauce, or the pie or the Christmas cookies…

There’s always a dish that just calls out to you – bringing back memories of family, friends and holidays past. This food nostalgia is strong especially around the winter holidays when many of us in northern climates tend to eat heavier meals to fortify us against the cold, icy climate.

A few of these festive favorites really help us celebrate, but overindulging often leads to some regret when the holidays are just a memory. One way of reducing the damage caused by holiday foods is to dream up some healthier substitutes for the traditional dishes. For example cranberry sauce can be made by using a wee bit of maple syrup to save you from the high fructose corn syrup or sugar in store-bought brands.

We live in a society of over-achievers and as North Americans over-indulgence is just one of the many areas where we can really excel!  We comfort ourselves by thinking “it’s only once a year,” but we are now powerless. This holiday season, begin now to incorporate some strategies to not sharpen the old sweet tooth too an extent that it’s difficult to find our way back to everyday fare.

If you choose to excel and fall totally off the wagon, then find your way back by creating new year’s resolutions to make your 2011 really bright!

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