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Mindful Eating

The New Year offers plenty of opportunities for festive gatherings, but don’t lose your will to keep your waistline in check!Whether socializing or watching the big game, mindless snacking will ruin the best of resolutions.

Keep track of fat and calories with mindful eating—selecting healthy options, stepping away from the food after putting a few items on your plate, and relishing each bite.

NUTS Packed with good unsaturated fat, nuts are a delicious and satisfying alternative to potato chips. A handful of hazelnuts is 94.7 percent fat free! Put just a few on your plate; you will be surprised how they curb your appetite.

HEALTHY PARTY DIPS Dips like hummus or fresh salsa are loaded with nutrients and are low in calories and fat. Combined with raw vegetables and pita chips, these dips are a tasty alternative to dips laden with sour cream or mayonnaise.

AIR POPPED POPCORN One cup has only 30 calories and provides more than one gram of fiber. Sweet and savory popcorn seasonings add just the right flavor without the fat. From apple cinnamon or caramel to barbeque or white cheddar, a quick shake of these delicious popcorn seasonings transforms popcorn from a guilty pleasure to a guiltless treat.

FISH Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (an essential fat the typical American diet lacks), fish can be presented in a number of ways, such as a smoked salmon dip made with fat free cream cheese, red onions and a touch of dill.

WATER Refreshing and calorie-free, water keeps you full and hydrated—the perfect drink before and during gatherings. Add a little lemon for flavor, and skip the caffeinated beverages.

ITALIAN-STYLE GRILLED CHICKEN 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing, divided 4 boneless chicken breast halves 1 medium tomato, finely chopped 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves) 4 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half Place large sheet of heavy duty foil over half of grill grate. Pre-heat grill. Place chicken in re-sealable plastic bag. Evenly coat chicken with 2 Tablespoons of vinaigrette. Refrigerate 10 minutes to marinate. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on uncovered side of grill for 6 minutes without turning. While chicken is grilling, combine chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese and remaining 2 Tablespoons of vinaigrette in a small bowl. Turn chicken, placing it cooked-side up on the foil-covered portion of the grill. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill an additional 8 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Garnish each piece with halved tomatoes. Makes 4 servings. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATIONCalories per serving: 200 Protein: 28 grams Total Fat: 7 grams Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams Dietary Fiber: 1 grams Cholesterol: 75 mg

PEACH MELBA SPREAD 1 15 OZ. can peach slices in light syrup 4 OZ. fat free cream cheese, softend 1 CUP light whipped topping, thawed 1/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup of syrup. Pour reserved syrup into medium bowl. Add cream cheese. Mix on medium speed until well blended and set aside. Coarsely chop peaches. Reserve 1/3 cup of chopped peaches; cover and refrigerate. Gently stir remaining chopped peaches and whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Spread into 9-inch pie plate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Spoon jam onto center of the cream cheese mixture and spread to within 1 inch of edge. Place reserved peaches around edge. Serve with graham cracker sticks. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons of spread Calories per serving: 110 - 150 Protein: 2 grams Carbohydrate: 19 grams Total Fat: 1 grams Dietary Fiber: 1 grams Cholesterol: 2 grams