I often hear people talk about how hard it is to maintain their healthy lifestyle during the holidays. Family gatherings never fail to bring out the richest and the most decadent foods. However, that’s only a part of the problem; the other part is that your family wants you to indulge. Moms, especially, take offense if their children don’t eat the food they spent hours preparing.

To avoid this calorie overload, I invite you to try some of my tips on how to handle such situations.

  1. Make your new favorite healthy dish and share it with the family. If they push their food on you, you can do the same—and, as a bonus, you will introduce your family to healthy dishes.
  2. When choosing your meal, fill up half of your plate with mixed-greens salad or the healthy dish that you brought, one quarter with cooked vegetables and one quarter with your favorite dish on the table. Use the same principal if you choose to go for seconds.
  3. If you don’t have time to make something, then buy 3 mangos, 1 papaya, 1 pineapple, 3 apples and 1 pound of red grapes. Chop up the fruits in Mom’s kitchen and serve this fruit salad as a fat-free dessert.
  4. When it comes to dessert, wait for an hour after the meal, if possible, before indulging your sweet tooth. Your best dessert bets include anything fruit-based, such as blueberry or apple pie (with as little of the crust as possible). Speaking of which, here is my favorite go-to dessert.

STRAWBERRY PIE

(Click here to watch Alina's video!)

CRUST 

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup pecans

1 cup medjool dates, pits removed 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

Place all ingredients into food processor and process until it resembles dough. Press mixture into 8- to 10-inch glass pie pan.

FILLING

6 cups strawberries 

1 cup medjool dates pitted 

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds 

Place 3 cups of berries in food processor with dates and flax seeds and blend well. Add remaining 3 cups of berries to food processor and pulse to chop. Pour filling into crust.

About Alina Z.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinazhealthcoach.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/fabulousfoodAZ) or Twitter (@FabulousFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.