Diane May Nutrition Blog

Smart Holiday Eating

November 16th, 2013

The holiday season is here and it can be a very challenging and stressful time for many people. I want you to enjoy the season and just keep these tips in mind.

Don’t save up your calories for those big celebratory meals and skip meals all day in anticipation of what’s to come.  We aren’t squirrels saving up nuts for winter!  This leads to over eating and extra calories.  Eat your usual breakfast and a light lunch and a snack and enjoy the special meal in moderation.

If you are faced with a buffet, make only one trip.  Fill up on healthy options and only leave a small space on your plate for one treat.

When you are feeling hungry, drink one glass of water first.  You may be dehydrated! Beware of calorie laden egg nog, beer and soda and other empty calorie drinks.  Try flavored seltzer or a wine spritzer.

Save your calories for something special that you enjoy.  Don’t waste your calories on things you could eat any time.  Don’t eat things you don’t really like.

Don’t graze while you cook.  Every bite, lick and taste adds up! Wait to enjoy your holiday creations.

Don’t deprive yourself of things you desire and crave, just have a smaller portion and maintain good exercise and eating habits. If you do overindulge, just get back on track the next day.

Be realistic with your goals over the holidays.  If this is a hard time for you, the goal may be to maintain and not to gain.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Torte with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

From EatingWell:  November/December 2012

Smart Eating



  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons canned unseasoned pumpkin puree


  1. To prepare torte: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate chips, butter and oil in a small saucepan. Place over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a spatula, until melted.
  4. Beat eggs, egg whites, 1 cup pumpkin, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the torte in the middle of the oven until the edges are set and the center just barely jiggles when the pan is gently shaken, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips (see Tip). Decoratively drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the cooled torte. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours (or up to 1 day).
  7. To prepare topping: Just before serving, beat cream with 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree. Remove the pan sides and slice the torte. Serve each portion with a dollop (about 1 tablespoon) of the pumpkin whipped cream.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate torte for up to 1 day. Finish with Step 7 just before serving. Equipment: 9-inch springform pan, parchment paper
  • Tip: Melt chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave on Medium (50%) for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. Or place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.


Per serving: 194 calories; 11 g fat ( 5 g sat , 4 g mono ); 67 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 18 gadded sugars; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 97 mg sodium; 207 mg potassium.