No place like home | Health Beat

Homemade pumpkin pie can be made with less sugar—but it often comes down to your type of crust. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Whether you plan on celebrating by yourself or with immediate family this holiday season, homemade recipes are a surefire way to ease your mind and appease your hunger.

Made-from-scratch versions of holiday mainstays aren’t just healthier. They’re more delicious, too.

Some ideas to explore for your favorite dishes:

Simply stuffing

Good stuffing can make or break a holiday dinner. The versions from the store may be cheaper, but at what cost?

Comparing homemade stuffing to store-bought, an at-home blend will be more nutritious, contain no additives and taste better. You may need more ingredients for a homemade recipe, but you’re likely to have most of them on hand already.

Plus, you can boost your nutrition by adding in some fresh celery for fiber and carrots for vitamin A.

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A healthy flair for fall fare | Health Beat

Want a reduced-fat version of your traditional holiday soup? Use pureed root vegetables. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

It’s that time of year again, when we get caught up in the hype of holiday meals and comfort foods.

Before we know it, January comes around and we realize those goals of eating better this year have been thrown out the window.

What if we could take some of those seasonal favorites and give them a healthier flair?

Here are some ideas:

Creamy soups

Nothing says comfort food like a warm cream soup on a cold day. But let’s face it, most are filled with high-fat creams and cheeses.

Swap out the heavy cream for pureed root vegetables—potatoes, carrots, squashes—and add some plain, non-dairy milk or plain Greek yogurt for a creamy texture, all without the saturated fats. Or look for broth-based vegetable and bean soups. This can save you over 200

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How to curb the at-home snack attack | Health Beat

As snacks go, it’s hard to beat a concoction of yogurt, nuts and berries. It’s healthy, filling and always delicious. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Work a while. Take a break. Walk to the fridge. Have a snack.

And repeat.

If you’re among the many working from home because of COVID-19 restrictions, this routine might sound familiar.

Long hours working at home. Easy access to the refrigerator. The stressors of 2020.

They’ve all conspired to create a common problem: mindless snacking.

“It’s definitely something that people are struggling with,” said Holly Dykstra, RD, a dietitian with Spectrum Health Preventive Cardiology. “Increased isolation and stress can cause disrupted eating patterns. It’s easy to feel like you’re by yourself on an island. But if you know that the rest of humanity is also experiencing this, maybe you can give yourself some compassion, accept the situation, and then move on without using

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