Thriving Through the Holidays – Dec 5

Thriving Through the Holidays

The holidays are officially underway! This means calendars are decorated with special events and parties, with folks celebrating and creating lifetime memories. While it’s easy to over indulge if you aren’t being mindful, with some planning you can still keep your health goals in check.

Here are some tips for staying on track while attending holiday parties:

  • Make it a point to mix and mingle AWAY from the buffet table.
  • Hold your water bottle in your dominant hand at all times.
  • Choose sparkling waters instead of alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat something healthy before you go — protein and vegetables are great.
  • For potlucks, contribute a healthier option that you will enjoy.
  • Choose the smallest plate available and only have one plate of food.
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your food.

If you make an effort to focus on your family and friends – instead of the food – you’re more likely to enjoy yourself and feel good throughout the holiday season.

Be Inspired!

Meat, Tomato and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups


  • 2 large zucchini or yellow squash, total weight 1½ lbs
  • Olive oil spray
  • ½ cup finely chopped leeks
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1¼ lb. ground beef (10% fat or less)
  • 13 oz. ground turkey (10% fat or less)
  • 2 cups no sugar added tomato-basil pasta sauce such as Rao’s Homemade marinara
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella


Preheat oven to 350F. Chop leeks and green pepper. Cook leeks and pepper in olive oiled sprayed nonstick pan, until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 min. more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the leeks, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl. Crumble in the ground beef & ground turkey and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Remove fat, then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat. Add sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 min.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture , then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 min., then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Makes 7 servings.

Per serving:
1 Lean protein | 3 vegetables | 1.25 condiments

Healthy Living

Julie decided she wanted to try a program that focused on more than weight loss. In 5.5 months she had not only lost 65 lbs, but had gained a new life full of health and hope! Now she has a wonderful health community and is set up for a lifetime of healthy living.

Health and Happiness,


Tina Kucera

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Tina Kucera | |

Our mailing address is:

Optimal Health
Omaha, Nebraska 68118
United States

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