Don't get fat this Christmas

by Veronica

Having lost weight, I am a little anxious about the approaching season and have been looking at ways not to regain it over seven days eating. A bit of research was needed.

Having lost weight, I am a little anxious about the approaching season and have been looking at ways not to regain it over the seven days eating. A bit of research was needed. A bit of research and forward planning.

I love Christmas and everything about it, from the carols playing whilst I write cards, the Church services, Father Christmas- the Spirit of loving and giving, family - and of course the celebrations which always necessitate the consumption of food.

I have lost weight for health reasons not vanity, although I do look better for it.

I want to share some of the ways I have found to do a " damage limitation " exercise on my weight gain. Last Christmas I only gained one pound doing these things.

You can have a lovely time just don't go mad!

Christmas Cake

My Christmas Cake for the church fair "Guess the weight of the cake " last year.

It's delicious but not exactly healthy!

naughty but nice

Christmas cake
Christmas cake


Cut down on the booze
Cut down on the booze



Alcohol is laden, full of calories and they are empty calories too. Alcohol does nothing for nutrition but of course many of us  are  going to have some drinks during the festive period.


Here are some tips for "Damage Limitation"

Wine goes much further and gives you less clories when you spritz it up.

Add some sparkling water and sparkling lemonade to white wine. It reduces the alcohol consumption. Dry white wine is slightly better than sweet white wine , so opt for dry when you can.

Have a smaller glass when at someone's house. Home measures are usually much larger than standard measures so opt for a smaller glass.


Rum is slightly better for you than brandy or whiskey. Also dry vermouth is good but be careful what you mix it with. Try to mix drinks with low sugar mixers.

Salad nibbles

use salad as nibbles
use salad as nibbles

Christmas Food

party nibbles

A drinks party at your house ?

Try these Festive Nibbles

Party Nibbles are the worst thing to eat as you never know exactly how much you have eaten and don't feel full afterwards.

But you can eat as much as you like of these tiny little bites.




Pepper and Prawn skewers

Put prawns( shrimps ) , peppers, mushrooms on a skewers and griddle them for a few minutes .

eat as many as you want to  ( NO salt )

Fruit skewers

Cold skewers, just put a few fruits on the skewer.

Smoked salmon ( lax salmon ) and low fat cheese rolls,

Simply roll up the low fat soft cheese in slices of the salmon  ( NO salt added )

Plate of veg sticks

Chop carrots, celery, radish,  peppers into sticks and display on a plate ( NO salt )

Party bites

Chop tomatoes in half and celery into pieces and fill them with a spicy chilli or curry flavoured low fat cheese. ( NO salt )



The big Christmas meal doesn't mean you have to gain weight.

DO have a good breakfast on the day then you won't be as hungry by Christmas dinner time.

Here are some starters that you can eat as much as you want to.

Smoked fish pate

Use salmon, mackerel, trout whatever smoked fish you like, blitz it up in the food processor with a low fat cheese and a bit of lemon juice. That's it. Easy and you can eat as much as you like healthily. Do not add salt.

Instead of eating it with savoury biscuits use veg sticks.

Homemade vegetable soup

Whatever your favourite soup is; Cook and blitz up your vegetables in the stock and there is your healthy soup. piping hot for your guests. If you add a few  cubed pieces of toast as a garnish it limits the amount of bread that you are eating. I add salt to soup but there is no need to .

Large mushroom

Grill a large mushroom per person and then remove from grill and top it with chopped peppers, chopped tomatoes, low fat yogurt, crème fraise ... Warm under the grill and serve hot .

( No salt )

The main event

The main course is a difficult one and you want to enjoy it. If you have cut back on your starters and nibbles then just enjoy what you have on the plate.

The meat, fish and vegetables are easy enough to keep you thin. Fill up vegetables. It's the extras, the stuffing, sauces, roast potatoes, sausages etc that make us fat. Just don't go mad. You'll only regret it after Christmas.

My Healthy Roast Potatoes

The best roast potatoes are undoubtedly done in goose fat but I make my roast potatoes this way.

Boil the potatoes in largish chunks in unsalted water for about 10 mins

Spray with cooking oil and roast in a hot oven for about 40 mins turning them over occasionally.


Cranberry sauce

Place 5 ozs of cranberries and 5ozs de-stoned plums in a pan with the juice of 2 large oranges . Cook very slowly reduce it down and stir .


Rice ring

I am doing a Rice Ring on Christmas Eve when the family come . Absolutely no fat and totally healthy. Do not add salt.

Boil up the long grain rice and at the end of cooking add pomegranate seeds, corn kernels, chopped peppers. Put into a ring mould and leave to go cold before turning out into a ring. If it doesn't come out as a ring it can still look great in a dish.



Wine paoched pears
Wine paoched pears


If you have space after all that food , then the dessert is something to look forward to of course. In England ,it would be a traditional Christmas Pudding stuffed with suet , dried fruit and alcohol.

I looked around for some healthier options.

Boiling wine cuts the alcohol content.

Poached fruit,

Poached pears or clementines , tangerines make a pleasing alternative.

Bring red wine, water and spices to the boil and reduce heat . Add the pears or clementines and cook through for about 5 minutes or until the alcohol has been absorbed.


My Christmas Bombe

I made this for my daughter in law who dislikes Christmas Pudding.



One small box of low fat ice cream

One small container of low fat Crème fraise


soft fruit of choices

meringue pieces chopped


Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it soften but not melt

When ice cream is soft. mix in the crème fraise and meringue pieces, spices and soft fruits

Return to the freezer and freeze until needed .


addition Dec 16th

I went to a nibbles party  ( ah the worst ) yesterday lunchtime and these were on the food table so I ate these !

So elegant yet simple and delicious.


Egg and Cucumber

Hardboiled eggs halved and with a curl of cucumber on top


Cucumber and smoked salmon

Cucumber cut into circles with a tiny swirl of smoked salmon on top and then topped with one chive



Last year I only gained one pound over Christmas. I will gain weight again this year, BUT I am hoping that by being careful  it will only be a few pounds or less using the above ideas. It's all about "damage limitation"

Enjoy Christmas with your family.


Autumn 2017

Autumn tip

Oct 21st 2017

The lovely festive season approaches and I am updating all my Wizzley Christmas pages. I love Christmas and as I have said I don't see it as an opportunity to indulge to excess.

My Tip for the approaching season is to CHECK YOUR CALENDAR. Look at what social occasions are coming up and make sure you plan around it accordingly. Eat sensible breakfasts, low fat, low carbs. Choose sensibly when at a buffet table.

Best of all, enjoy the season by making an effort in the build up to Christmas a few weeks beforehand. You will feel better if you do.

Christmas veggie stcks and dips

So easy. Autumn 2017

Any vegetable sticks can be added to this and as it is low fat, eat as much as you like. Use herbs and spices that you like.


  • 350g fat free  fromage frais
  • 100g fat free Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of paprika
  • Tsp of chopped dill
  • tsp chopped coriander

Stir the ingredients together and chill before eating with veg sticks . Simple.




Autumn 2017

Frank's favourite

I make this as a gift especially for my favourite brother Frank Beswick at Christmas as he loves it. It can be adapted to any type of smoked fish, - salmon. lax, trout, haddock - but Frank loves the smoked mackerel. It makes a good low fat starter or a dish at a buffet table with veg sticks

This makes a medium jar or dish.

Veronica's Smoked Mackerel Pate ( may contain bones )

2 smoked mackerel ( or other smoked fish )

4 ozs soft low fat cheese

splash of lemon juice

Chillis or pepper to taste  (optional )


Check the fish for any bones and remove them

BLITZ the smoked fish in your food processor

BLITZ it again to make sure it is finely chopped.

Add the lemon juice and soft cheese and mix it all together.

Place in a pretty jar or dish and put in the fridge to set


Guess what Frank will eat on Boxing Day, December 26th.


Addition Dec 2017

Cucumber watermelon and grape cups

Cucumber watermelon and grape cups

This is so easy ;-

chop some cucumber into cubes,  chop some melon into cubes and add some grapes .

Mix  2 teaspoons of mint sauce in vinegar with three tablespoon of water . Pour it over the grapes melon and cucumber and serve it in beautiful glasses.

Very classy and elegant but also you won't get fat eating this.

Tomato, prawn and cucumber skewers

These are easy to make but if you use wooden skewers then soak them for 30 minutes before you use them. Then thread some prawns, cherry tomatoes and slices of cucumber on to them. At the end fold a baby spinach leaf to finish it off and cover the tip of the stick.

Eat as many as you like.

Christmas 2018

Here's a healthy option to Christmas nibbles .

Egg, avocado and lettuce cups 

1 hard boiled egg per person 

1/2 avocado per person

1 baby gem lettuce 

small pot of natural fat free yogurt

seasoning to taste 

squeeze of lemon juice


Separate the lettuce leaves, wipe with a damp paper towel  and use theses leaves as a cup 

Chop the cold hard, hard boiled eggs and mix with chopped avocado.  

Add seasoning  and lemon juice to the fat free yogurt . 

Mix the eggs and avocado in with the yogurt mix and spoon on to the lettuce cups.

Sprinkle with paprika  ( optional )





December 2018

Crab and cucumber bites

I saw this yesterday at a lunch party and thought what a great healthy idea. 

Any fish could be used but it was just rounds of cucumber with mashed crab on top . Simple, quick.... FAT FREE.... lovely!

December 2019

Crustless quiche

Crustless quiche

You will hardly notice the lack of pastry in this and it is very very low fat. 

Use a non stick baking dish and add any ingredients you wish …. This uses chopped bacon, onions and  mushrooms but choose your own fillings.



8 ozs chopped ham or bacon

1 small onion chopped

4 ozs mushrooms

3 large eggs 

8 ozs low fat or fat free soft cheese

2 tomatoes chopped

Black pepper


Fry the bacon, onion and mushrooms over using low fat spray 

Beat the eggs and stir the soft cheese in together

Season to taste  

Spray the non stick dish

Add the bacon, mushroom and onion to the dish 

Pour the egg  mixture over them and put sliced tomatoes on top.

Bake in the oven on 170C for 20 mins until set 

Eat hot or cold

Christmas 2023

As always, to me, Christmas is a time for family, church and friends. I rarely gain weight over Christmas. 


Here is my 2023 addition to this Christmas sensible eating page; it could not be easier.

I have a feeling that American and British bacon are not the same. For these, try to find  " back bacon ".    If you don't like water chestnuts, substitute prunes which have been soaked in orange juice. 


Water chestnuts in Bacon 

2 tin of water chestnuts 

1 pack of back bacon

cocktail sticks


Drain the water chestnuts 

Trim the fat from the  edges of the bacon and cut the pieces in half. 

Wrap 1 or 2 water chestnuts in the half slice of bacon and secure with a little cocktail stick .

Bake in the oven  at Elec 180C  350F   Gas 4 for about 20 mins or until cooked.

Serve warm or cold. 


Updated: 11/29/2023, Veronica
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Veronica on 04/17/2024

...but it is taking time.

Veronica on 04/17/2024

Best wishes to you and yours. I am recovering . Thank you .

DerdriuMarriner on 03/25/2024

Thank you!

Your drink preferences fit in with mine in the sense of sparkling water and tea even as I include occasional chicory and -- with such herbal tea bags as ginger, senna, turmeric -- regular coffee.

I hope that you are back in action and that all out-of-action after- and side-effects are gone.

Please receive my best wishes for New Year 2024, and for all years, as always for you and your husband and your family as well as for your brother Frank and his wife and their family.

Veronica on 03/23/2024

Hello Derdriu
I apologise for the late response. I have been out of action for some weeks.

I only drink English breakfast tea , up to 2.5 pints a day . Cold drinks , I have sparkling water so as to reduce the sugar contents in my drinks and protect my blood sugar.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/04/2023

Previously, I meant to ask about what might be served before, along with and after my -- thanks to your recipe ;-D -- delicious parsnips and water chestnuts dish.

Would cold drinks be water and hot drinks be tea (if so, what kind)?

DerdriuMarriner on 12/04/2023

Thank you!

The mandoline utensil especially attracts me because of my favorite food writer and Gourmet Chef Veronica's recommendation -- ;-D -- and because of online information.

Potato-chip and waffle cuts justify its purchase by me as well as your parsnip strips.

My grocery shopping will be this coming Friday the 8th so competitive bacon-, mandoline-, orange juice-, parsnip-, prune- and water chestnut-buyers beware! (I will get there first but I will share by taking only, but not all of, the bestest and the freshest.)

Veronica on 12/03/2023

It would not matter . It is quite a healthy option to having small " bites " at Christmas.
I would bake the parsnip ones . the bacon can be lightly grilled or baked in the oven.

Veronica on 12/03/2023

If you get a kitchen utensil called a mandolin ( a fine sharp cutting tool,) you should peel down the side of the parsnip to get fine long strips. Try those

DerdriuMarriner on 12/02/2023

The seventh comment box below contains your deferring to prunes as alternatives to water chestnuts.

Prune juice interests me even as their wrinkled fruit form is neither a dislike nor a like.

My plan is parsnips and water chestnuts for me, back/sidecut bacon for others.

The back bacon may be problematic even as, being in the United States, the Unitedstatesian side-cut seems not at all a problem.

But either way, would back bacon taste best with water chestnuts and side-cut taste best with orange juice-soaked (YUM!) prunes or vice versa or wouldn't matter?

DerdriuMarriner on 11/30/2023

Thank you for the two genius suggestions of bacon for others and of parsnips for me!

Some Kroger grocery stories have their own gas stations.

Tomorrow the grocery store is continuing its Friday quadruple fuel points. Any purchase that ends between 0.50 and 0.99 cents is rounded to the next dollar and supplied with 4 fuel points per dollar. So a $99.50 shopping trip tallies as $100, as 400 fuel points and as 0.40 cents off the per-gallon gas price!

So I will be going shopping and heading to both the bacon and the parsnips aisles! Thank you!!

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