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Baked Brie and Holiday Survival Q & A

November 25, 2010

A few weeks ago, Revive Wellness of Edmonton sponsored a great giveaway on Delish Living. To enter to win their “Holiday Survival Guide” I had you ask your holiday-related food questions. Dena, one of the nutritionists at Revive, has so kindly agreed to not just answer one of your questions, but ALL of them! Such fun!

I am also going to share with you a healthy appetizer idea, Baked Brie, featured in their Holiday Survival Guide (which you can buy at their website by clicking here) so be sure to read on.

Without further ado, here are the answers to your questions! Thanks so much Dena!

q from Christian: Which foods should you definitely stay away from when you’re attending holiday events with so many delicious foods (not planning or cooking for any of them)?

a: Holiday events do offer a variety of delicious foods. In particular those that are deep fried, battered or served in a creamy sauce are going to be higher in fat and calories and should be either avoided or minimized on the plate. For example a single chicken wing provides 100 calories with 90% coming from saturated fat! When attending your next holiday event, keep the balanced plate method in mind. Begin by filling half your plate with vegetables and then add to it your grains or starches and your meats.

q from Cara: Here is my question: Is there any truth to the theory that you can “save up” your calories for the day? For instance, if you know that you’re going to a dinner or a party so you don’t eat much all day – does that allow you some breathing room to have a few extra goodies?

a. While logically it makes sense, this theory in fact is a MYTH. The challenge with saving up your calories for the day means you go into your dinner party starving. Research shows that when skipping meals to accommodate calories later in the day, the total amount of calories consumed is a great deal more. In addition, by skipping a meal or eating fewer calories in the day than your body needs, you metabolism can slow down to accommodate. More calories and a slower metabolism leads to weight gain. The best rule of thumb during the holidays is to maintain your regular healthy eating and enjoy smaller portions of your favourites.

q from lequan: I have (had) a huge weakness for pop and recently cut it out of my life. What is the best substitution (other than diet pop) that you would suggest? Are those apple/fruit sparkler drinks just as bad a pop?

a: The best advice is to be a label guru! Check out the amount of carbohydrates listed for your new apple/fruit sparkler, make sure your new drink is not a wolf in disguise. Compare your new beverage to a can of pop which contains an average of  40 g of carbs or about 10 teaspoons of sugar. A great alternative other than diet pop is sparkling water or even milk/soy milk.

q from My question is what can I do to boost my physical activity during the holidays? My relatives’ house doesn’t have a gym anywhere nearby, and I live in cold, snowy Minnesota.

a: A question about physical activity is great! Often during the holidays when schedules get hectic, getting active is the first thing to fall off the list of priorities; however, getting active does not have to structured. Winter activities can include offering to shovel the drive way of your family or of a senior that lives in the neighbourhood. If there is a sports store in the area, look to see if you can rent cross country skies, snow shoes or ice skates. Or have a little fun – if you have kids in the family (or even if you don’t) build a snowman or attempt an igloo.

q from Candace: I am hosting a Christmas party this year and want to know what are some good healthy snacks I could serve that would be delicious?? (and maybe the talk of the party -lol)

a: Definitely check out our holiday survival guide! We included 4 crowd pleasing appetizers that are not only healthy but delicious (Kristin’s additional note: check out the rest of this post for a SUPER easy idea that will definitely go over – at least with me!!!).

q from Rachelle: How can you raise your kids to not associate food with emotions? eg. rewarding good behavior with their favorite treat etc.

a: Start early by rewarding with a lost art – praise. Often times we feel that we have to purchase a gift or give a tangible item for a job well done; however, this can lead to unrealistic expectations. Another desirable item children want more than food is time, specifically yours. If you want to reward good behaviour, offer to colour or play with your child for a set amount of time.

q from Val @ A Canadian Foodie: Here’s my question for you after being to their site… why are there no men on staff? Great, vibrant, valiant, healthy bunch of women… but, they need a bit more balance, me thinks! However; bravo to them to create such a dynamic business, at the same time.
Oh – is their counselling covered by Alberta Health Care?

a: Valerie, we would love to have a man on the team, unfortunately there are few men who join the field of dietetics. Typically, there is 1 male student for every 30-40 females students.

On to your question about coverage. Alberta Health Care does not cover dietetic counselling; however, many extended health care plans do such as SunLife, Blue Cross, Clarica, GreatWestLife to name a few. In addition, employee assistance programs such as Shepell provide dietetic counselling coverage. We’ve recently become approved providers for those who work for the RCMP, National Defence or are Veterans. 

q from supersu: What is a great pot luck dish for the annual staff pot luck lunceon….am tired of all the same old same old….MUST be healthy, portable, and most importantly DELISH.

a: We have many great pot luck ideas can you be a little more specific: are you looking for a salad, a warm dish, a vegetarian dish or dessert? (note from Kristin: Supersu, if you clarify, Dena will still answer your q!).

q from Denise: How much water should you consume during the day and how is too much?

a: The amount of water to consume in a day is dependent on your size. The general recommendation is 8-8oz servings per day. Consuming too much water is a rare thing, but if you are concerned about your health we do recommend seeing a health care professional to discuss further.

And now for a delicious appetizer that is just an example of the many Holiday recipe ideas straight out of the Holiday Survival Guide. Baked Brie is hardly a recipe, and more of a fantastic idea that is elegant and classy (and embarrassingly simple). When I was at the grocery store I got suckered into buying the beautiful little brie pot as well. Too cute to pass up!

1 500 g brie cheese
3 granny smith apples
1 whole grain baguette, sliced

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place brie cheese on cookie sheet (or in cute little brie baker) in oven for 10-15 minutes (or as directed on pkg). Once cheese is done, arrange bread and apple around the brie. To eat, use a knife to cut a small wedge of cheese and place on top of a slice of bread. Top with an apple wedge and enjoy!

That’s it! There a million variations to serving brie cheese, but this was fresh, simple and easy – not to mention one serving is only 173 calories and 5 grams of fat.
Serving with a good bottle of red wine is probably a good idea.

 I have one more  appetizer recipe to share with you that is unique and healthy from Revive’s Holiday Survival Guide, but you will have to stay tuned until later this week for that one! Here’s a little preview:



10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2010 2:17 pm

    Wonderful recipe. I do mine the not-so-healthy way… with sundried tomato pesto on top (lots of it) and about a head of thinly sliced garlic over that, then wrap the entire thing in puff pastry and bake for 40 minutes at 400 F. Leave it about 30 minutes before cutting it. I serve it on a lipped pedestal (it will drip) for the Ta-Da factor… and it is deadly delicious, too.
    Your question and answer activity was a fun and informative one and definitely heightened awareness for this company. I applaud you, and them.

    • November 27, 2010 7:55 pm

      all i can say is…yummmmmm! i love that there are SO many ways to serve this easy little dish!

  2. November 25, 2010 3:10 pm

    oooh, your appetizer looks wonderful. simple and delicious are always a deadly combo. i love the textures and flavor combinations here.

    those were some really great questions that your readers had. i enjoyed reading all of them and the answers were fantastic. thank you for sharing this with us.

  3. November 26, 2010 6:07 am

    Great quick appetizer. You can never go wrong with baked brie. The other one looks great , looking forward to the recipe.

  4. November 26, 2010 6:25 am

    I absolutely love baked brie! Never thought to pair it with Granny Smith apples. I just made one with my leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce and it was delish too!

  5. Jayna permalink
    November 27, 2010 8:35 am

    Ooh, definitely have to try this one! And thanks for the Q&A, I’ve already been feeling that pre-holiday anxiety about how to deal with the over-abundance of delicious feasty foods.

  6. November 27, 2010 8:37 am

    Awesome! Glad these answers got posted – it’s very helpful to create a good mindset as I head into the holidays. 🙂 Loved it!

  7. November 28, 2010 10:06 am

    Loved the Q&A…. they are great tips for the Holidays. The Brie toast made me drool, I love melted cheese plus a crispy baguette and I’m in heaven. Have a great weekend Kristin.

  8. November 28, 2010 6:56 pm

    I love baked brie…especially with apples. And your Q&A was perfect for the impending holiday season 🙂


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