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Get Fit Tennessee Offers Healthy Holiday Recipes

GetFitTN.com Helps Tennesseans Make Small Changes Toward Better Health

Get Fit TennesseeNashville, TN – November and December are full of occasions to celebrate, but with all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to get out of the habit of eating healthy and exercising regularly. Get Fit Tennessee offers helpful tips to maintain healthy behaviors during the holiday season, and some recipes to help you lighten up your traditional holiday fare.

“This is probably the most difficult time of year for most Tennesseans to eat healthy and to find time for physical activity,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “By making small changes such as updating a recipe with more healthful ingredients, or leading the whole family in a post-Thanksgiving walk around the neighborhood, it will be easier to stay healthy during the holidays.”

The Tennessee Department of Health’s registered dietitians have created a cookbook complete with healthy recipes that are easy for anyone to make. All the recipes have passed a taste test done by teenagers, and nutritional information for each dish is included. Basil Green Beans and Cranberry Freeze are just two recipes from the cookbook that can be nutritious alternatives for the holidays.

Basil Green Beans

  • 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 tsp margarine
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


  1. Wash and trim green beans (if fresh).
  2. Simmer or steam beans until tender.
  3. Add margarine, basil, salt and pepper.
  4. Toss to coat.

Makes 6 portions, ½ cup each

Per Portion:

  • Calories: 37
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
  • Sat. Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 114mg
  • Dietary fiber: 2g

Cranberry Freeze

  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 (8 oz) carton fat free sour cream


  1. Drain pineapple.
  2. Mash cranberry sauce well.
  3. Combine all ingredients.
  4. Pour into 9×9 inch baking pan and put in freezer.
  5. Once frozen, cut into squares to serve.

Makes 12 portions, 2×3 inches each

Per Portion:

  • Calories: 118
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 1g
  • Sat. Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 39mg
  • Dietary fiber: 1g

GetFitTN.com is an excellent resource for tips on how to eat better and move more. To find more healthy recipes, visit http://health.state.tn.us/nutrition/recipes.html or go to www.GetFitTN.com and click the “Nutrition” tab.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association all offer tips to help you stick with a healthful eating plan and stay active during the holidays:

  • Choose unsalted nuts, fiber-rich crackers and raw vegetables with low-fat dressing or hummus for snacks or appetizers.
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth to add flavor to your potatoes, and try fat-free evaporated milk to make mashed potatoes creamy.
  • Choose fresh fruit as a sweet substitute for candy.
  • Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods, and keep proper portion sizes in mind.
  • Look for high-fiber, low-fat dishes. Great choices are beans, peas and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach and kale.
  • Be aware of the calories and sugar in beverages, including alcoholic ones. Water, unsweetened tea or diet soda are better choices for drinks.
  • Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Strive to get at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week and to have children and teens get at least one hour of activity each day.

Get Fit Tennessee was developed by Governor Phil Bredesen to address the rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and risk factors that lead to diabetes, such as obesity. The initiative is aimed at educating both adults and children that Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented with modest lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity and making healthier food choices. For more information on Get Fit Tennessee, including free fitness and nutrition tools, visit www.GetFitTN.com.


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