Healthy Tips & Recipes for the Holidays

By Buffalo Medical Group | December 19 2017 | Doctor Tips

The holiday season is among us, which not only means quality time spent with family and friends, but unhealthy food temptations as well. Catherine Ayers, Buffalo Medical Group Dietitian, has put together some helpful tips, and healthy recipes, to stay on track during the holidays, and make health-conscious decisions so you can enjoy the gatherings, without feeling guilty.

Helpful Tips

  1. Plan Ahead – Meal planning, preparation, and grocery shopping are essential for living a healthy lifestyle. Since high-calorie foods are everywhere, it’s important to take the time to plan ahead to make sure you have healthy options available. Stash healthy foods in your desk at work so you’re not as tempted by the treats piling up at the office.
  2. Eat Before Going to A Party – Try to eat small frequent meals instead of saving your calories for one large buffet or holiday party. So eat a healthful snack before going to a social gathering to take the edge off of hunger.
  3. Fill Up On Vegetables – Aim for ½ of your plate to be vegetables to decrease portion size of other calorie dense foods. No vegetables at the party? Offer to contribute a healthful dish of your own!
  4. Stay Active –  Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. If you don’t have time for your daily four-mile walk, do a few 10- or 15-minute spurts of exercise throughout the day.
  5. Focus on Fun Activities – Rather than focusing on treats, cookies, and cocktails. Plan a fun activity with your friends or family. Get outside and build a snowman, do a puzzle, board games, or crafts.


Healthy Recipes

Chopped Chickpea Salad


  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 8 radishes, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Large handful of baby arugula
  • 3 springs fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbles


Whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly to make a thick vinaigrette. Fold in everything but the feta. Once combined, stir in the feta. Let sit about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Best eaten with a spoon!

Holiday Crudité with Greek Yogurt Based Ranch Dip


  • Slice fresh, washed vegetables for crudité platter
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Carrots (Try purple carrots if you can find)
  • Broccoli
  • Radish (Try watermelon radish if you can find)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Fingerling Potatoes (cooked and chilled)

Greek Yogurt Ranch Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder


Whisk yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, pepper, mustard powder, and onion powder in a medium bowl; season with salt. Chill at least 20 minutes to let flavors meld before serving.


If you’re interested in utilizing our nutrition services, or seeing Catherine Ayers, please notify your Buffalo Medical Group Physician, or call (716) 630-1129 for more information on how to schedule an appointment, or visit our Nutritional Counseling page.