Whether you’re on Plan Z (or any other diet), the holidays can be difficult. Even if you have solid discipline, your relatives and friends can try to sabotage you. Most of us don’t have great discipline, so a combination of both can be fatal to dieting success.
I’m going to get right to the list of options that I have found successful in straying from a diet for a day. This won’t be successful if you try to do it a whole long weekend but if a day will help you feel more like part of the celebration, then these are strategies you can employ and usually “get away with it” without much damage when you step on the scale the next morning.
First, let’s talk alcohol. For most, feeling out of the celebration comes from not drinking an alcoholic drink. Or your friends and family push it on you. I have had many dieters who insist on their glass of wine when they get home from work. Let me tell you flat out, that if you do this daily, you’ll lose about 60% less weight than you would have if you didn’t; and that’s if you do it in moderation. Drinking alcohol regularly while you try to diet just doesn’t work. Another complication is that those who start to drink often can’t stop at one. If that’s you, skip to the next part of this article because if you start and don’t stop, it usually leads to a large piece of dessert. Enough said.
If you feel you can be disciplined in your consumption of alcohol, there are a few things that will work...
Eggnog Cheesecake with a Gingerbread Crust
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This will be my contribution to dessert at our family dinner party this year. Most often a cheesecake like this has a crust made out of gingersnaps. I’m making mine this way and you’ll swear you’re eating a gingerbread crust without all the sugar. This cheesecake is sort of a production because you also have to make my Double Cream Eggnog (that recipe is below, too). It doesn’t take much time and the decadence is well worth it. Besides, you’ll have leftovers to drink on another night. (You can make the eggnog with or without the booze).
Servings: Serves 8-12
For the crust
coconut oil or butter for greasing the springform pan
4 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil), melted
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tsp of Truvia
2 cups Super Fine Ground almond flour/meal
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp of ground ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
pinch of salt
For the Cheesecake
3, 8 oz packages of full-fat cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
1 cup of ZSweet sugar substitute
2 tsp of ground nutmeg
2 tsp of vanilla
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup of my Double Cream Eggnog
2 Tbl of flour
Oil or butter the inside of your nine-inch springform pan. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
In your food processor whiz all of the crust ingredients to combine. Press the mixture across the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides.
In your mixer bowl add the cream cheese, ZSweet, nutmeg, and vanilla for about a minute, until smooth. On a low speed mix in the other ingredients.
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Pour the batter over the crust. Smooth it out.
Bake one hour at 325 degrees. Turn off oven. Crack the door and let it cool for another hour as the oven cools. Then cool on the rack until it’s completely room temperature. This helps to reduce the likelihood of your cheesecake cracking the in the middle.
Cover and chill overnight. Cheesecake always tastes better on day two.
You can spread sweetened whipped cream over the top of the cheesecake to serve or alternately spread Truwhip over the top. (Truwhip is like Cool whip without all the chemicals and sugar). Or you can serve your cheesecake with no topping. It will be good any of these ways.
Double Cream Eggnog
I tinkered with several eggnog recipes to come up with one that you can make for your holiday. This is a double cream version. Very rich and just wonderful. It can be made with brandy or rum. Rum is more traditional but the brandy will lend a lighter zip to the drink.
Either way, I suggest “Eggnog Cordials” or “Eggnog Shots.” Eggnog cordials would be served in a cordial glass so it’s a smaller portion than the tradition of serving it in a mug. The shot would be even smaller. We all know it’s not the fat that makes us fat but you can overdo your portions and if you are serving this with a dessert it’s probably just as well to back off and not have too much. Besides these are so good you don’t need much to get the satisfaction. It’s all about not feeling left out of the party and still be low carb. This does the trick.
Servings: Serves 6-12 (see notes above)
2 cups of whipping cream
1 tsp of nutmeg
2 tsp of organic vanilla
6 egg yolks
6 tsp of Truvia
1-1/2 cups of golden rum
Pumpkin pie spice for garnish
In a medium saucepan add the whipping cream, nutmeg, and vanilla. Heat on a very low setting for five minutes; just to get it warm. Then slowly bring it up to a mild boil.
While that’s heating you can deal with the egg yolks and Truvia. Put them in a mixer. Whisk on high until fluffy, three to five minutes. The mixture will become a frothy, smooth and lemony color. With the mixer running VERY SLOWLY begin to drizzle the cream mixture into the eggs. Keep it SLOW or the eggs will scramble and you’ll have a mess. Keeping adding the mixture until it’s all incorporated.
Then take the mixture out of the mixer bowl and put it back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat CONSTANTLY STIRRING for three minutes. This is a critical part of the process. The mixture will thicken. DO NOT BOIL it.
Turn off and IMMEDIATELY strain it into another bowl to cool. Do not leave it in the saucepan. I made that mistake once and if you do it will continue to cook leaving a coating on the bottom of the pan that you don’t want. The milk solids will separate out and curdle in the bottom of the pan. YUK.
When the mixture is cool, stir in the brandy. Cool in the refrigerator and serve with a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg. The eggnog will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. It tastes even better on day two so you might want to think ahead and make it the day before serving.