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Christmas day for 1500 Calories!!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Paula Mee

BSc., Dip Dietetics., MSc in Health Sciences., Dip Allergy, M.I.N.D.I.

Nutrition Consulting

From Galway, Paula graduated from University College Galway with a BSc in Biochemistry. She then completed her postgraduate qualifications in Dietetics and a Masters in Health Science in Leeds Metropolitan University. Paula has recently been awarded a Diploma in Allergy from Southampton University. She has also completed the British Dietetic Association's Sports Dietitian course. She is a current member and a past president of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute.

Paula Mee, Nutrition Consulting was set up in 2004 and offers organisations and industry an extensive range of services in nutrition, product development, and marketing communications.

As part of her working week she also operates a dietetic and weight management clinic in the Southside Physiotherapy Clinic, Foxrock, Co Dublin, 01 2104763.
Prior to this, Paula was the Nutrition Manager for Superquinn. Previously she worked as senior nutritionist in the National Dairy Council. She has also practiced as a dietitian in hospitals in Northern Ireland.

Paula is currently on the board of Consumer Foods in Bord Bia. Paula is one of the presenters of RTE TV's Health Squad programme. She makes regular appearances on TV and radio programmes advising on nutrition and health issues.
For further information please contact Paula at:

How to survive the feast that is Christmas Day:

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain?

. Eat high fibre foods for breakfast, such as prunes and probiotic natural yoghurt, to aid gastrointestinal transit!

. Eat less for lunch on days that you know are going to involve big evening events but don't skip lunch altogether

. Try to stick to low-calorie snacks like Satsuma / fruit rather than lots of high-calorie foods such as Christmas cakes, mince pies, and chocolate sweets.

. Slow down and eat at a more relaxed pace, especially at the dinner table. Stock your dinner plate with lots of vegetables (half the plate). Enjoy a little of everything rather than too much of any one thing. Down size, don't Super Size!

. Stop eating when you are comfortably full, not stuffed!

. If you're drinking alcohol, go slowly and drink plenty of water

The Good, the bad and the Ugly of the Christmas Feast.

Christmas fare - the good

. Turkey - are a good source of protein, zinc, selenium & B vitamins.
. Much less fat than duck or goose! - Don't eat the skin!
. Sprouts - are a good source of fibre, vitamin C & folate
. Cranberry sauce - is a good source of antioxidants so can help boost immunity
. Red wine - a glass of red wine a day is good for the heart

Christmas fare - the bad

. Stuffing - laden with sausage meat & butter to make healthier, use good quality sausage meat & less butter have a small portion! Use plenty of herbs instead of salt.
. Roast potatoes - Coated in goose fat, these are artery unfriendly! Try mashing potato with herbs and low fat milk or reduced fat crème friache instead.
. Mince pies and cake - high in fat, sugar and calories enjoy a mini mince pie to get your Christmas fix!

Christmas fare - the ugly

. Brandy butter - Not for the faint hearted!
. Have custard made with low-fat milk instead
. Mountains of chocolate - try some dark chocolate instead as it contains antioxidants and less sugar than milk chocolate.

Tips for cooking on Christmas Day.

Christmas Cooking Tips

. Use low-fat milk instead of whole milk when cooking bread sauce & custard

. Trim visible fat from around the ham before eating it

. Use low-fat milk instead of cream or butter for mashed potatoes

. Single cream is a great alternative to whipping cream and it contains half the fat of whipping cream. One average serving of single cream, 45g provides only 89 calories and 9g fat.

. Use either turkey stock or a low fat spread to moisten your stuffing mixture

. Cut potatoes for roasting into large pieces and parboil them first. This reduces the surface area for oil absorption. Go easy on the oil and use olive oil for a subtle nutty flavour

. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Chewing can help prevent bloating, wind and indigestion

. Take some form of exercise each day over the holidays. Even a 15-20 minute walk before or after your main meal is beneficial. It also helps you to feel refreshed and aids digestion

1500 calorie Christmas Day guide


. 30g porridge oats made up with 100ml water and 100ml low-fat milk, sprinkled with 10g raisins and 10g almonds

. Cup of herbal or fruit tea

Christmas Dinner

. 300g bowl of carrot & ginger soup

. 90g roast turkey (white meat, skin removed) 25g slice roast ham
. tablespoon mashed potatoes
. 1 small roast potato
. 1 portion of steamed carrots
. 1 portion of steamed parsnip
. 1 portion of steamed Brussels sprouts
. tablespoons of chestnut stuffing
. tablespoons of gravy

. Small piece of Christmas pudding (60g) with 200ml custard made with low-fat milk

. Cup of peppermint tea (instead of after dinner mints - good for helping digestion)

Evening Time

. 2 slices of brown soda bread with 2 slices of smoked salmon with lemon wedges

. Served with a salad of mixed salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber

. Cup of tea with low-fat milk


. Vegetable sticks (celery, pepper, carrot) with 2 tbsp tzatziki dip

Paula Mee