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Exercise 4 Weight Loss Monthly Ezine
December 13, 2014

December 2014 Tips and Recipes

Holiday Fears and Cheers

No matter what holiday you celebrate, this time of year is filled with lots of Holiday Cheer. So here's wishing everyone a happy holiday. This month's ezine is dedicated to avoiding the holiday fears and enjoying the holiday cheers.

Website updates

First a quick update. As I stated in the last ezine, I will be making some changes to the website. This will be done in several steps. The first is to change the look to the current website. You will see a leaner and cleaner look. This change includes fewer ads, smaller header image and overall cleaner look. You will start to see the new look starting tomorrow.

Next step is to rebrand the website. Exercise 4 Weight Loss will have a new name. Why a new name you ask? Well a smaller name is easier to remember and fewer key strokes to get to where you want to be. This change will not happen until February 2015.

Last step is to divide the website from one to two. The Weight Watchers Points information has grown big enough to warrant its own website. So between March 2015 and April 2015, I will be moving pages into a new website dedicated to WW points only.

So what do you have to do with the changes? Nothing! All pages will have the appropriate redirects to take you to the new page/website. If you have saved the website as a bookmark, you may want to add the new site address to your bookmarks.

That’s it for the update, now on to the Ezine.

Monthly Tips

Healthy Holiday Treats

This time of year brings lots of treats and sweets which can be scary. Don’t fear, with just a few changes in your holiday baking, you can enjoy the cheers without the fears.

Go Sugarless

Buy a bag of sugarless candies to have when your sweet tooth is screaming for some holiday treats. Sugarless hard candies are a great way to get a little sweet without the extra calories. Plus they take some time to consume so you won't be tempted to eat the high calorie treats.

Put on Your Apron

Bake your own goodies with healthier options. Instead of grabbing those cookies your co-worker brought in, try making some of your own treats and alter the recipe to reduce some calories and fat. Replace the oils with apple sauce and replace some of the sugar with artificial sweeteners instead. You can also on some recipes replace some of the flour with almond meal to reduce the number of carbs.

Save the Best for Last

If there is that one special holiday treat you absolutely have to have, then by all means go ahead. Just save up some extra points or calories in your weekly allowance and save your favorite for last. This way you get to keep your holiday tradition and still stay within your weight loss goals.

Stepping Through the Fears

Without even realizing it, you are getting in lots of extra steps in your day. With the holiday shopping, you are probably walking more than usual. Plus with the crowds, you have to park further away which is giving you even more steps.

But on the other hand (well let’s say other foot), you have less time in your day with the added errands. So you may be skipping some of your regularly scheduled workouts.

Instead of skipping these workouts, reduce the time. This way you are still getting in your aerobics and strength training.

Remember you want to keep your heart rate up and the calories burning for longer periods of time than just the short walk to the store. If you have been doing 45 minutes a day for your workout, go ahead and scale it back to 30 minutes versus skipping it all together. This way you still get in your workout, which helps relieve that holiday stress.

If you really don't have the time for your workout every day, try planning for at least 3 days of some routine even if you have to get up a bit early or stay up a bit later. Also try to do some stretching during the week to keep those tense muscles loose.

Learn how walking for exercise can help you reach your goals.

Monthly Recipes

Here is a holiday recipe that is lower in calories by using a sugar substitute.

Pumpkin Bars

Here’s a yummy dessert perfect for the holidays. It’s made with a sugar substitute so it has fewer calories.

Ingredients for Bars

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 whole eggs
  • ½ cup plus 1/3 cup Truvia Baking Blend
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pie filling)

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 16 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tsp Truvia Baking Blend
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (optional)

How to Make It:

Pumpkin Bars

  1. Wisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, Truvía® Baking Blend, oil, and pumpkin and mix until light and fluffy.
  3. Add dry ingredients gradually into wet ingredients while mixing.
  4. Spread batter into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.


  1. Place cream cheese and Truvía® Baking Blend into medium mixing bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute to combine.
  2. Add the vanilla. Mix on low speed 1 minute until creamy and blended.
  3. Add milk, if necessary, for thinner spreading consistency.
  4. Spread frosting on cooled bars. Cut into 20 bars.

Nutrition Per Serving Servings; 20

230 Calories, 5g protein, 24g carbohydrates, 16g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 1g fiber.

ww points original - 6
ww points plus - 7

Try substituting the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. You can also use applesauce instead of the oil for less fat and calories.

Try this pumpkin pudding for even more holiday desserts.

Until next month, remember to eat healthy and keep exercising. These are the 2 keys to losing weight and feeling great.

Exercise 4 Weight Loss 2 Achieve Fitness and Health

From your Diet Buddy


Exercise 4 Weight Loss

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