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mardi gras



King Cake Gets a Calorie-Cutting Makeover this Mardi Gras

round king cake with purple and green sugarFor some, indulging in King Cake on Mardi Gras is well-worth the calories, particularly if sweets are something one is giving up for Lent. However, there are some creative ways to save on calories that are in keeping with the festive spirit of the holiday. Below are some ideas and lower-cal recipes to consider before you bake a cake with 250 to 500 calories per serving.

Calorie Saving Swaps

Former Biggest Loser contestant Heba Salama suggests having a healthier Fat Tuesday by making your King Cake with an angel food cake and frozen low-calorie whipped topping. “To make it a layered cake simply slice the cake in half, spread whipped topping down the middle, re-stack and keep cool until ready to serve,” she recommends. You can use food coloring to add the right colors without adding more sugar.

If King Cake just isn’t right to you without puff pastry and cream cheese, use these healthy swaps in any King Cake recipe. “You could replace nonfat Greek Yogurt for the sour cream and use four egg whites instead of the two eggs and use skim milk in the icing,” says Alison Lewis, cookbook author and president of Ingredients, Inc. “If a recipe calls for cream cheese, the light one-third less fat cream cheese is a great substitute.”


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Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Lighter Muffaletta Wrap

February offers no down time between holidays. We swiftly eat our way through Super Bowl, Valentine’s and straight in to Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”). It’s probably the most appropriately named holiday on the calendar, fully embracing its food focus. It’s a one-day feast and celebration before the 40-day fast that Catholics follow before Easter.

The hub of Mardi Gras celebrations in the US take place in New Orleans, which has an air of an on-going party anyway. But next week, on Tuesday, February 21, people will gather to throw one of the biggest parties of the year!

Traditional New Orleans foods, like jambalaya or a crawfish boil, will be the focal point of any proper Mardi Grad party. But few are as easy to make and easily adapted into a healthier version than the muffaletta sandwich, which is synonymous with Louisiana cuisine.
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Mardi Gras and the Yogic Tradition of Tapas

The day before you start a cleanse, head out to a yoga ashram or decide to diet can feel much like a Mardi Gras celebration, as Mardi Gras is also the day before restrictions, deprivations and abstinences begin. The hours leading up to long stretches of time without participating in any guilty pleasures seem to be the hardest. Binging on alcohol, candy, and junk food, because we know we’re not going to have it, is what hurts us more than eating or drinking in moderation.

Some lively yogis who like to party believe in the ‘detox-retox’ cycle. It means you sweat the toxins out in your hot yoga class so you can party like a rock star later, and then go to yoga to detoxify again. If this were true, no one would suffer from the consequences of living an unhealthy lifestyle no matter how much we ate or drank. Unfortunately, the ‘detox-retox’ cycle contributes to health and well being about as much as binging on alcohol on Mardi Gras aids in the benefits we might gain from the following forty days of abstinence called Lent.


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Empty Calories Comic: Fat Tuesday

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Slim Down Your Cocktails for Fat Tuesday

One of the key components to any Mardi Gras celebration is a great cocktail. Whether you’re celebrating in the Big Easy or not, you can keep the beverages flowing like wine – and you don’t even have to spend a day’s calories to do so.

In order to slim down your cocktails, avoid using bottled or powdered mixes, which tend to pack artificial ingredients, excess sugar and calories. Also, use fruit as a garnish whenever possible to sneak a few nutrients into your cocktail.


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