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Healthy holiday recipes, part 3

The Holiday Season can be especially stressful for some of our Wingmen, family members, friends, neighbors, or maybe even ourselves. Many of us work and live near folks dealing with these feelings - and more - but we never seem willing to "butt into"
someone else's life. If you need help please call 1-800-273-TALK 24 hours a day to be connected to someone who cares about what you are going through, is trained to help you find options and connect you to local resources.

(Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The parties, presents and events of the holidays can make it harder to take care of individual needs this holiday season, but health doesn't take a holiday. 

"While the holidays are an enjoyable time for many military members, they can also bring a lot of stress," said Capt. Colleen Varga, 30th Medical Group clinical psychologist. "Family concerns and relationship problems (can be) made worse by traveling, cleaning, entertaining and financial stress."

Varga offers some tips for military members to manage holiday stress.

"Planning ahead and making time for yourself are two of the most beneficial things that you can do," she said. "Just a 15-minute walk outside or listening to some favorite music can reduce your stress level."

Planning healthy holiday meals and setting realistic individual goals are good ways to cut back on stress, according to the Health and Wellness Center here.

"Another important factor is keeping up your regular health habits," said Varga. "Make time to go to the gym, go biking or take a walk with the family, and avoid overindulgence."

Below are more heart-healthy recipes from the HAWC:

Yield: 6 cups
Servings: 12, 1/2 cup each
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 ribs finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 chopped scallions
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Cook quinoa as directed on package. Cool quinoa.
In a large bowl mix cooled quinoa with celery, parsley, scallions, lemon juice, oil and salt.
Add blueberries and walnuts to mixture.
Nutrition information per serving: 95 calories; 7 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 108 mg sodium.
(Recipe from the Vandenberg Health and Wellness Center)

Serving size: 1 cup
One 32-ounce bag of baby carrots
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup sugar-free apricot preserves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon light buttery spread
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 salt
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Optional to taste: black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground ginger
In a crock pot, add all vegetables.
In a small dish combine preserves brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
Top vegetables in the crock pot with this mixture.
Use a large spoon to stir the contents of the crock pot (don't worry if the preserved mixture isn't completely distributed).
Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Once vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat on the crock pot, give contents a good stir to ensure the sauce is distributed evenly.
In a small bowl, combine corn starch with cold water and stir until cornstarch has dissolved.
Add to crock pot and mix well.
Leave crock pot uncovered for 15 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.
Add additional salt and optional ingredients to taste.
Nutrition information per serving: 95 calories; 1.25 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 21.5 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 3 g fiber; 286 mg sodium; 10 g sugar.
(Recipe from the Vandenberg Health and Wellness Center)