Cut Calories Out of Your Holiday Cocktails

Plus, chocolate-cherry heart smart cookie recipe and touching base with Delaware’s own Gaby Wilson on getting healthy and in shape.

Low Calorie Cocktails

No one would start dinner with a two-cheeseburger appetizer, eat another two cheeseburgers alongside a full entrée, and then finish off with a two-cheeseburger dessert, right? But if you’re drinking three large frozen margaritas in an evening, you’re packing away as many a calories as are in six McDonald’s cheeseburgers. (more)

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Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

It’s the holidays. So if you’re going to have treats, then have treats. But if you would like to make healthier treats, this recipe is worth your time. It’s got chocolate, it’s got cherries and it has a lot fewer calories and fat than the other cookies on the table. By using bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate you get the deeper flavor and less sugar. Leave the other cookies for Santa. Keep these for yourselves. Thanks, Cooking Light. Enjoy!

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1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup) 
1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup) 
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
1 cup dried cherries 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 large egg, lightly beaten 
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 
Cooking spray 


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

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3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by the tablespoonful 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving

Calories: 94
Fat: 3.2 g
Saturated fat: 1.6 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Protein: 1.5 g
Carbohydrate: 15.7 g
Fiber: 1.3 g
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Sodium: 88 mg
Calcium: 15 mg

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Not Too Shabby, Gaby

The holiday season is the perfect time to check in with GHD friends who are pursuing better health and wellness in their lives. I thought we’d check in on bride-to-be Gaby Wilson and see how 2013 has shaped up with her efforts to get healthy and in shape.

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GHD: Hey, Gaby. Welcome back to Get Healthy, Delaware! Congratulations on your 30-pound weight loss. Has there been a success highlight for you this year?
GW: I think the real success I had this year was just getting healthy. My body had gotten so messed up by eaing chemicals and processed foods, that it really affected every aspect of my being.  Just having my health back has been wonderful—the weight loss is a fantastic result of it.

GHD: So moving away from processed foods really helped you. What has been your biggest challenge this year?
GW: Completely changing the way I eat and see food has definitely been the biggest challenge. Not looking at calories, but looking at ingredients. I had to learn to read every label and think about it.  Is this something I wanted to put in my body? It was a strange thing to start buying full fat food products and just use less of them. It’s not that much harder to boil your whole-wheat noodles in almond or soy milk instead of water. Or add a little full fat cheese and make a way better mac and cheese than you’d find in the box. 

GHD: Making such a big change takes a lot of determination and support. What has helped you stay on task?
GW: Getting engaged helped! I go to my doctor every two months to weigh in and talk about how my body is feeling, so having that accountability helped. Having someone to answer to—my fiancé, Lew, has been incredibly supportive.  He’s had to change the way he eats as a result of this journey and he’s been amazing. 

GHD: So now it’s the end of the year, which can be a tough time to make the best food choices. What are your anticipated strategies for getting through the holidays?
GW:I think the biggest takeaway is that there’s always going to be leftovers. Keep your portions small and don’t get caught up in the “once-a-year” aspect of the meal.  You don’t need to eat until you think you’re going to burst because you can make yourself another plate tomorrow.

Thanks so much for sharing your journey with our readers, Gaby! Happy Holidays!

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Health Events

Friday, Dec. 6
Reindeer Run and Romp
Location  Aetna Fire Station, corner of Delaware Avenue and Academy Street, Newark.
Time  7 p.m.
More info. 831-3482,

Saturday, Dec. 7
2nd PAL Chase the Police and Santa Too 5K
Location  PAL Center, 7259 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin
Time  10 a.m.
More info. 239-8857,

Monday, Dec. 16
Find Your Way to Successful Weight Loss: Free monthly weight management information session
Location  Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute, 3506 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Room 100
Time  6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
More info. (to register) 661-3475, 800-693-CARE (2273)

To submit your health-related event, email

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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