Fitness By Natalie: Holiday Eating Tips

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The holidays are such a delicious time, aren’t they? The cookies, pies, egg-nog, coca, chocolates, candies…I love it. What I’m trying not to do this year is give myself permission to indulge in too much of these treats just because I’m keeping up with my workouts. I advise you to do the same. It’s easy to make yourself believe that just because you hit the treadmill for a half hour, you’ve earned the right to overindulge. I think it’s amazing if you’re able to keep up with your workouts during this time of year when it’s tough to find enough hours in the day. For many, letting oneself go until the New Year seems to be the best option. If you have the motivation to workout, find the motivation to watch your calorie intake as well. Please enjoy, but do so in moderation. The brief time you spend at the gym won’t cancel out as much as you might think and you’ll find your pants a little more snug than you like when the new year begins.


I made the following recipe for Pecan Pie from the Weight Watcher’s website about 3 years ago for Thanksgiving. I brought it to a party and it was the only pie that was completely finished out of all of the pies offered at dinner. It’s less calories but just as tasty. Try it out and Be Well.
PS: I used Splenda brand brown sugar so that my pie was lower in sugar as well.


8 sheet(s) phyllo dough
4 spray(s) cooking spray, or enough to coat dough
3/4 halves pecan halves, chopped lengthwise into 3 pieces each
4 large egg white(s), lightly beaten
1/3 cup(s) light corn syrup
2/3 cup(s) unpacked brown sugar, firmly packed
6 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Cut phyllo sheets in half diagonally to form 2 equal-size triangles. Place 1 sheet in prepared pan, lightly coat with cooking spray, and top with another sheet of phyllo, placing corners just to the right of previous corners. Repeat with remaining sheets, so you’re covering the pan with a fan of phyllo. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; pour into crust. Bake, uncovered, about 35 minutes or until firm. Cover halfway through baking process if crust becomes too brown. Cool in pan.

Chef Tips

  • We renovated Pecan Pie by:
    • Cutting the nuts into smaller pieces (so you can cover a greater area with a lesser amount).
    • Replacing a butter-laden crust with layers of light, flaky phyllo dough.
    • Swapping butter for reduced-calorie margarine.
    • Using egg whites instead of the whole egg.
About Natalie Rado

Natalie is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the leading Personal Training Certification program in more than 80 countries. She specialized in the courses Optimum Performance Training for the Pre-Natal Client, Sports Performance, Neuromuscular Stretching, Neuromuscular Physiology, and Kinetic Chain Dysfunction. In addition, she is CPR Certified by the American Red Cross and a graduate of Western Michigan University.

Natalie trained clients with Method Fitness in Manhattan and Body by Mike in Brooklyn before starting Be Well, personal training for anyone looking to feel great in their own skin and accomplish fitness goals they never thought possible.