Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Happy Festivus!

on December 23, 2011

Hurray!  A holiday for the rest of us!  For those of you who aren’t Seinfeld fans (really?  What’s wrong with you?), here’s an explanation from Wikipedia.  But really, if you aren’t a Seinfeld fan this means nothing…

Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as a way to celebrate the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism.[1] It was created by writer Dan O’Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Billy, a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld,[1][2] as part of a comical storyline on the show. The holiday’s celebration, as shown on Seinfeld, includes an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole”, practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength“, and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles”. Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as “a Festivus for the rest of us”, a saying taken from the O’Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus’ non-commercial aspect.

In keeping with the theme of the blog, I did some searching to see what was served at the Festivus meal.  On the show it was meatloaf, in real life the  O’Keefe’s had turkey or ham followed by a  Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&M’s.  I can’t do much to make a Pepperidge Farm Cake healthier (they all score a D+ for nutrition) but meatloaf is another story.

In the kingdom of comfort food, meatloaf is royalty and I love it!  Rich  in carbs and fat, it fills you up and makes you feel good — that is, until your  waistband becomes too tight. To get the comfort without the calories, try this  version. The fat is cut in half by using 93 percent lean ground turkey  instead of ground beef chuck, and I opted for fat-free milk, which still keeps the  loaf  tender and not dry. Even more soothing: You don’t have to give up the beloved  ketchup glaze. Yummy!

Made Over Festivus Meatloaf
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 stalk(s) celery, finely  chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with  press
  • 2 pound(s) lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup(s)   (from 1 1/2 slices bread)  fresh  whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup(s) fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Worcestershire  sauce
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup(s) ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black  pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Dijon  mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, in oil,  cook celery and onion on medium 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender,  stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to  large bowl; cool slightly.
  2. To bowl with vegetables, add turkey, bread crumbs, milk,  Worcestershire sauce, egg whites, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4  teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper; mix with hands until well combined but  not overmixed. In cup, mix Dijon and remaining 1/4 cup ketchup.
  3. In 13″ by 9″ metal baking pan, shape meat mixture into 9″ by 5″ loaf.  Spread ketchup mixture over top of loaf.
  4. Bake meatloaf 55 to 60 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in  center reaches 160 degrees F. (Temperature will rise to 165 degrees F upon  standing.)
  5. Let meatloaf stand 10 minutes before removing from pan to set juices  for easier slicing. Transfer meatloaf to platter and cut into slices to  serve.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories 230
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 80mg
Sodium 500mg
Total Carbohydrate 11g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Protein 25g


I would suggest that Feats of Strength be performed before the meal but don’t skip it.  A 175 pound man wrestling for 15 minutes will burn 150 calories.  The competition doesn’t end until the host is pinned. Failure to pin the host results in Festivus continuing until the requirements are met.

Next up- The Airing of the Grievances!

Happy Festivus to One and All.


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