By Amy Inman-Felton RDN

Health and Wellness Contributing Editor

3 Minute Read


Holidays can become stressful for those that have worked hard toward achieving a healthy weight goal or modifying their diet to prevent a health condition such as diabetes.

The last thing you want to do is sabotage your hard work. For those that want to avoid weight gain, are limiting carbohydrates, sugar, or saturated fat (the less healthy fat) scale down your holiday treats and desserts but don’t deprive yourself entirely.

It is a known fact that deprivation triggers unhealthy feelings of guilt and may actually predispose us to binge.1 

Being mindful or aware of the excess calories and energy in holiday foods is in itself a proven and effective technique toward helping you maintain your health goals.2  Consider simple modifications in your eating plan so you can enjoy holiday foods without feelings of guilt. Reflect on Tip #1, #2 and #4 to keep you on track.

Here are easy and mindful suggestions:

  • Reduce the volume you eat by reducing portions (I like the miniature options)
  • Share or split your desserts
  • Consider selecting a few of your favorite holiday treats and make one each week, so you genuinely enjoy them rather than numerous desserts at a time
  • Apply the 80:20 rule. Eat on course 80% of the time allowing 20% of time enjoy your favorite indulgences (like chocolate)
  • Modify recipes by reducing total sugar and fat to lower overall energy while providing a healthier nutrient-rich option. For example, avocados can be used in recipes as a fat alternative (avocado butter) and are popular on the keto-modified diet eating plans visit [here] for great options 
  • For many recipes, you can reduce the sugar by one-third to one-half without compromising the final product (but test drive baked goods first). Consider using stevia-based calorie-free sweetener Truvia using the conversion provided on the label (or website) to reduce total added sugars (and total calories)

Here is my favorite 2018 modified recipe Chocolate Decadent Lava Cakes significantly reducing sugar per serving using Truvia.

This dessert also uses a combination of 60% and 100% cocoa (providing antioxidants along with brain and heart boosting health benefits). Bonus it is super easy, quick and can be prepared 1 to 2 days ahead of time. 

Just set out to room temperature 1 hour before cooking if made ahead.  

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving: 386 kilocalories, Total Carbohydrate 16 g, Sugars 6 g, Total Fat 30 g, Saturated Fat 18 g.  

Chocolate Decadent Lava Cakes, Without All The Sugar Guilt!


  • Baking spray and 4- Ramekins – diameter: 3.5″
  • 6 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2 oz 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate (Ghirardelli)
  • 2 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 cup Truvia sweetener
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F. Thoroughly spray ramekins with baking spray and place on a baking sheet. In a large glass mixing bowl (or microwave proof bowl) breakup the chocolate into small pieces and place in the bowl along with butter (cut into tablespoon portions) and add the truvia.  Microwave the mixture on high 1-minute until mostly melted.  Remove from microwave and whisk mixture until it is melted and well blended. 

Once the mixture is cool (refrain from adding eggs to the mixture if its hot to touch, to avoid the eggs to start cooking- especially if preparing ahead of time.   

Add eggs and egg yolks, then add the vanilla and stir well.  Fold in the flour stirring until the mixture- it should have a brownie-like batter.

Divide the mixture equally amongst the ramekins.

Place on cookie sheet or directly on rack in the oven.  Bake until sides are firm and the centers are soft, about 11-minutes.

Don’t over bake!

Remove from oven and let stand 1 minute then invert on an individual serving dish while warm and serve with toppings of your choice. 

Fresh raspberries, powdered sugar, ice cream or whipping cream.  

If you are making ahead of time, cover with plastic and refrigerate, remove from the refrigerator and set at room temperature 45 to 60 minutes before baking. 

Voila! Now indulge!