Want to stay fab this fall and winter without drenching all of your favorite holiday foods in cream, butter and fatty sauces? Save yourself the extra treadmill sessions in January by using some of these smart and clever spices now, says Chef and author Candice Kumai. She shares her favorite fall and winter spices to use in holiday cooking. There's no need to douse all your recipes in butter (which can quickly add to your waistline) when you can add a ton of flavor sans the fat using spices!

Star anise
This Chinese spice is similar to regular anise, only more pungent flavor. With a licorice taste and beautiful rust color, this spice plays a star roll in chai tea, Chinese five-spice powder and mulling mix.

Cloves
Cloves are warming, sweet and decidedly fall. They are perfectly paired with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon in pumpkin bread and butternut squash soup. Or simply stud a few in a bowl of oranges for a fragrant centerpiece, oooh-la-la like Granny's house!

Ginger
Spicy and full of nutrients like Vitamin B6, Ginger helps aid in digestion and complements a variety of seasonal dishes. It's delicious in Asian dishes and pairs well with both savory and sweet foods. Feeling icky? Grate some fresh ginger with some honey and cover with water, boil for about 10 minutes and enjoy seeped as tea.

Nutmeg
Nutty and slightly sweet, nutmeg is a seasonal favorite. Seek out whole nutmeg pods and grate fresh for the best flavor. Try a dash in green beans or spinach for an extra touch of delish. Grate off a bit to finish mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese or your fave creamy pasta dish.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon is synonymous with fall. Warming and fragrant with a nod to the holidays, a sprinkle of cinnamon may boost cognitive function and memory. Place cinnamon sticks in your apple cider, mulled vino or even hot chocolate! Add to a spice rub for a new twist.