‘Tis the Season of Eating
The happiest (and sometimes most stressful) time of the year is upon us! As is the numerous invites for holiday parties, work socials, and celebrations dedicated to this lovely month. While we rush around to buy the perfect presents, decorate our homes, and start thinking about our goals and dreams for the new year, we tend to lose ourselves in the process. Namely, we eat. And we eat a lot. Maybe you were “good” all year and are letting loose or you have allowed yourself to indulge this season. Either way, enjoy the food offered but at the same time try not to overdo it and begrudgingly have to add “Lose Weight” to the top of your New Year’s Resolution.
Here are some tips on what hors d’oeuvres and decadent foods to stay away from, ones in which to indulge, and the few to sneak when no one is looking!
Stay away from…
- Creamy dips - Normally loaded with calories, saturated fat, and sodium. If you must, take a small amount and use raw veggies as dippers.
- Sliders - We can never have just one! They are so tiny and cute! If you must, take off the top bun and don’t dip it in the aioli.
- Bacon-wrapped anything - Need I say more.
- Fried treats - We all know that fried foods go right to our hips, thighs, and belly, providing us with excess fat and calories. If you must, have one piece and fill the rest of your plate with foods from the INDULGE LIST.
- Mini Quiches - Normally made with pastry and eggs, this is already extremely high in calories, regardless of the spinach in it. If you must, have only one!
- Pigs in a Blanket - Another “very little and very easy to eat 10″ type of appetizer (and my wonderful friend, Lyndsey Burr’s most favorite appetizer!). Almost 100 calories per little pig, eat one or two and leave the rest to the other party goers.
- Mini Pizzas - Depending on the topping, you may want to opt out of this appetizer or indulge if it’s covered in healthy vegetables. Again, anything mini is going to trick your mind into thinking that more than one is ok. Sure, if you want to add “Lose Weight” to the top of your Resolution list.
- Egg Nog - Dear God..when did this become a staple in our holiday diet? Imagine drinking milk, cream, and eggs all in one little cup? No bueno! Just don’t do it. If you must, make sure it’s the low-fat variety.
- Raw veggies with hummus / bean dips - Loading up your plate with veggies will provide you with fiber, antioxidants, and will fill up your tummy so you don’t have five brownies later in the night.
- Shrimp Cocktail - Shrimp is a great source of lean protein.
- Variety of nuts - Eat these for an abundance of healthy fats.
- Salsa - Low in calories and high in antioxidants. Limit the chips and try veggies instead!
- Fresh fruit bowl - Snacking on fruit doesn’t sound as fun as the Pigs in a Blanket but your pants will thank you later, as will your body for giving it the essential vitamins and minerals it craves.
- Olives - Wonderful source of healthy fats and are low in calories (but high in sodium so still limit your consumption).
The Ones to Sneak…
- Desserts - The dessert table really tests your willpower. And since it is the time to celebrate, have a dessert and enjoy it. But remember, the plates are small for a reason. Don’t pile it to the sky. If your dessert fits on the plate, then perfect. Don’t add more. That will be your way to “portion size” the best food at the party!
- Alcohol - The calories all add up so increase your water intake and refer to my blog “To Drink Skinny Is To Be Skinny” for some tips at the bar.
- Remember to eat something before you head off to the party. Going on an empty stomach will set you up for failure and you will unconsciously overindulge. A little healthy snack beforehand (complex carbohydrate, lean protein, and healthy fat combo) will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent the “ravenous you” from coming out!
If you are asked to bring an hors d’oeuvre or side dish for a party, check out these websites for some healthy recipes…
Embrace and enjoy this beautiful season and if you have too many Pigs in a Blanket, don’t stress about it. Exercise the next day, drink lots of water, and love your body unconditionally!