We’re back with another submission for this month’s Healthy Living Tuesdays series: Healthy Entertaining!
The best part of our HLT series is the open-invitation to participate. Here’s how you can play along: Sometime in the next few weeks, write a post on your own blog under the “Healthy Entertaining” theme. When the last Tuesday of the month shows up, we’ll host a link up. Participating is a great challenge: How will you make your post stand out in a community of bloggers writing under the same theme? Plus, the link up at the end of the month is an awesome way to promote your greatest content!
Between now & then, we’ll be showing off some of our members own posts on the subject manner – so, be sure to come back and visit each week to get a taste of how others are tackling the topic themselves. It’s a great way to find new bloggers to read and get to know your fellow HLB Members. [If you’re interested in writing for future Healthy Living Tuesday featured posts, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Happy November, Everyone! Gosh, November…where does the time go? The holiday season is upon us and that means…holiday parties! What a perfect time to talk about healthy entertaining before we all get into the swing of things this winter. When I was asked to guest post about healthy entertaining this week, I was ecstatic because a) I LOVE a good party and b) I could definitely use a reminder about how to avoid the annual holiday-season muffin top this year. So let’s get right to it, shall we?
Whether you’re hosting a party or just a guest attending a fun social gathering, there are multiple stages to incorporate healthy ideas…
1. While doing the initial planning for the event:
· Consider food allergies of attendees—it’s just a nice gesture to ask about possible food allergies on the invite and I’ve found by doing this, my friends have been so appreciative!
· Create a google doc—for potlucks, this is a great way to figure out who is bringing what!
· Consider how much time you have to prepare before the event—it’s important to be realistic early on to avoid a time crunch (AKA having to stop at the store last minute for a last resort on the way to the party if something goes wrong).
· Create a Pinterest board – and load it up with tons of ideas! My go-to for parties are usually desserts or an appetizer.
2. When choosing what to prepare:
No matter how hard I try to plan, I am usually scrambling when it comes to whipping thing up for parties…can anyone else relate? So when choosing a recipe to make, I usually first look to see what everyone’s bringing and if there are food allergies. I then use that as a platform to find or create a healthy dish. Like I said before, I usually go the appetizer or dessert route, so here are a few things to consider if you want to too:
For Appetizers — throw veggies in whenever you can! Bruschetta? Always a great go to and it’s super quick to prepare! Buffalo chicken dip? Sneak some celery in there (they’ll never notice and it provides a nice ‘crunch)! There are plenty of dips, flatbreads, and salsas that load up on the veggies without loading on the calories.
For Desserts— I like to choose desserts that I can modify to make healthier. Often, I’ll take out oil, etc. and substitute it for a healthier option such as Greek yogurt or others listed here. Making over desserts is a great way to indulge and not feel guilty this holiday season.
3. While you are enjoying yourself at the party:
· Drink LOTS of water. A trick I use if I have an adult beverage is that I drink at least one glass of water in between adult or “indulgent” beverages. This will help you feel full, leading to less trips back to the food table and bar.
· When talking with others at social gatherings, put your eating utensils DOWN when engaging in conversation. I don’t know about all of you, but I can catch up with a long lost friend at a party and shove food in my face at the same time like a pro. This one can be tricky, but adhering to this will really help cut down the mindless eating. I have definitely noticed that I eat a lot less when I consciously make an effort to not talk and nibble from my plate simultaneously.
· Fill up on veggies and healthy options available, then hit the goodies. Make it a point to fill up your plate up with veggies, fruits, and healthy options first. Then if you are still hungry, indulge in some of the naughty treats. You’ll feel fuller, have less temptation to overeat the treats, and get the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.
In the end, like everything involved with healthy living, eating while entertaining is still all about moderation. Entertaining or engaging at parties and gathering is supposed to be fun– so it’s ok to indulge! The important thing is to balance those splurges with healthy decisions so we can keep rockin’ those skinny jeans alllll holiday season.