Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to eat healthy at parties

The holiday party season is upon us.  I know there's tons of advice out there on this subject, here's mine...

It's not impossible to eat healthy at parties, it just takes a little planning.  One night won't ruin your fitness/weight loss goals.  My strategy is to bring something that I know I will eat and I try not to arrive starving.  It's a lot harder to make good choices if you're really hungry.

I always offer to bring a salad or a vegetable tray.  Your hostess will most likely appreciate your help.  (In my group of friends I'm known for my salads!)  Costco has large vegetable trays with a lowfat peppercorn ranch dip for about $10.   (They don't usually have celery on them, so I like to slice some up and take it on the side)

I try to make my salads very colorful.  I usually use an organic greens mix, sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, sliced yellow or orange peppers, olives, avocado, sometimes dried cranberries, sliced almonds, or sunflower seeds.  I'll slice cucumbers and either red or green onions and take them on the side (because I don't like them).  I also like to grate carrots, raw beets, or zucchini.  I don't put meat in my salads because I want there to be at least one vegetarian option.  You can add cheese if you like, sometimes I'll add feta.  There's plenty of dressings out there that are healthy options, Trader Joe's has several, I also like Paul Newman's brand or Litehouse makes some good ones.

I like Bethenny Frankel's advice, "taste everything and eat nothing".  To me that means have a little bite of whatever it is you want, just don't go overboard.  You'll be less likely to overeat if you have a little bit of that brownie or red velvet cake.

The most important thing is to drink plenty of water!  Lots of party foods are really high in sodium.  I also try to get in at least 30 minutes of some kind of cardio in early in the day.

A Votre Sante!