In SaddleBrooke, December brings even more opportunities to socialize and feast. In this article are some simple strategies I use to keep myself comfortable in my clothes.
As you are ready for the event, consider the celebration more than the food. Get prepared to engage in pleasant conversations and be merry. Food and beverage consumption can be secondary. Once you arrive, begin with a glass of flavored water. When you do start eating, take time to savor every bite. Try putting your fork down as you chew each mouthful and swallow before speaking. Next month, I will provide additional tips on eating with intention and attention.
Six Ps for Parties
Contribute to the meal by providing a healthy dish that you have arranged creatively. Modify recipes when you can. For example, use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Cut special treats into smaller servings. For a decadent yet nutrient-dense dessert, try my recipe for Brandy Chocolate Mousse.
Before filling your plate, survey all the options to identify special foods. This strategy allows you to choose the most impressive and favorite foods.
Vegetables and fruits are nutrient-dense and usually low in calories. At a buffet, fill half your plate with them. At a cocktail party, begin with a vegetable option that you or your thoughtful host provided.
Don't eat foods that keep you coming back for more. I recall the Ruffle's Chips advertisement, "…bet you can't eat just one." Other options to skip include bread, rolls, and crackers made with refined grains.
Beverages can be a surprising source of calories. For example, a one-cup serving of eggnog provides a whopping 350 calories. A shot of alcohol adds at least another 100 calories. Sure, you can opt to have this as a once-a-year treat, but decide in advance which other goodies you will forgo.
Many seasonal treats are abundant in calories. For example, See's Candies Chocolate Walnut Fudge provides 200 calories per piece (1.5 ounces). When you choose to indulge, be mindful and savor each nibble.
Before you go back for seconds, take a pause. If after 10-minutes you still desire more, go ahead.
With a bit of planning and mindfulness, you can still "Eat, Drink and Be Merry." Every day choose to eat a bit less and move a bit more. At the events, you attend splurge wisely.
Nancy Teeter is a Registered Dietitian and a SaddleBrooke resident. Though she is mostly retired, she is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge with others. This article should not replace advice from your medical provider.