While most people throw healthy eating to the wind during the holidays, with some simple planning and resolve it is entirely possible to eat a clean diet throughout the season. Statistics suggest that many Americans gain an average of 6 to 8 pounds from Halloween to New Year’s Day, and most will start the New Year off with a resolution to lose that weight. Take for example the common cocktail party fare of fat-filled cheeses, butter-filled puff pastry, greasy fillings and processed, salty snack food. Combine this with high caloric alcoholic beverages and you have a cocktail of fat and calories that are sure to pack on the pounds, and that is before you even have dinner! Here are two healthy hors d’oeuvre options that are satisfying and easy to prepare for your next cocktail party or as a contribution to a pot luck gathering.
Following are six, easy to follow, tips that will help keep you focused and on track.
1) Don’t skip meals. You know how hard it is to resist impulse buying at the grocery store when you are hungry? Try to eat a protein snack before heading out to the party.
2) Stay Hydrated. With all the hectic activities taking place during this busy time of the year, it is easy to forget to drink plenty of fluids. Sip on water and herbal tea throughout the day, and squeeze some lemon into it for an extra boost of vitamin C. You skin will thank you and it will help keep your energy level up.
3) Keep your fiber intake up. This will help you to feel satiated, with the added benefit of keeping your digestive system running smoothly.
4) Choose your alcohol wisely. Stick with wine, wine spritzers, mocktails, light beer or simply choose club soda with lime and a splash of cranberry juice for a refreshing alternative. Avoid sugar and calorie filled concoctions that will leave you feeling puffy and bloated. Alcohol also wreaks havoc on your sleep patterns, which will leave you tired and cranky. You will be thankful when you wake up clear headed and energized the next morning.
5) Make your exercise routine a priority. Carving out time for exercise is challenging even under normal circumstances, but don’t skimp in this department. Exercise combats stress and depression, so don’t neglect those endorphins!
Warm Mixed Nuts with Rosemary and Shallots
3 cups raw mixed nuts (such as pecans, cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of fresh garlic
3 or 4 sprigs of chopped fresh rosemary – remove the stems
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
On medium heat roast the nuts in a large frying pan, stirring constantly (careful not to burn)
In another skillet warm the olive oil and cook the shallot and garlic until golden.
Add the rosemary to shallot/Garlic mixture to warm slightly.
Mix all of the ingredients together with the nuts, sprinkle on the brown sugar
Toss to coat. Serve immediately
Assorted Fresh Crudité Display with Minty Sweet Pea and Butter Bean Dip
2 cups frozen baby peas
2 cups frozen baby lima beans
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper