Welcome to Monday! How did your weekend fare? Did you make conscious and intentional choices? How is your healthy choice working for you so far?
Three weeks from today is Christmas Eve. Have you started thinking of what kind of dishes you will be serving or eating? Over the next two weeks we will start introducing some great recipes. Some will be options to substitute common favourites and some may become new favourites all on their own! But for now, let’s discuss….the delicious (and dreaded) buffet and pot luck.
The beauty of a pot luck is there will always be something you like…because you will bring it. Jump in early and offer to bring the veggie or fruit tray, don’t get stuck with buns and butter! Even better, if you are hosting, YOU are in control! Create a menu early on with healthy but easy suggestions. You know your guests. For those who are receptive, offer the veggie or fruit tray. For those willing to put in a bit more work here are is a “pot luck” friendly, though not necessarily “Christmas” type recipe. It’s a great chili that I’ve done in the slow cooker (try topping it with avocado, trust me!). There will probably be those items that should be avoided. It’s almost a guarantee. You will have to decide, what is worth eating. So lets discuss a few tips.
When at a buffet or pot luck remember you do have choices. Those choices can start before you even get to the party.
- Don’t arrive hungry! Whenever possible or practical, eat before hand. If you arrive starving you are setting yourself up for a challenge in avoiding bad choices.
- If the plan is to eat at a buffet restaurant, or it will be a sit down pot luck at a friends house, puruse the choices before hand whenever possible. A restaurant will possibly give you more options, plus the knowledge of the wait staff to quiz about questionable ingredients. It’s hard to ask someone how they have made something and then not eat it, without offending them!
- Eat what you recognize…wait…eat what you recognize as being as close to it’s natural state as possible. Veggies should be raw or steamed, avoid sauces. Chicken and fish should be broiled or steamed. Roast beef can be a good choice minus the gravy and trim away visible fat.
- When the odds are stacked against you – stack your plate! The more veggies on your plate, the less room for unmentionables. Remember though to try and get all your carbs from vegetables and fruit, whole grains if they are available, skip the rice pilaf and mashed potatoes, and include a protein and healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olive oil and even olives) to round out the meal.
- Ditch the booze! Tomorrow we have an easy punch recipe you can mix up that isn’t as heavy as most on sugary pop and juices but will let you feel like you are part of the celebrations. When in doubt – drink water! It’s never a bad choice. If you need an easy out, offer to be the designated driver. You will be performing a great service and saving yourself the the need to explain why you are choosing to abstain.
- Enjoy yourself! Try not to stress to the point that you lose focus on why you are there. To connect with friends and family and enjoy each others company.
“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind,but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.”– Harold B. Melchart