Healthy Holiday Strategies: Host the Event
For those of us who care about our health, we have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. While we savor the time gathering with loved ones, we dread navigating the buffet tables. For us, holidays are like a field of land mines. We carefully tread through them with as little residual damage on our hips and bellies as possible.
I am so done with that! Aren’t you? Let this be the year the battle ends.
From now until New Year’s Day, I will be posting ideas on how to incorporate healthy habits into your holidays without sacrificing any of the fun. More than just recipes, I’m going to challenge the way you look at the holidays, altogether. Sound good? Then read on…
Another annual family celebration. It used to be that you looked forward to indulging in a table of fat-mixed-with-sugar-and-more-fat-topped-with-gravy. After all, it’s Christmas! And, really, what good is Christmas, if you don’t eat your weight in butter?
But as you’ve gotten older and wiser, you’ve decided you’d really like to take good care of yourself. Not just in January, after making yet, another, New Year’s Resolution, but all the time. You’ve adapted some healthier habits. You eat well. You exercise. You like the way you feel when you do these things, and you don’t really want to blow it for six weeks straight, as you make your rounds to the various holiday gatherings.
Do you dread going to grandma’s house because you know the temptation to indulge in her cheesy casseroles and sugar-filled desserts will be too great? Here’s a thought: Why not help grandma out and offer to host the family Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebration at your place?
I know it’s a huge undertaking. Trust me, I’ve done it. And some of you probably want to hurl a turkey leg at me because you are still cleaning up from hosting Thanksgiving. *she ducks* But remember, by choosing to host, you also earn the right to choose the menu. And by choosing the menu, you control the healthy ingredients that go into each and every dish.
It may seem overwhelming, but hosting doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Even if you ask for side dish, drink or dessert contributions, you can still be certain to have enough healthy alternatives available to keep you and your other health-conscious guests satisfied.
Some of your family members probably feel the same way you do about all the fattening selections, but feel powerless to their allure. (I felt that way for years.) Some people don’t even realize it’s possible to create a healthy holiday meal that people will actually enjoy. This could be the chance to WOW them with an entire spread of delicious and wholesome food.
Yes, even those loved ones who roll their eyes and poke fun at your healthy habits–the ones who tell you to “lighten up” and “stop depriving yourself”. I betcha even they will be shocked when they see how yummy a healthy holiday meal can truly be. In fact, this could be the year you make a few new converts to your way of life!
If they still want their favorite fattening food at your table, don’t sweat it. Ask them to bring their most decadent dish. Then let them live-it-up until they puke. (Sorry, was that harsh?)
Here are just a few links for you to help you put together an amazingly healthy and delicious holiday feast!
Check out these Make Ahead Holiday Dinners from Whole Living. This site has healthy ideas for every course of the holiday meal.
You must browse the entire Recipe Index of Nourished Kitchen. Not only does she only cook with real food, but she has the most beautiful food photos. I love me a beautiful food photo.
Here are some unique and realistic holiday tips (cooking, eating, exercising and gift-giving!)from nourishinteractive.com
And finally, from Health.com, here are some wonderfully light and lovely holiday appetizer ideas that go beyond a veggie and dip tray. I need these. For some reason, I really lack in the appetizer-making department.
Are you hosting any holiday events this year? What do you serve?
What a great post and a great concept. Your strategies will definitely contribute to a holiday with less stress, more joy, and a healthier "bottom line". Thanks for sharing!