You Don't Have To Sacrifice Healthy Habits To Be A Gracious Guest

With the holidays quickly approaching, your heart may be filling with cheer — or dread — at the idea of holiday parties and other food-based social gatherings.

If you follow a diet of any type, whether for weight loss, health reasons (such as food allergies or sensitivities) or simply wanting to eat clean to feel your best, holiday parties can be a challenge. You want to be gracious to your host or hostess and enjoy the bountiful spread. You want something to do with your hands, and often a plate and a glass of something take the edge off any social awkwardness. You want to fit in. Heck ... You want to live a little and indulge!

But how can you do that without sacrificing your health?

Here are a few ideas to help you navigate your next holiday gathering without feeling bloated, green and Grinch-like the next day:

  • Don't go to restaurants, dinner parties or other food-based events when you're hungry. Have a late lunch or eat something light before you go. That way you won't make poor decisions because you're starving!
  • Avoid getting sloshed. The more you drink, the harder it will be to resist that third (or fourth ... or fifth) helping of treats. If you're drinking, alternate a glass of wine with one of sparkling water.
  • When invited to someone's home for dinner, politely inform your host/hostess about any food sensitivities in advance so there are no surprises for you OR for him/her. You can also offer to bring a side dish that you know is healthy. Even if your food options are limited, you can load up on the dish you brought.
  • If you suffer the "What do I make?!" when hosting dinner guests at your home, consider creating a set menu that you default to every time you have a dinner party. Everyone loves simple grilled steak or fish, a green salad with loads of vegetables and fruit for dessert. Grilled pineapple with a drizzle of balsamic? Yum. Roasted pears with a touch of honey and a sprinkling of lightly toasted nuts? Divine. Meals can still feel decadent even if they're "clean."
  • Bring back the concept of supper clubs or progressive dinners. These potluck-style atmospheres makes it easy to pick and choose food items that suit your dietary needs and allow you to contribute something that you know works well for your health.

This year, enjoy the holiday season without fear! Indulge without going overboard, stand your ground with your personal food needs and notice how much better you feel.Photo Credit: Shutterstock

And are you ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

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