December and early January can be a tricky time to keep on track with healthy eating. There are often lots of social occasions which, of course, involve eating and drinking!
Here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
Don’t arrive hungry! Many good intentions have fallen by the wayside by arriving hungry, having a glass or two of wine and then eating way more than planned. You may want to eat a light meal first, a couple of eggs will be filling.
Check, is it nibbles and drinks, or dinner?
If it is dinner, can you take a salad? If so, take a big green salad as often, if there is one there, it is more of a token. Fill half your plate with salad, add some protein and skip the pasta salad, garlic bread, etc.
BBQ’s are pretty easy and as a change from a hunk of meat or chicken, you might make kebabs with protein interspersed with veggies. Try chunks of fresh salmon with lemon wedges and red onion on the BBQ. Add cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.
If you are doing nibbles, here are some platter ideas.
Remember though, don’t hang around the nibbles platter, it is too easy to keep picking!
If you are asked to bring a dessert, how about a fruit and nut platter. Find some ideas here. Or fruit kebabs, with pineapple, strawberries, kiwifruit and watermelon are refreshing.
Greek yoghurt can be made into a sweet or savoury dip. You can add grated cucumber and mint, or pesto, for a savoury dip or sauce, or keep it plain to serve with strawberries. Be sure to buy one that only has dairy + probiotics in the ingredients, no added sugar.
You can put ‘fingers’ of pineapple on the BBQ and serve those alongside meat for a change.
Decide on a limit of how much you are going to drink before you leave home and stick to it. Always take something nonalcoholic with you so that you know there is something available. Some suggestions are:
La Bros Lemon Lime & Bitters (330ml bottle – New World)
A bottle of low sugar Kombucha
Or take a low carb or low alcohol beer
The Seedlip non-alcoholic, sugar and sweetener free concentrates can be mixed with a diet tonic or other sugar free mixer
Keep an awareness of how much you are eating. It is all to easy to lose track when you are picking from lots of plates.
Stay away from the food source – don’t hang around the table!
Stop eating when you are satisfied, not stuffed, there can be hundreds of calories difference between the two.
Avoid leftovers, particularly ‘party’ food. Aim to not over cater. If friends and family bring a plate, give it back to them with any leftovers, apart from the meat and good stuff of course! Who hasn’t opened the fridge on Boxing Day and succumbed to wolfing down trifle for breakfast?!
Special occasions can be managed with thought before the event and strategies when you get there.