Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh.. Those Christmas Parties

Dips, chips, Hors d'œuvres, queso, salsa, Swedish meatballs, wings, cheese and crackers, cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, Christmas cookies, pastries, pies and cakes....... and beer, wine, cocktails, soda... and on and on and on..... The selections are endless!! And so is the F A T that you can gain during this holiday season.

Ah... the office holiday party...and those cozy, warm holiday evening cocktail parties... a chance to kick back and dive right into that buffet and open bar...pork down several plates of food and guzzle down too many drinks. It's like you give yourself a license to just let it all go. Just the stress and rush and crunch of the season can make you want to take solace in food and drink. Be careful.. you can do more damage then you want to spend time, energy and sweat trying to undo.

Between Halloween and January 2nd... a person can gain up to 15 to 18 pounds! You know how it goes... buying candy for the kids or the trick or theaters or for the office and you just happen to have bought a few more bags then needed..... And where were they? At home... very handy to get to. So you finished off all the candy and before you know it..... it’s Thanksgiving holidays. Food.. and more food... and now, here we are in the midst of the start of Christmas holiday season. A cup of good cheer....deck the halls....fa la!

Ok, so here’s some hints on how to survive those parties. The best thing I’ve found to do is... bring a couple of dishes that YOU like and that you know are healthy and won’t break your caloric bank! Yesterday, I posted about surviving the holidays and not increasing your pudge factor. Ya might want to take a look at that before you read further.

When I go to these parties, if I think there might be some food there that I could eat (as a strict Vegan, usually there is not so much for me,) but just in case, I always take my own teaspoon with me. And this is what I use as a portion size.... literally.....”just a taste.” I use the salad plate for my food and I eat very slowly.

Remembering that alcohol is VERY high in sugar and calories.... a glass of wine or beer anywhere from 85 to 150 calories per serving. A cocktail from 100 up depending on what you put in it. A frozen rita.... well that will cost you as much as 150 to 250. And watch out for those creamy dreamy drinks... a whopping 365 per drink! YIKES!!!!

The best way to drink alcohol and avoid more calories then you need... is to spread your drinking out over the evening. Have one regular drink... then, for your drinks there after..have some seltzer or club soda (tonic water has high fructose corn syrup.. not a wise choice!) with lime or lemon and a sprig of mint. This looks festive and gives you the feeling that you are enjoying “a drink” with everyone else. You can also, have a wine spritzer. This is a shot of your fave wine with seltzer, garnish with a cherry or lemon or lime.

Try these easy to fix dishes to bring to any party:

*Garbanzo-Garlic Hummus with crackers

*Black Bean-Corn-Jalapeño Pico with Blue Corn Chips
3 cups of black beans (no salt or fat added)
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
Chopped Jalapeno to your taste
1 cup fresh chopped mango or pineapple
1/2 cup chopped red bell
chopped red onion is great... but maybe not for the party scene LOL!
Mix all together and chill for a couple of hours

*Horseradish Hummus/Tabouli Tortilla Roll ups
Use my Garbanzo-garlic hummus and add REAL horseradish (NOT horseradish cream) in place of the garlic. Use your own taste discretion!
Use my Tabouli recipe
Ok, now take flour tortillas and spread them with the hummus. Spread the Tabouli on top of the hummus. Roll up the tortillas and slice rolls into 1/2 inch slices. Serve chilled This is really good and tickles the taste buds with the hot spicy horseradish, the sour from the lemon in the tabouli and the fresh mint flavor from the tabouli.
Ya better make up extra... cuz these 3 items are always a big hit at parties!
Now you know how to drink and eat at these social gatherings. Enjoy them, knowing you can keep your pudge factor under control!
Until Next time....When I'll get you thru the family holiday dinners.....


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