We often hear people mention that it is hard to maintain their healthy lifestyle when they go to a family gathering. Hosts are usually so excited to have guests over that they bring out the richest and the most decadent foods to the table. However, that is only a part of the problem – the other part is that they want you to eat it and a lot of it too! Mothers especially often take offense if their children don’t eat the food they prepared for many hours prior.
To avoid this caloric extravaganza, I invite you to try some of my tips on how to handle such situations.
- Make your new favorite healthy dish and bring lots of it to the gathering to share with the family. If they push their food on you, you will now have the arsenal to do the same and as a bonus, you will introduce your family to a healthy dish that you discovered.
- Indulge in family bonding time, not just eating. Yes, it is true that we often gather around food to feel close to our loved ones, but we suggest focusing on the conversations and family time more than the food. Once the physical hunger is satisfied, focus on filling yourself up with love and joy from spending time with the family instead of the third helping of the casserole.
- If you didn’t have time make anything, then buy a big box of mixed baby lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, a bag of your favorite nuts or seeds and a bunch of your favorite fresh herbs. Bring it as your contribution to the host and toss all of the ingredients together in your host’s the kitchen.
- Fill up half of your plate with the mixed greens salad or the healthy dish that you brought, one quarter with cooked vegetables and one quarter with your favorite dish on the table. Use the same principal if you chose to go for seconds
- When it comes to dessert, wait for an hour after the meal, if possible, before indulging your sweet tooth. Your best dessert bets would be fruit-based ones such as blueberry or apple pie, with as little of the crust as possible. My favorite go-to dessert is below:
Granny smith apples (2)
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/3 Cup Pecans- chopped
1 Tablespoon Maple syrup
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Slice apples in half vertically,
- Core out the middle of the apple leaving a large pocked to be filled
- Fill pocket with raisins and chopped pecans. Drizzle with maple syrup
- Place apples on aluminum foil (on the non-shiny side) and close it so little air escapes
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees