Galen Trull is a man with a plan. When it comes to holiday parties, he’s all in.
“Well I do look forward to the food. So I start eating generally when I get there and I like to try everything,” Trull says.
A feast for the eyes but punishment for our diets.
“Oh absolutely it’s a challenging time,” says Jennifer Vargo, registered dietitian with Lee Memorial Health System.
Vargo serves up advice to party proof your holiday diet: first don’t skip eating before the bash.
“Just because you are going to a party that has more decadent treats doesn’t mean you should forgo the calories for the rest of the day. It’s really hard to be mindful when you’re working on an empty stomach,” says Vargo.
And avoid the temptation to overload.
“Have the hors d'oeuvres on a napkin rather than a plate. With a plate you can have all the food you want and walk around, but eating off of a napkin is going to be a little more challenging. You won’t be able to hold as much food,” says Vargo.
Have a plan: look for seafood, lean meats, appetizers that are home made, food that’s less processed. Salsas, bruschetta and hummus are healthy choices too.
If you’re hosting the party- the planning falls on you. Including healthy options doesn’t have to sap the joy out of the party.
“There are some great alternatives out there and it’s a wonderful time to experiment,” says Vargo.
Take your appetizers in a new direction.
“So 1,000 calories with a crab cakes you might be getting in a restaurant-like setting but there’s other ways to create that and still have that full flavor. We can get it down to 240 isn’t that amazing?” says Vargo.
Fresh, healthy options might be on your guests ‘wish list’.
“It’s always interesting to try the healthy options to see what’s out there rather than the scallops wrapped in bacon, those sorts of things. Something other than the vegetable tray would be nice as well,” says Trull.
It all comes back to the plan.
“It’s good to have a plan. But if the plan is throw caution to the wind during the holidays and hope the new year you’ll get back on track, that’s not the best plan,” says Vargo.