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Holiday Party Survival Guide


The windchill has set in and it is that time of year again when our calendars fill with the fun and not-so-fun holiday soirees. We have the work functions, the friend functions, the family functions and then all the ones we get dragged to as someone’s date. ‘Tis the season of holiday cheer and really gross buffets/potluck parties.

Allow me to be your healthy cooking little life saver as the holiday party season descends. There are easy peezy ways to make it through the season without having to buy new jeans one size up come January.

Nobody wants to be that weird kid at birthday parties who packs a rice cake sandwich. We also don’t want to be that person at grown-up fetes sipping on ice water and munching celery.

Here are my top ten tips for sticking to your health goals through the holiday season.

Holiday Party Survival Guide

  • Drinking Is Optional! Cranberry and soda is delicious. We obsess over calories and how carbs and proteins have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9. Well, alcohol has 7 calories per gram and will also spike your blood sugar, dehydrate you and put you body into a slower metabolic mode. If you are going to drink, have two glasses of water for every alcoholic bevy and skip over the fluorescent coloured holiday themed drinks.
  • Pre-Party Snacking: Eat a small healthy snack before the party so you don’t arrive starving.
  • Get a plate! Take assorted appetizers onto your plate instead of grazing, this way you can keep track of what you had and not let your bouche get overly amused.
  • Pot Luck Prepared: Bring a dish to a potluck that could serve as your entire healthy meal. It is guaranteed there will be a dessert you can eat, so bring a healthy, whole dish that everyone can enjoy.
  • Speak Up: Don’t be shy about asking what something is, or asking for your dish to be plain. Sauces and dressings can sneak up on you. A wedge of lemon is always available and goes well with a little olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Light On The Dessert:  You can have dessert of course, but choose wisely. Two slivers of cheese cake make up a whole piece. Keep to the lighter desserts- fruit and cookies, or a small slice of the heavier one you want to try.
  • Sharing Is Caring: Find someone to split a larger dessert with.
  • Hydration Time: We lose a lot of water through talking and also with rich foods and alcohol. Make sure you come to the party well hydrated, sip water through the event and rehydrate after. You’ll feel so much better for it and it will also keep you from having that post afternoon party slump/nap. 
  • Avoid the “But it’s the holidays” Mentality: Every action has a reaction and a result. Will your actions this holiday season produce the results you are after? That’s what I thought.
  • Careful of Canoodling: Germs do spread and during the holiday season, our immune systems get a little weakened.  Keep your hands washed and away from the face while cavorting about.
  • Rest: Get as much rest as you can between late nights out. Take a few sleep-ins and few nights in.  Being well rested helps us to make smarter food choices and also lessens sugar cravings. A good night’s rest, or 20-minute cat-nap goes a long way to help keep us on top of our holiday party game and our long term health goals.

Happy Holiday Party Platter

Toss some crackers and veggies on a plate and serve them up with this duo of dips.

Cilantro Pesto


Ring My Bell Pepper Pesto


Question Of The Day: What are your tips and strategies to keep it healthy at the holiday shindig?

5 Responses to “Holiday Party Survival Guide”

  1. "Get a plate" that advice. So simple but it would make a world of difference. My tip is if you know about a holiday party before hand, spend the few days prior to the party eating well and exercising. This way you are less likely to fall off the wagon. Again word of wisdom is to just enjoy yourself and don't feel guilty or beat yourself up over 1 night of indulgence. Happy holidays :)
  2. Awesome tips. I only "indulge" (i.e. eat things I don't normally) in things I can't get year-round, and wouldn't make myself or make as well myself. Mashed potatoes? Nah, I have my sweet potato mash or cauliflower puree. My uncle's amazing stuffing? Yeah, I'll take a few bites of that :) xo
  3. Love love love your tips - my take is pretty similar: Also, I will email you regarding a lunchbox post. I am still thinking out how I want to structure it and propose it to you :)

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