Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Planning for Holiday Meals with Friends and Family

We've been talking about plans to support your health goals over the holidays. What can you do when you are invited to someone's house and you really have decided you are going to drop pounds over the holidays?

Yesterday we discussed what you can do at home right before the event, but your plan can start much before then.

First, you can let you host or hostess know that you are watching your calories/fat/carbs whatever, and can (s)he tell you what the menu will be ahead of time so you can plan accordingly?

This one can be tough...One of the best ways to use this information is to let your hostess know you will be planning your other meals so that you can thoroughly enjoy what she is preparing.

You really cannot expect the host to change the menu at the last minute to accommodate your dietary constraints. And if they do accommodate you then it might be awkward to have dessert if you told her that you were watching be consistent with your requests and your actions.

Ask if you can bring a dish to help with the meal. Many hostesses will love to have someone take on a task! One of my favorite things to bring is a vegetable pot--a bunch of great veggies all cooked together with seasonings. Cut up veggies and put in an oven safe pot with a lid. Add a little water and your favorite seasonings (I like Herbs de Provence). Cook with the lid on so the veggies steam. Healthy, delicious, light--and easy.

Another great tip is to bring a hostess gift. Many people bring wine or can bring a basket of fruit or special sparkling water. While there is no guarantee that the hostess will open the gift during the evening, she might and then you will know that there is something you can enjoy, too.

Or ask if you can bring some sparkling water! Reducing alcohol is a great way to keep to your health goals. Not only does alcohol have a lot of calories and sugar, it also reduces our inhibitions and so we tend to eat more than if we didn't drink!

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