Quinn loved his first Friendsgiving!
Our friends Mike and Erin hosted the second annual Friendsgiving for our hometown crew. They recently purchased a new house, so the event doubled as a housewarming party too!
The food spread was incredible. Mike and Erin cooked the turkey (as well as some other dishes, including a Merlot gravy – hello) and everyone else pitched in with a dish or two.
Mal and I brought cookies and a special treat for dessert…
Dark chocolate shot glasses + pinot noir (it was really sweet) and Bailey’s! Holy yum!
We also brought Ninja Turtle ornaments for everyone! (I made them at a craft night with some girlfriends last weekend. I saw the idea on Pinterest and knew our hometown friends would love them… and they did!)
We brought our Pack ”˜N’ Play and hoped Quinn would sleep after dinner, but with all of the commotion and new surroundings, it was a no-go, so we took our tired, sweet boy home and put him to bed.
Isn’t his outfit adorable?! (Our friends bought it at Giggles.)
Last week, I received a few emails from readers asking me how I deal with holiday eating and whether I had any advice for them. I thought it would make an interesting topic on CNC, so I decided to reply in this post.
Ok, so I’ve written all sorts of posts about holiday eating for Health.com over the years. Here are a few of my favorites:
- How to Cheat Your Diet During the Holidays
- 6 Ways to Enjoy Cocktails Guilt-Free
- 4 Worst December Diet Mistakes
Obviously, these posts are written for a certain type of audience with tips and tricks to help one navigate the holiday season when it comes to their eating habits. The suggestions I make in these pieces are things I do a lot of the time, but not every time I go to a holiday event. That said, here are some of my go-tos:
If I know there’s going to be an amazing spread of high-calorie foods, like indulgent appetizers or desserts, at a holiday party, I help myself to small portions of them. This way, I’m not missing out on any of my favorite foods, but it still prevents me from overeating. I often choose a small plate or bowl to help downsize my portions.
When it comes to higher-calorie party food, I choose wisely and select the foods I want most, especially the once-a-year favorites, like homemade stuffing and frosted sugar cookies. I love dessert and have a major sweet tooth, so I’ll typically skip appetizers, especially if they’re the same old-same old chips and dip or cheese and crackers, and wait for the dessert spread at the end of the night. The key is not to waste my calories on foods I don’t love, so I can enjoy what I really want.
Focus on the experience
Rather than obsess over the food at holiday get-togethers, I focus my attention on the entire experience, including the once-a-year sights, sounds, and people at the event. Instead of chowing down the festive foods, I enjoy the holiday for what it is: quality time with family and friends.
Eat enough during the day
I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat substantial meals before a holiday event, I usually end up overdoing it in the calorie department because I haven’t eaten all day. Now I make sure that I eat enough during the day, so I can control my cravings when I am faced with all of those delicious food options.
Use a plate
At parties, my go-to trick for keeping calories in check is preparing a small plate of food instead of snacking all night. The plate provides me with a visual aid of how much I am eating, so I don’t lose track of small bites here and there. Plus, I can always go back for a refill if I’m still hungry.
Try not to be too hard on myself.
I know that a single slip up isn’t going to cause me to gain weight, but if I do overdo it at a holiday party, I don’t get down on myself. I just make sure to get back on track at the very next meal I eat.
Even though we’re talking about the holiday season, I keep these things in mind all year around. They’ve become habits over time, so I actually don’t change my eating habits all that much at different times of the year. I eat normally (regular meals, snacks), but then I allow myself a splurge or two when a festive occasion arises””a second glass of wine, a piece of cake (preferably from the corner where there is a lot of frosting). I figure if I eat mostly healthy (I aim for 80/20 or 70/30), a splurge or two isn’t going to derail my efforts. The holidays (and social events, in general) are all about eating, drinking, and being merry, so I don’t overthink what I am eating and just enjoy myself. For me, as clichÃ© as it may sound, it’s all about balance. And, in the words of Bethenny Frankel, “you can have it all, just not all at once,” which is so true for me.
Question of the Day
What are your thoughts on holiday eating?