This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond.
Oh, happy hour. It's no doubt one of my favorite times of day. But, if you rewind to my post-college days, too much merriment and overindulging at happy hour caused me to gain 20+ pounds. Enjoying cheesy nachos and way too much beer after work, more than a little too often, forced me to buy a whole new wardrobe. True story!
Nowadays, happy hour is a lot more tame and a whole lot healthier for me. Instead of waking up the next day feeling miserable and disappointed in myself, I wake up feeling ready to carpe diem. If you want your next happy hour get-together to be a healthier one, check out these 4 tips below!
Serve some healthy snacks
Once I have a couple of drinks in me, I become a serious snack monster, especially when it comes to salty fare. You too? Instead of reaching for high-calorie foods, like nachos and pizza, serve up some healthy (and salty!) snacks. Some of my favorites: Blue Diamond Almonds in a variety of flavors (their Bold product line is the bomb), popcorn, edamame with sea salt, and Nut-Thins with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
Downsize your dishes
When it comes to snacking at happy hour, it's all about portion size for me. I know once I get going, it's sometimes hard to stop. Instead of mindlessly munching away, I serve my snacks with portion-friendly dishes, like ramekins and small plates, for instant portion control. Using a plate to serve myself is also a great visual aid to how much I am eating. Especially at social events like happy hour, it's easy for me to lose track of small bites here and there, so my plate system really seems to work. Plus, I can always go back for more food if I am still hungry.
Make ”˜em mini
I love serving crowd-favorite appetizers at happy hour, like pizza, burgers, and mozzarella sticks, but, of course, these high-calorie snacks are not always friendly on the waistline. Instead of denying myself or my guests of these delicious eats, I make them mini by serving smaller portions of them. For example, instead of burgers, I'll serve sliders and instead of huge slices of pizza, I'll cut them into 2-inch squares or make mini pizzas. That way, we can enjoy a little bit of everything and not overdo it.
Keep mixers light
I used to sip cocktails full of fruit juices or premade mixes during happy hour, so if I drank 2-3 drinks in one night, I was adding nearly 900 calories to my daily diet””and, boy, did those calories add up! Nowadays, I typically keep juice light by adding “just a splash” and look for ways to incorporate fresh herbs and other healthy ingredients into my cocktails. I also love to combine flavored vodka with soda water and a small splash of fruit juice, which gives my drink lots of flavor without too many extra calories.
Question of the Day
What are your tips and tricks for having a healthier happy hour?