What are your plans for the New Year? Are you hosting or will you be a guest? This year were staying in and hosting a small get together with a few of our close friends and family and I couldn’t be more excited! There will be karaoke, board games and dancing along with some good eats! Party people I tell ya. My goal this year is to enjoy a laid back healthy holiday with those I love.
I wanted to take the stress off of preparing the entire spread with few exception. As much as I love to feed my family and friends, I also like to enjoy their company! This year I let go of the reigns and decided to have it catered.
Opt for the easy route
We were so impressed with the catering from Whole Foods Draper after a small event we used them for in December we chose to use them again for our own party and duplicate our previous menu. I had them prepare a large gourmet Spanish cheese platter with an impressive variety of the most decadent cheeses, membrillo, grapes, almonds and dates. The presentation was absolutely gorgeous and made for the most beautiful centerpiece! We also chose a fruit and cheese platter which I added a few berries and pomegranate seeds to, fresh shrimp cocktail platter, and the BEST ever cheesecake! Literally THE BEST cheesecake I’ve EVER eaten. I also plan on adding a relish tray, a variety of crackers, pre-made dips and spreads (also from whole Foods) and my most requested peppermint powerballs for a personal touch. Needless to say leaving hungry won’t be an issue.
Whole Foods Spanish Cheese Platter Whole Foods Fruit Platter Whole Foods Shrimp Platter Whole Foods Best Ever Cheesecake
Tablescape Success with TaiPan
I shopped all of our table decor from my go-to for all pretty things… the one and only TaiPan Trading. Everything from the table runner to the party platters and those amazing greens. I added a few fresh sprigs to the mix that I picked up at whole Foods while grabbing our platters. It came together perfectly! We are still obsessed with our Jamestown table and Madeline side chairs from Down East Home. We have hosted and enjoyed so many meals at our Clean Eats table. I don’t think there is a more important piece of furniture to invest in.
Holiday Entertaining Tips by Clean Eats & Treats
Holiday parties and events are opportunities to be social, to let loose and have fun! There was a time in my life where I thought these events were based on the food alone. That it was the food that brought us together. But in reality its not about the food at all, I mean maybe a little, because food. BUT really we come together to share special moments and make memories with close friends, family and co-workers. Don’t let the food distract you from these rare opportunities. With a little preparation and planning you can make healthy holiday choices that won’t derail your healthy daily habits!
I’ve teamed up with Whole Foods to share my tips for holiday success with you below.
If you’re a guest at an upcoming party or event, here are a few tips to help you conquer your next get together….
1. Don’t arrive hungry! Everything looks good when you’re starving. Even Aunt Helens fruit cake. Hunger can make it sometimes impossible to make good food choices. Set yourself up to succeed. Have some soup or broth, a handful of nuts, an apple and some water before arriving to take the edge off. Try not to “save” all your calories for the party, telling yourself to eat light throughout the day so you can justify a large treat meal. Then you arrive starving and any chance of sticking to a healthy diet flies out the window!
We train our bodies to eat three meals and a couple snacks a day. Don’t alter that for a treat day. Eat your meals leading up to an event, make them smaller with lots of veggies and more protein packed if you need to. You’re far more likely to make better food choices if your brain isn’t screaming “FEEEEED MEEEEE”!!!!
2. Scope out the spread. Take a walk around the table or buffet to see what food is being offered. Before you even pick up a plate make note of the healthier options available. Treat meals are meant to enjoy foods you don’t eat on a day to day basis, so go ahead and indulge. You deserve it! But indulge in a way that your body won’t resent you. Offer to bring a veggie tray or salad to ensure a healthy option for yourself if no other options are available.
3. Fill your plate 3/4 of the way full with fruits and veggies, then choose proteins and healthy fats to round out your meal. Limit yourself to one trip, if you’re still hungry grab some raw veggies or fruit.
4. Savor your meal. We tend to eat our treat meals quickly because they are so anticipated. Take smaller bites. Use a teaspoon rather than a tablespoon. The first three bîtes are always the most satisfying, so take smaller portions of those foods which you choose to indulge in. Studies show that the chemicals in the brain signaling “pleasure” receive less pleasure the longer we eat a certain food. So rather than feeling like you need a full serving of every dessert at the dessert table, take a bite size portion of each and receive 90% of the pleasure with only 10% of the calories! You’re welcome!
5. Lastly if your family is anything like mine, we love a good chat session. Remove yourself from the food table and have a seat where you’re not as likely to reach over and grab a handful of nuts or candy while catching up. Over time three handfuls can lead to 13 and the calories add up…. FAST!
6. Enjoy yourself and the company!
Happy New Years! May yours be filled with good health, food, family and friends!