1. Be Selective: Before you start munching on the first appetizer or party platter you see, take a little tour. Get a visual of all that is offered, and then choose wisely. If you fill your tiny plate with mostly fruits or veggies, you won't have room for that bacon wrapped pastry puff.
2. Get Creative: We all have those old family recipes that are essential this time of year. Consider transforming holiday favorites to have a healthy flair. Replace lard or Crisco with coconut oil or good old butter (in moderation). Replace white flour with whole wheat, almond, or oat flour. And you can almost always cut the sugar in half. You can still have the nostalgia without the digestive issues.
3. Remind Yourself: It's easy to rationalize that this time of year is just too crazy to think about nutrition. Now it's easier than ever to remind yourself what your nutritional goals are. Use your favorite nutrient tracking app (I personally like MyFitnessPal), or just keep a copy of your goals on your refrigerator. The points is--keep your nutritional plan front and center.
4. BYOB: Whether it's food or beverage, ask your host if you can contribute and then bring a healthy option. Most will welcome the offer.
5. Moderate: Enjoy, these sweet and savory flavors are part of the season! But do so in moderation. Savor eat bite, chew thoroughly and fully appreciate the tastes and flavors you experience. Eating healthy doesn't have to mean depriving yourself completely. But slow down....and enjoy the food, not the guilt.
*This post was originally published for the Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness