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How To Have Healthy Celebrations

By Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames

How To Have Healthy Celebrations

From Baby Showers to Birthday Parties, There’s always an Opportunity to Indulge—Healthfully!

It’s certainly no secret that you can do a lot of damage to your waistline when it comes to parties and celebrations if you’re not careful. The temptation to indulge is always there; use our pointers to stay lean and still enjoy yourself.

Here are tips on how to have healthy celebrations

  • Don’t skip meals in anticipation of overdoing it at a party or celebration. Skipping meals is a huge mistake! This backfires when you get to the food feeling so ravenous that you can’t turn down any of the high calorie offerings, including drinks—whether you like them or not. Let’s face it—if you’re going to overeat, you want to try to do the least damage that you can and save it for the foods you love! Plus, it’s no fun to go hungry before the event (or anytime for that matter)!
  • Start with a healthy breakfast, making sure to include fiber to fill your stomach and protein to help to stay satisfied. Think: oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg or whole grain toast with an apple and a nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • Exercise in the morning before the celebration begins. Whether we go to the gym or run or walk outside, we make sure we do this so we feel better all day. It helps us to stay on the healthy track. Plus, it never hurts anyone to burn a few extra calories.
  • Wear fitted clothes and snug belts to keep from overeating. This works beautifully, just don’t loosen your belt or unbutton your pants!
  • Keep sugar-free gum handy. We chew a piece when we’ve had plenty but still are craving—it distracts our taste buds and saves hundreds of calories. Plus, you can’t really eat something with a piece of gum in your mouth! New research reveals that gum chewers are leaner, plus it gives you fresh breath!
  • Fill up on veggies. It’s always best to have too many veggies than not enough when they are raw, steamed or lightly sautéed. And for any of you who plan to invite us over in the future, you’ve been warned. Ha ha! Broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower and spinach all work for us! But please leave off the creamy or buttery sauces; we’d like to keep our belts intact. Bring our Skinny Cauliflower Mash when you’re a guest and want to bring something delicious and guilt-free [see recipe].
  • Make veggie sides rather than casseroles and instantly save 100-400 calories. Steam carrots or green beans or blend a butternut or acorn squash. Casseroles are often filled with creamy, cheesy or high fat ingredients, so choose fresh vegetables over high calorie side dishes and flavor with delicious spices—try Herbs de Provence (savory and rich tasting)
  • Substitute with seltzer. A mixed drink will set you back 250 calories while a 5-ounce glass of wine will cost you 120 calories, and we prefer to use our calories on food. If alcohol is your thing, clearly wine is the calorie saving option. Make yours bubbly like a wine spritzer by adding seltzer to thin out the calories even more.

Skinny Cauliflower Mash

Swap this delicious side dish for mash potatoes—you’ll trick even the biggest mashed potato fans (we promise!) and save yourself hundreds of calories!

  • 1 head cauliflower or 1 (16-ounce bag) frozen cauliflower
  • ½ teaspoon (1 small clove) garlic
  • 1/8 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

1. Steam cauliflower until tender when poked with a fork. If using frozen cauliflower, defrost in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Crush garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to release its health-promoting properties.
3. Place cauliflower (pieces), milk, garlic, pepper and spices (if using) in a blender or food processor.
4. Add lemon juice if using and sample for taste. Add more garlic, lemon, chives, or pepper as desired. Blend until smooth.
5. Place mixture in a small baking dish and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees in oven until bubbly.

Makes 3 servings (about ¾ cup each).

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 43, Total Fat 0 gram, Saturated Fat 0 gram, Carbohydrates 8 grams, Protein 4 grams, Fiber 0, Sodium 46 milligrams

Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, are The Nutrition Twins, authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.

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