Nov 3, 2014

Healthy Hosting: How to Throw A Healthier Holiday Party


It's finally November and that means the holidays are finally here. Holiday party season is upon us!

To keep us all feeling our best during the holidays, it's important to work in some balance among the indulgence. That's the best way to have happy, healthy holidays that stay great from beginning through end!


If you're the one hosting, take it as an opportunity to throw a healthier get-together. I'm not suggesting that you serve only celery sticks and lemon water to your poor guests, but rather that you find a middle ground.

Here are some helpful tips for finding that happy balance!

1) Try to offer at least one veggie dish.

Whether it's crudites and hummus, a delightful salad, or a big bowl of kale chips (cheap and easy to make yourself, if you have a little extra time), your guests are sure to appreciate the option.



The veggies will also nicely balance out the rest of the richer foods to lead to less digestive upset post-party and more long-term happy guests who reflect positively on the entire experience of your party!

2) Include a whole grain bread offering. 

This one is most relevant to those throwing dinner parties. Instead of having exclusively white dinner rolls, offer a hearty whole grain loaf or some whole grain rolls alongside the white ones.

That way, those who prefer the traditional rolls can still have those, but more and more people are coming to love whole grains.

With all their health benefits, ranging from lowering blood pressure to helping maintain a healthy weight, it's unsurprising why. And the nutty flavor is quite enjoyable to many!

Honey Oatmeal Bread Photo

If you have some time on your hands, or find bread baking as relaxing as I do, try your hand at making a homemade whole grain loaf!

3) Pick natural versions of party favorites.

Everyone loves a great party mix! They're easy to snack on while chatting, offer delicious combinations of flavors, and somehow just seem to shout 'celebration'! 

It's also quite easy to sub out an unhealthy, refined party mix for a natural one.



I recommend Animae Mix, an all-natural mix of dried fruits and nuts (and even chocolate, depending on which mix you choose!) that's sweetened with a natural sweet potato and maple glaze. 



It's paleo, all-natural, gluten-free, and vegan (in the case of the Nut & Fruit Mix), so it fits a lot of different diets to accommodate all of your guests' needs.



They offer a delicious Nut & Fruit Mix and an equally delicious Nut & Chocolate Mix



Each mix is offered in a small 3oz bag, as well as larger 8oz and 12oz bags if you're hosting several guests, so if you happen to rip a small bag open before the party and find that you've gone straight through it before the party starts, you're fine. 



That built-in portion control is helpful for many during the sometimes stressful holidays and the blend of almonds, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, Turkish apricots, and dried cranberries (in the Nut & Fruit mix) is every bit as good for you as it is decadent.

Same goes for the Nut & Chocolate Mix, with its delightful blend of almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, antioxidant-packed cocoa, and dark and white chocolate chips. It's indulgent, but still packed with heart healthy fats and much needed vitamins and minerals for the holiday season. 

4) Put out a fruit bowl or platter!

Many people remember clementines as part of their childhood holiday celebrations, but don't think of them when they're doing holiday shopping. 




Adding some to your party spread will not only rouse up a little happy nostalgia (perfect for the holidays) but will also provide your guests with a vitamin-packed healthy snack that will help strengthen their immune systems and keep the bugs of flu season at bay. Win-win!

5) Put out pitchers or bottles of water - plenty of them!

Drunken displays at holiday parties are great material for holiday comedies, but less positive in reality. It's (a) not good for you/your guests, (b) probably not going to facilitate the most pleasant possible holiday party experience for all involved, and (c) could contribute to seasonal increases in drunk driving -related accidents, injuries, and even deaths.


image

Stay safe by helping your guests stay hydrated! 

Even if you're not the host, you can do some things to make the party healthier and happier for everyone. Bringing a dish along is rarely ever an unappreciated gesture. Bring along a healthy trail mix, some all-fruit juice, or a box of soothing herbal teas for guests (and the host!) to enjoy.

Want to get double points as party guest of the season? Bring along a snack option that doubles as a gift! If the host could use more snacks, s/he has the option of putting them out for guests. If not, s/he can enjoy them later!


Animae Mix is great for this, because they're offering an Etsy exclusive holiday pack just for the most wonderful time of the year!


It's beautifully presented and thus the perfect duo-gift/snack contribution.

Are you hosting any parties this holiday season?

How many parties do you attend on average each holiday season?

What's your favorite healthy holidays tip?

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