Those holiday parties…. some may be work parties, events planned by family members or impromptu get-togethers with neighbors and  friends.The more parties you attend, the more careful you have to be so all those extra calories don’t add up. I have some suggestions that have helped me stay on track at holiday parties and also have a fun holiday party menu!

Tips to Survive Those Holiday Parties and Maintain Your Weight This Holiday Season!

  • To maintain healthy portion sizes, try a small party plate for appetizers or a small dinner plate for a meal.
  • Be selective. Save the calories for those special occasion foods that are handmade. Skip those foods that you can have anytime of the year like chips, nuts and excessive crackers.
  • Challenge yourself to leave space between each food on the plate.
  • Try eating only one plate of food. If you want dessert, try serving a small piece.
  • Focus on filling half of the plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Find a place to hang out away from the food table. That way, you won’t be tempted to get second helpings.
  • Remember to focus on the celebration and the special people in your lives not just the food.Intriguing conversation is calorie free.

For your holiday menu consider a Christmas celebration from another country which has fun holiday traditions, decorations and recipes! Their foods are healthier also with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables.  I think this Mexican theme makes a vibrant fun celebration! My vegetarian menu can have local chicken or beef added if you like. Feliz Navidad!

Mini Taco Bar

Black Bean, Poblano and Sweet Potato Tacos

Cabbage, Corn and Red Pepper Slaw

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Chopped Cilantro

Greek Yogurt

Chopped Avocado

Key Lime Cream Cheese, Pecan and Coconut Fruit Dip with Apples and Oranges

Sparkling Apple Cider Punch or Apple Cider Sangria with Apples and Cranberries

This veggie taco filling makes a tasty meal. You can also add some beef or chicken filling!

This veggie taco filling makes a tasty meal. You can also add some beef or chicken filling!

Black Bean, Poblano and Sweet Potato Tacos

These vegetarian tacos are a great vegetable combination with lots of color and use local sweet potatoes! Makes 6-8 tacos!

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chunked

2-3 poblanos, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat iron skillet and add olive oil. Saute onions and potatoes until soft and add poblano and cook until they become soft also. Add garlic. Add black beans and seasonings. Add one tablespoon of water if needed to keep from drying out. Use this filling for the main ingredient of your tacos.

Make this colorful slaw for your taco bar!

Make this colorful slaw for your taco bar!

Cabbage, Red Bell Pepper Slaw

Cabbage is a cool weather crop and in regions it is available during the holidays. This colorful and festive slaw can be served on the side or to top your tacos.

2 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup thawed frozen corn

1/2 cup finely chopped purple onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon garlic

1 lime squeezed

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix cabbage, bell pepper, corn, onion, garlic. In a smaller bowl, mix lime, olive oil, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

For a dessert, try a dip with some seasonal fruit!

For a dessert, try a dip with some seasonal fruit!

Key Lime Cream Cheese Pecan and Coconut Dip

This healthy dessert recipe can be used to dip seasonal fruit! I have used some local apples with a colorful addition of citrus!

1 eight ounce package low fat cream cheese

1 tablespoon key lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup chopped coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Put all the ingredients in the blender and process into a smooth paste. Chill and serve with local fruit like apples.

You can add sparkling water, selzer or wine to make this seasonal punch!

You can add sparkling water, selzer or wine to make this seasonal punch!

I hope that these that you enjoy my healthy recipes and tips for those upcoming parties and dinners! Healthy can be delicious, colorful and fun! The holiday time is a challenge for many of us! I will be sharing some more ideas in the upcoming weeks to help you stay healthy and feel your best! One of the best ways to not miss a single post is to sign up for my blog and newsletter! As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I love to help my clients live a healthier lifestyle and I will be taking new clients in 2016! You can read a little more about me here.

 

Here is a holiday spread that your guests and family will love and your waistline will love it too!

Here is a holiday spread that your guests and family will love and your waistline will love it too!

 

 

 

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