is party season and from awkward office parties to catch-ups with long lost friends - sticking to your healthy living goals can be harder than it looks. The temptations on the buffet table, the ever-flowing punch bowl, the late nights...it can make any woman feel the need to press the pause button on her progress. But, stop! I have some tried and tested tips for sailing through this season with a smile on your face. You don’t want to start the new year with the vengeful return of all your period problems or even a worsened set of symptoms, right? I didn’t think so. We all want to start the new year fresh, not struggling to reset the mistakes of the past month. So let’s start with the party food - all those canapes, appetizers, chips and dips, pot-lucks and buffets. Oh my! We can go from there...
My tips for a healthy holiday party season
Flo-tip 1: Make friends with the fats and pals with the protein! As long as you stick to good fat and protein heavy snacks you’ll be fine - think of all those crab cakes, deviled eggs, meat balls, avocado dips and hummus you can indulge in to your heart’s content! Just steer clear of the pastry and dough-based items.
Flo-tip 2: Make your own munchies!You’ll be popular and well-prepared if you bring your own snacks. Here are my suggestions: rice paper spring rolls stuffed with fresh veggies and avocado or corn tortillas stuffed with beans, avocado and cilantro. Dates stuffed with a yummy almond mix or wrapped in turkey bacon. I also love scallops wrapped in nori - rich and decadent! You could also try my favorite roasted nut recipe - it’s perfect for any party.
Flo-tip 3: Fill-up before you get festive!If I know I’m heading out to a party, I always save a little of my lunch for an early dinner. About an hour before I’m due to leave, I’ll sit down and have lunch part two. It means I’ll feel full enough not to see the party food as my evening meal. If you want to have a drink, it’s best not to do so on an empty stomach. That just makes you crave salty, unhealthy foods and it will make it harder to avoid the ever-present chip bowl.
Flo-tip 4: Be wise with your wine.One of the best ways to keep the wine flowing and always have your glass half full as you mingle is to mix your red wine (yes, red wine is absolutely the best choice of all the alcohol options) with a spritzer. Although I haven’t had any alcohol in the past 3 years due to pregnancy prep, pregnancy, and now breastfeeding, when I did imbibe before all that - 2 glasses of wine was my own personal limit, but they would become 4 just like magic and can last you for several hours. If there are cocktails to be had, usually there’s seltzer somewhere, seek it out and enjoy turning your water into wine! For every glass of wine spritzer you have, drink a nice tall glass of regular water to stay hydrated.
Flo-tip 5: Be clever with the Christmas cocktails. Although, I’ll say again, red wine is the best choice for a night out, sometimes we all fancy a festive cocktail. A hot toddy is a decent choice because you have actual apple cider and cinnamon along with a little brandy. Compared to the high sugar content of other mixed drinks, this one is a the least offensive. But just have one of course. Who says you can’t keep your health in mind at all times? If it’s a BYOB kind of party why not make it a bottle of pomegranate or pink grapefruit juice? My favorite non-alcoholic cocktail which we served at my wedding was pink grapefruit juice with seltzer and a swizzle stick of fresh thyme! Gorgeous. We heated up some thyme leaves with apple and pineapple juice prior and used that as our simple syrup substitute to boost the lovely thyme flavor. So elegant and delicious! You could also just use fresh mint instead as well.
Flo-tip 6: Step it up before you settle down for the night.Rather than just flopping into bed when you get home, take a moment to step up your health game with a couple of easy steps. Take a B vitamin complex to restore the vitamins your liver needs to break down the alcohol and troublesome foods. Then, have a big glass of water with electrolyte enhancer (I like the Electro-Mix from the makers of Emergen-C).
Flo-tip 7: Be the master of the morning-after!Alcohol can really mess with your hormonal health, even in small amounts, and one night of binge drinking can have knock-on effects for months. Here’s what you need to do the next morning, even, yes, after just a few glasses of wine so you can rebalance and reset.
- Take a B vitamin complex and take a drink of warm water with lemon to flush your system.
- Drink coconut water to replenish your electrolytes.
- Have three 8 ounce glasses of my favorite detoxifying juice – combine a handful of spinach, 4 stalks of cucumber, half a bunch of cilantro, one-third a bunch of parsley, half a lemon with rind, half a green apple, and a small carrot in a blender or juicer.
- Make your workout that day a hatha yoga class to calm your adrenals. The twists involved will help detoxify your internal organs and prevent a backup of estrogen.
- Take a shot of apple cider vinegar to emulsify those fats.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
To your FLO,