Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holidays can be Healthy & Fun

With the holiday season in full swing, dinners and parties are filling up your calendar.  Speaking of parties, The Tiffany & Ashley 2nd annual holiday party was just this past weekend.  Anyway, back to the matter at hand, so many people throw their healthy habits out the window during the holidays, only to be greeted with the present of unwanted weight gain at the new year.  But how can you throw a fun party with all the yummy treats, but stay on track?  How can you eat healthy at a party where you can't control the menu?  Here are my tips to keep your holiday parties fun, yummy, and healthy.  Also some tips on how to enjoy a party you are attending.

Hosting a Party:
  • Stay organized, make a list, and a timetable to help avoid stress, and stress induced eating/drinking.  
  • Don't forget to carve out time for exercise and meditation.  You'll keep peace in your soul, feel energized, and be more mindful about what you eat & drink at your party.  
  • Eat as you would normally eat throughout the day, so you don't starve & binge by party time. 
  • Making substitutions for healthier, lower fat, less calorie ingredients help to keep you and your guests on track while hosting a party.  
  • Making yummy-decedent foods in smaller portions will help too!  
  • Move parts of the party, like games, dancing, etc. away from the food, to avoid mindless snacking by all.  
  • Keep plates small, even if offering full dinner, the bigger the plate, the more you and your guests will put on it.  
  • Always, keep the water flowing, in addition to whatever punches, cocktails, or beverages your are offering.  
Attending a Party:
  • Don't worry, first things first... Focus on the fun and fellowship of the party, not the food.  
  • Get out and exercise the morning/day of the party.  You will generally feel better about what you eat, if you put in a heart pounding workout session beforehand... don't forget the shower! 
  • Stick to healthier options as your filler food, like veggies, fruit, lean proteins, salads.  But don't be dramatic or ungrateful and complain if the food is not super healthy... Go with the flow.
  • Do try in moderation the yummy- special foods and treats, but don't waste the space in your tummy for something you're just lukewarm about or something you can get anytime.  
  • Avoid or limit creamy dips, and sides.
  • Laugh, converse, move, dance... Now is not the time to be anti-social... It's not polite to talk with food in your mouth, and the laughing-moving-dancing will help burn more calories.
  • Drink lots of water, before, during, and after the party.  
  • If you like the taste of libations, by all means enjoy... But alternate or double-fist it with water & cocktail... Water will also help from any mishaps, party fouls, or hangovers, but always be responsible and have a DD!
Everyone can host or attend a fun, healthy party, without weight gain knocking on your front door this holiday season.  Remember the reason for the season, and the joy of getting together with friends and loved ones.  Go with the flow, make smart choices, move your body, but most of all have fun!!  Stay healthy my friends!!

In case you were wondering about our party, here you go...

We tried to balance some healthy options with treats.  We did not schedule our party around a major meal time, and we played a active game of battle of the sexes (of course the women won) and we had a sneaky gift exchange.  For the food, we offered a veggie tray with my homemade herb dip, fried ravioli & marinara, roasted shrimp & cocktail sauce, pizza dip w/ tortilla chips,  Italian meatball sliders, moscato cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, orange-white chocolate cookies, sangria, and a champagne holiday punch.  Lets be honest, most of this food doesn't sound healthy except for the veggies, I know... But I'll tell you how I made it healthier. 
For my herb dip, original recipe called for 6oz of sour cream + 6 oz of regular mayonnaise + 2-3 tbs of dried (or fresh) herbs.  I swapped the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt (Chobani 0% plain), plus I cut the mayo down to 4oz and switched to low-fat mayo.
For the fried ravioli, we skipped the additional dredging & breading, and fried the pasta directly. With marinara to dip.
Pizza dip, is a hit where ever I take it... Thanks to April Reynolds for the recipe. Layer 8oz cream cheese in a baking dish (i use a pie dish), then layer marinara until you can't see cream cheese, and top with shredded mozzarella, bake in 375 oven until bubbly. I used low-fat cream cheese, and part-skim mozzarella to lower the fat and calorie count. I serve it with multi-grain or blue corn tortilla chips. 
The shrimp, were super easy.  Toss peeled & de-veined raw shrimp w/ drizzled olive oil, sprinkle w/ kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper. Roast at 400 degrees until opaque.
Italian Meatballs, I made them with turkey and whole wheat bread crumbs, served with part-skim shredded mozzarella... These were a hit!  I'll post the full recipe at a later date.
Now for the desserts... Let's be realistic here, for truly yummy baked goods, it's hard to substitute. But we used low-fat cream cheese and reduced fat vanilla wafers for the cheesecakes, and made them mini to help cut the calories.


  1. Your party sounds yummy and fun! Thanks for the tips :-)