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Healthy New Year’s Eve!

Jennifer Czepiel

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Guilt Free Party Snacking

Everyone’s minds are on the new year! More likely at this hour, everyone is really thinking about ringing in the new year. That typically means parties, and gathering with friends and loved ones. It can also mean having a few drinks. I am not here to tell you you should not drink, or even to preach the need to do so responsibly. I would hope that this is common sense stuff. I will repeat it only here. When deciding to imbibe this evening, please do not drive, and always be safe in large groups. You may think you are among friends, but it is no one’s wish to start the new year with regrets.

What am I here to tell you? Here are some of the caveats to snacking too much or on the wrong things. Yes, this is that one last hoorah for many who have made new years resolutions that include dieting and slimming down, but that is no reason to go completely overboard. And, the least you could do for yourself is indulge responsibly.

Steer Clear of the Cheese Platter

Most holiday parties have cheeses laid out for snacking on and stacking on the crackers. These delectable little morsels are great dipping in sauces and mustards, they satisfy our dairy cravings, and certainly count as a comfort food. They are also huge on calories and fats, and really not something you want to revisit if you have had a bit more new year’s cheer.

To Dip or Not to Dip

There is typically an abundance of chips and dips at festive gatherings. Not all of these are bad for you, and, in fact some can be the perfect treat to keep you happy all evening. Consider your options when dipping in. Vegetable based dips, things like salsas, and chutneys are a much healthier alternative to anything dairy based. Ranch and sour cream dips are much like the cheeses.

Chipping In

As far as the chips go, this is even more unstable territory. What may look like a great healthy snack could be packed with hidden diet saboteurs. Wheat crackers and veggie chips are much better choices instead of fried potato chips, corn chips, or butter crackers. If the option is there, opt for the veggie tray and be proud of yourself for making a choice that is not only healthier but will help your body cope with the holiday toasts.

In another article we mentioned that portion sizes do matter. No one is telling you to eat the entire party tray. If you have the option of grabbing a plate use that as your portion tracker. If the party food is your last meal of 2014, meter out how much would count as a decent sit down dinner. You will be surprised at how far into the evening you can snack based on this. And there is no need for guilt if you are choosing things you would typically dine on.

Have a wonderful new year! May all of your wishes come true!

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