Foodalicious Friday

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I ❤ watermelon. Nom nom nom.

It’s the beginning of a holiday weekend, which means one thing for most people: lots of food and drinks.

I know it, you know it, your mom and grandma know it and still bring three dishes each to the family gathering. You see the cheesy potatoes and wow, you haven’t had those in a long time. And oh, your dad’s margaritas! And oh man… your sister made your favorite fudgey brownies. Wow. So much good, homemade food. What’s a person to do? Naturally, most people get nervous. So you start to plan ahead—“Okay, I’m just going to have one brownie. And one small scoop of potatoes. And no margaritas.”

What do I say?

A few things.

1. It’s okay to go in with a plan. But make it a reasonable one. Let yourself have one or two of your favorite dishes and skip the so-so ones. Or try a bite of each and vow to keep it at that.
2. Tell yourself that if something doesn’t taste awesome, you’re going to throw it out.
3. Don’t get drunk. It makes you want to eat everything.
4. Fill up on a big serving each of fruits and veggies sometime before the eating festivities begin. This ensures that you’ve already eaten something good for you and it fills you up, too.
5. You may not have time to work out, but you can move around a lot. Sit far away from the food table. Offer to be the one who parks in the farthest spot. Be the person who makes multiple trips up and down the stairs to get the groceries or help someone unload their stuff. Take a walk with a family member you haven’t seen in a while to catch up.
6. Have a bottle of water with you as often as possible. Sometimes the need to feed comes from the general want of having something in our mouths. Sounds awkward, I know, but it’s true. That and your hunger pains really could be dehydration sounding off.
7. Let others mob the food table first. By the time you get up there, you’ll have thought more about what you’re hungry for and depending on how hungry everyone else is, you may have to take less than planned portion-wise in order to save more for others.
8. You’ve heard it before and I’m going to say it again: Eat. Slowly. I struggle with this myself, but eating slower, as in breaking between bites and really chewing your food, helps you realize when you’re full before it’s too late. We’ve all been there when we’ve stuffed our mouths and 40 min. later feel sick because we ate too much. Slow down. Breathe. Taste the flavors.
9. Careful with the dressings. Eating food as it was prepared (or as it is naturally—raw!) is part of the experience of eating. The flavors aren’t masked by sodium and sugars.
10. Offer to help clean the dishes and do it with a cup of hot tea by your side. Standing won’t allow the food to settle in one spot, you’ll be moving a bit (which is always a plus), and the tea will help you digest everything you just ate. Plus, it’s nice manners. Especially if you didn’t prepare any of the food.

I personally follow all of the above (just ask my Mom!) when it comes to family food-crazy weekends (like last weekend and this weekend). I’m the first to admit that it’s not easy to stay away completely from the homemade treats and I wouldn’t want to, because how often do I really get to eat those things? Not often. So I enjoy. Just slowly and in moderation. And I seriously do throw something away if it doesn’t taste amazing.

 

What are your tricks for holiday food fests? Hope you all have a fun, safe Labor Day weekend!

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