Holiday Party Season

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Has your invitation to the annual Ugly Sweater Party arrived? The easy part of the gathering is figuring out just how many strands of battery-pack lights you can add to the sweater without becoming a fire hazard. More than likely, your party hosts will want to make you feel comfortable, and maybe you will get a call that sounds like this, “Yo, Char, what is it exactly that you can eat?” Good hearted people really want to feel comfortable with your plant-strong self during the throes of their party. What you eat may be an enigma to them.

Let’s face it, the national statistic for weight gain on a standard American diet during the holiday hits the scale between a weight gain between five-seven pounds. That should be enough motivation for holding onto your plant-strong way of life. For me, it has been a real anchor of security knowing that the way I eat prevents that actual weight gain. And, honestly, it was those extra five-seven pounds that got me in trouble over a fifteen year period. I will let you do the math on that one.

Here are five plant-strong tips to help guide you during the holiday season, no matter where you are and what your crazy sweater looks like when you are headed to a party:

1. Take some veggie platters: Include different vegetables, add jicama to the fold, as well as, different colored peppers, etc. And get out some cookie cutters and cut your veggies in fun shapes. If you head over to www.engine2 diet.com, you can find some great dressings to add to the veggie display. Plain, non-dairy yogurt is a great base to a dip. Just add your favorite spices.

2. Avoid the “Cookie Walk:” In Pennsylvania, where I live, someone on the block usually has a cookie walk. Over the years, I have made Rip’s “Mighty Muffin” recipe and have used muffin tins that are shaped into trees and snowflakes. A platter of the holiday muffin is always a huge hit. And this year, I am adding ginger biscotti, because there is a fabulous recipe for them in THE PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE COOKBOOK (Crile Esselstyn, Esselstyn, 2014, Avery Press). So, if you do head to the walk, you can fill your tin with healthy treats.

3. Grab a Bite to Eat: Before you head to the party, make yourself a delicious, hearty salad. The salad will fill you up. You will feel less tempted to eat conventional foods.

4. Perfect Hostess Gift: This is when I order a few extra copies of THE ENGINE 2 DIET. It is easy to wrap, and makes the perfect gift for the party hosts. You might even want to get some cute Post-it Notes ® and highlight a few pages.

5. Have Fun: The reality of the event is the people and the fun things that go on. It doesn’t have to be about the food. Your memories will be in the people you met and the graciousness of your hosts.

Five easy tips. You’ll leave the party feeling great and when you count your blessings, being plant-strong will be at the top of your list for holiday happiness.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Engine 2.