Party On, Enjoy Yourself, and Stay Healthy With These 25 Tips

There's no need to skip those holiday parties just because you're trying to maintain your weight during the holidays. These 25 strategies will help you stay on track while celebrating with the best of them.

  1. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go to the party, so you're not starving when you get there. An apple with almond butter or fruit with Greek yogurt are great, healthy, and filling options.
  2. Bring a healthy appetizer to the party, so you'll know there'll be at least one option you can load on your plate.
  3. Check out all the buffet options before you start filling your plate, so you know which appetizers are your must haves.
  4. When at the appetizer table, opt for lean proteins and fresh veggies first to fill you up before splurging on a less-healthy option.
  5. If the appetizer is fried, steer clear, or think of it as your treat.
  6. Use a small plate when picking appetizer options.
  7. Alternate each cocktail, glass of wine, or beer with a glass of water, so you slow down how many empty calories you're imbibing all night.
  8. Use low-calorie mixers like soda water, not sugary juices, to mix with your cocktail.
  9. Make smart decisions the day leading up to a party, so you can relax a bit at night. Load up on healthy, filling foods that keep you full without making you go over your goals for the day.
  10. Walk away from the food table so you don't graze.
  11. Move your workouts to the morning so you aren't constantly skipping sessions when you have evening plans.
  12. Know your calorie counts in popular cocktails, so you can make smart decisions.
  13. Choose cut vegetables to dip rather than chips or bread. You'll save hundreds of calories without feeling like you're depriving yourself.
  14. Sip your drink slowly so you aren't constantly refilling your glass with empty calories.
  15. Choose a brut (dry) Champagne over other alcoholic beverages. Brut Champagne usually contains only 65 calories per glass.
  16. Add a five-minute workout into your party prep routine. You'll feel good knowing you raised your heart rate and sweat out a few calories before indulging.
  17. Think positive: before you go into a party, psych yourself up about the healthy choices you're about to make.
  18. Dance! There's nothing like burning calories while having fun.
  19. If there's a dessert you're dying to have, split it with a friend.
  20. Vow to have only a certain number of drinks before switching to water or cutting yourself off.
  21. Give yourself a curfew if you find that you can't resist all the goodies the party offers.
  22. Know how to pour a glass of wine. Most people pour too much into a glass, meaning you may be consuming more calories than you are calculating. A serving of wine is five ounces; you should be able to pour five glasses from one 750-ml bottle.
  23. Always pour wine with your glass on the table. You'll be able to gauge how much is in your glass more accurately.
  24. Even if you're enjoying passed appetizers and socializing while you eat, try to eat mindfully. Don't go back to the buffet unless you are hungry.
  25. If you find yourself overindulging, don't beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow's another day to make smarter choices.

31 Recipes to make before November is over


1. Easy microwave pumpkin breakfast bakes recipe

microwave pumpkin bakes

In seven minutes flat, you're basically eating cake for breakfast. Win.

2. Personal-pan breakfast chili chilaquiles recipe


Dream breakfast: a personal pan of these chilaquiles and a giant michelada. Whaaat?

3. Pumpkin-chai muffins with vanilla glaze and maple-coated almonds recipe

gluten-free pumpkin muffins

These gluten-free pumpkin muffins are healthy enough to eat for breakfast but double as a delicious dessert.

4. Sweet potato and pumpkin hash brown waffles recipe

sweet potato hash brown waffles

Give your waffles a seasonal makeover. You'll never reach for the Eggos again.


5. Spanish salad with burrata recipe

burrata salad

Gloriously creamy burrata is the star of this salad, but the chorizo, tomatoes and chickpeas don't hurt either.

6. Cheeseburger soup recipe

cheeseburger soup

I don't remember the cheeseburger soup of my childhood looking anywhere near this good.

7. Roasted pear and sweet potato salad with fennel and beets recipe

roasted pear salad

Sweet roasted pears and savory vegetables combine to make the perfect seasonal salad.

8. Brussels sprouts salad with creamy poppy seed dressing recipe

Brussels sprouts salad

This salad actually makes me want to give Brussels sprouts another try.

9. Warm ratatouille wraps with gooey Brie cheese recipe

ratatouille wraps

A quick lunch doesn't have to mean the drive-thru. These wraps loaded with veggies and Brie are ready in 20 minutes.

10. Black rice and roasted sweet potato salad with cranberries recipe

black rice sweet potato salad

This hearty black rice and roasted sweet potato salad proves that salads don't have to be all about dainty greens.


11. Spaghetti squash nachos with roasted jalapeño cheese sauce recipe

spaghetti squash nachos

Sneak a bit of spaghetti squash onto your nachos, and you'll feel better about eating a gallon of cheese sauce.

12. Baked zucchini za'atar chips with Greek yogurt dip recipe

veggie chips

Let's face it: It's the season of rich, decadent foods. But veggie chips taste good too.

13. Loaded beer cheese fries recipe

loaded beer cheese fries

French fries are good on their own. Now imagine dousing them in creamy, cheesy beer sauce. Mmm...


14. Bacon-wrapped meatloaf with ham, cheese and spinach recipe

bacon-wrapped meatloaf

For those of you who think you don't like meatloaf, wrap it in bacon, and prepare to be amazed.

15. Brussels sprouts fettuccine Alfredo with Gruyère recipe

Brussels sprouts fettuccine

You're eating Brussels sprouts, so that means you don't have to feel bad about all the cheese and carbs.

16. Chicken, bacon and potato casserole recipe

chicken, bacon and potato casserole

Chicken, bacon, potato... Those are the three essential food groups, right?

17. Slow cooker hard cider white cheddar bacon mac and cheese recipe

slow cooker mac and cheese

This is basically the best mac 'n' cheese ever. 1. It's mac 'n' cheese. 2. There's bacon in it. 3. It's made in the slow cooker. 4. You have five bottles of hard cider left when you're done cooking.

18. Muffin tin potato gratins recipe

muffin tin potato gratins

I don't know about you, but I could pop a half dozen of these cheesy bad boys into my mouth easy.

19. Lasagna-stuffed spaghetti squash bowls recipe

lasagna-stuffed spaghetti squash

Whether you don't want the carbs or hate the thought of fighting with lasagna noodles, this spaghetti squash take on the dish solves both problems.

20. One-pot white wine-apple cider chicken skillet recipe

one-pot chicken skillet

For those nights when we want an easy, one-pot chicken dinner and a glass of the leftover wine from cooking it.

21. Slow cooker turkey meatballs with mushroom cream sauce recipe

slow cooker turkey meatballs

The best part of these creamy comfort food meatballs is that the slow cooker does all the work.

22. One-pot Italian quinoa pasta and beans soup recipe

one-pot quinoa pasta soup

One-pot dinners like this comforting soup save your weeknights.

23. 3-Squash mash recipe

3-squash mash

It's the healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, and it's good.

24. Slow cooker cranberry barbecue pulled pork sliders recipe

slow cooker pork sliders

Five minutes of prep time, and you're sinking your teeth into these luscious pork sliders eight hours later.

25. Brussels sprouts, sunchoke and hamburger macaroni and cheese casserole recipe

sunchoke cheesy casserole

Get acquainted with the sunchoke in this cheesy casserole dish.

26. Sweet potato gratin with sage and smoked Gouda recipe

sweet potato gratin

Smoked Gouda, salty Parm, sweet potatoes... What more could you want in a side dish (besides all of it in your mouth)?


27. Easy pumpkin pie swirl fudge recipe

pumpkin pie fudge

Forget pumpkin pie... There's a new dessert in town, and it's even better.

28. Cookie butter and marshmallow grilled sandwich recipe

cookie butter sandwich

Nothing bad has ever come after the words "cookie butter," and this decadent dessert proves that once again.

29. Dark chocolate pumpkin cookies with pumpkin chips recipe

pumpkin chip cookies

'Tis the season for pumpkin in everything... This time, pumpkin chips in your cookies.


30. Boozy cranberry-cider cocktail recipe

cranberry cider cocktail

A big-batch cider cocktail to get you through all the family gatherings.

31. Pomegranate-passion fruit margarita recipe

pomegranate margarita

Because there should be a margarita for every season.

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Skip The Basic Roasted Veggies & Make This Instead

verticalembedPhoto: Courtesy of Crunchy Radish.
Looking for an alternative to stuffing or basic roasted vegetables this Thanksgiving? Take a flavor-driven trip to India with this Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Salad bursting with both spicy and sweet notes.

Related: This Sweet-Potato Recipe Is Sure To Be A Crowd-Pleaser

This flavorful powerhouse salad is light and satisfying, with additional immune-boosting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties from the curry and the turmeric. Start a new tradition with this curried-cauliflower crunch fest.

Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Salad
Serves 4-6 side dishes

1/4 cup non-GMO canola oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 head cauliflower, cored, florets removed and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup apple-juice-sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped

Related: A Super-Simple Soup To Make ASAP

For the Dressing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, white and light-green parts sliced

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. In a bowl, whisk canola oil, turmeric, and curry powder. Add cauliflower florets and mix, coating florets with spice blend. Spread cauliflower out on a parchment-paper-lined sheet tray and roast for 30 minutes.

Related: Your New Favorite Way To Eat Avocado Toast

3. While the cauliflower roasts, whisk together the Dijon mustard, apple-cider vinegar, and olive oil, and stir in most of the cilantro and scallions — reserving a handful for garnish.

4. Place dressing in a large serving bowl, fold in just-cooked quinoa, roasted cauliflower, cranberries, and pistachios. Garnish with the remaining herbs.

Next: A Fall Breakfast Recipe To Impress Any Breakfast-Skipper

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