5 host/hostess gift ideas to avoid holiday weight-gain

xmas picture

December is here, which means it’s time for family, friends, and holiday parties. With that comes host/hostest gifts. Candy, chocolate, cookies, desserts and alcohol are great, especially when they are served at the party; but, the host may end up with extra caloires hanging around the house once the party ends. Here are a few other gift ideas that may help prevent your friends from packing on the holiday pounds.

stocking
1) DIY gifts: homemade holiday-themed gifts, like a decorative stocking, a christmas tree skirt, placemats, or decorative pillows are great. Not a fan of sewing or making projects, contact me for information about purchasing my homemade items!

holiday plate
2) serving platter or decorative dish: if you are brining an appetizer or part of the meal, put it on a dish that you will gift to the host.

Bird salt and pepper shakerelephant salt and pepper shaker

 

Santa salt and pepper shakerWedding salt and pepper shaker
3) Salt and pepper shakers: there are so many adorable options, including holiday themed, animals, or even sports teams. Shop online, or one of my favorite spots for unique kitchen gadgets is Anthropologie. You can also find things like this at HomeGoods or Marshalls.

Xmas wine stoppertool wine markers
4) Wine stopper or identification tags for wine glasses:just becuase you dont bring the alcohol doesn’t mean it won’t be there (or that you can’t enjoy it in moderation!). Like the salt and pepper shakers, there are great options for anyone you might be gifting to!

Flavored oil
5) flavored olive oil: Make your own flavored oil and put it in a decorrative container or you can purchase these from specialty stores. This is a great way to season food without salt and they look pretty!

Holidays don’t have to be a time to “give up” on your healthy lifestyle. Contact me for help through your holiday season!

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5 Healthier Halloween Snacks

trick-or-treat

I love Halloween! Fun decorations, homemade costumes, warm drinks, an excuse to hang out with friends and be silly, and of course: CANDY! Halloween seems to set off the “holiday season”, and unwanted weight gain and excuses that tend to come with it. So, let’s stop blaming the holidays and find ways to enjoy them without letting ourselves go! Here are 5 treats for grown ups to bring to Halloween or fall parties.

caramel-grapes

These pseudo-caramel apple bites are easy to make and feed a bigger crowd for less money than making actual caramel apples! Melt soft caramel candy in a sauce pan, stick grapes with a toothpick, dip grape in caramel and then in chopped peanuts and let them cool in the fridge.

strawberry-ghosts

Another dipped fruit option is the strawberry ghost. Melt vanilla almond bark or white chocolate in a saucepan and dip strawberries. Give the vanilla a little time to cool, and apply mini chocolate chips for eyes. Once the vanilla is set completely, melt semi-sweet chocolate and put melted chocolate into a ziplock bag. Cut a very small hole in one corner of the bag and use that to draw the mouth. Let cool in the fridge.

Pumpkin-cupcakes

Wondering about a lower-fat cupcake recipe? Try replacing the oil in your favorite cupcake recipe with pumpkin puree. Perfect for a Halloween or fall party, and heart-healty, too!

Pumpkin-seeds

I pretty much carve pumpkins just so that I can get to the seeds! These are my favorite and they are high in protein and fiber. Remove all seeds from the pumpkin, clean them and spread them onto a cookie sheet and allow to dry overnight. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees farenheit. Spray seeds with cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano, or chili powder. Bake for about 25 minutes or until browned.

Spider-Eggs

Deviled eggs are always a hit, no matter what the occasion. Add a little Halloween touch by slicing a few black olives (which add heart healthy fats) and arranging them to look like spiders! I would just mash the yolk for this dish, but if you usually add more to your deviled eggs, go easy on the mayo, or try using plain greek yogurt for a lower fat, high protein treat.

What are you bringing to your party? I love new ideas and can even help brainstorm ways to take some of the guilt away from your favorites!