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==== ==== 50 Simple Recipes You Can Use To Whip-up All-natural, Gluten-free, Diabetic-safe, Mouthwatering Desserts ==== ====

You can enjoy the food at holiday parties and still feel good about yourself. Having a piece of pecan pie might mean you've blown your "diet" - but that's the problem with diets anyway. They don't allow for life. A healthy lifestyle is a sustainable practice that can carry you through all times. The key points are to make conscious choices, eat mindfully and pay attention to how you feel. Here is what doesn't work. When you are going to a holiday party, don't starve yourself ahead of time. It is hard to stop eating when you are really hungry. Everything will look good and you may find yourself eating and drinking mindlessly as long as food is still there, long past the point of feeling full. Then you feel stuffed, uncomfortable, it's hard to sleep, and you wonder what is wrong with you. You did it again. Luckily there is nothing wrong with you, that approach just doesn't work. There is a better way to do this. Check out the following tips and see what feels right for you. Having a plan ahead of time allows you to consider your choices while your mind is still clear. Eat well the rest of the day. If you are having a special meal, whether you are going out or hosting it, lead up to it with good food choices. You can eat a little more lightly than usual, but not so light that you get really hungry later. Eat extra vegetables; they provide counter-balance for high fat foods. Have a piece of fruit or other healthy snack before the event to take the edge off your hunger. Decide on your basic strategy ahead of time. If this is the one party you are going to all season, you might want to give yourself permission to just enjoy it. If this is one of three parties this week, set limits. One useful approach is to plan to indulge - in moderation. You can enjoy yourself without going crazy. Expecting to be perfect is a set-up for disappointment. If going to a restaurant, check out the menu ahead of time. You can often do this online. What choices could you make that you'd feel good about at the end of the night? Be realistic, I'm not talking about just ordering salad, unless that really is what you want! Choose the elements of the meal that are most important to you, and skip what doesn't matter so much. For instance, you might prefer to skip the wine and plan on ordering dessert. Enjoy it without guilt, and stop eating when you feel done - not necessarily when the food is gone. If you are hosting a party you have control over the menu. Try serving at least some foods that are popular but not your personal favorites. That way they aren't so tempting. If serving multiple foods that you consider a special treat, save some for later. You're the host - you can do that. Do everyone a favor and keep it simple: your table can be luscious and inviting without being excessive.

Even when you don't know the menu ahead of time, you can still have a plan. How much do you want to eat and drink? Try delaying your first drink and having a glass of water between drinks. Scope out buffets before you start filling your plate, you don't have to try everything. Eat appetizers from a plate so you know how much you are eating. Stand out of arms reach from food. Be mindful of what you are eating and how full you feel. Really - it is just about paying attention. Planning ahead doesn't mean you are locked into the plan. Adjust it as needed. The point is just to be making conscious choices and to be aware of what you are eating. Choose consciously and once you've decided to eat something, savor it fully. Then you can really enjoy yourself at holiday events, without the guilt!

Kathy Nichols is the Healthy Habits Coach. As a registered dietitian and certified life coach, Kathy helps people who are tired of diets and feeling guilty find a way of eating that is sustainable, healthy and enjoyable. website: blog:

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==== ==== 50 Simple Recipes You Can Use To Whip-up All-natural, Gluten-free, Diabetic-safe, Mouthwatering Desserts ==== ====

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