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ask our nutritionist: how can I make healthy choices at a party?

February 3 2017 by Jess

Our nutritionist Jess is sharing her top 5 tips for making healthy decisions while she is at a party. These tips are perfect for any social gathering, whether you are tailgating before a football game or attending a work happy hour!

Jess hot drink

I’d like to share a few tricks with you on how to survive the party season so we can hit the ground running pre-2018. Really this mindset will help you stay healthy all year round, but it's especially useful this time of year, and will allow you to arrive into January cold-free and in good shape.

Jess, graze nutritionist
sophie bircher muesli 1

start with a nutrient dense breakfast

Like with any celebration, I like to make sure to have a nutrient dense breakfast planned to start the day. It’s also important to stay hydrated with water and herbal teas which helps me snack with total enjoyment, zero guilt and minus the energy crash!

Jess, graze nutritionist

healthy hearty breakfast recipes
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focus on nutrients over calories

Rather than focusing on the calories in a dish look for options that are nutrient dense. A good rule of thumb is to stick to foods that are as least processed as possible. If the ingredients on the label are easily to recognize and pronounce it’s a winning choice! Avoid snacks with empty calories and stock up on snacks that are a source of nutritional benefits like protein or fiber.

34 healthy snacks you'll love
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swap sour cream for greek yogurt

If building a classic seven layer dip, put a healthier twist on it by swapping in Greek yogurt for sour cream, you’ll find it might even be tastier than the traditional recipes! If you are building a classic seven layer dip there are a few easy ways to make it healthier. Jess recommends the following recipe:

Chop up fresh tomatoes and basil leaves for the tomato layer, mash an avocado with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro then opt for some feta cheese and black beans for the touch of protein rather than the canned refried beans which often have a lot of added salt. This combination is so easy to whip up and it’ll leave your guests feeling healthily full!

Jess, graze nutritionist

savory seven layer dip
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keep the bubbles but ditch the sweeteners

You don’t have to skip the alcoholic beverages while partying but Jess recommends trying to ditch the sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Fake sugars are toxic and addictive and the chemicals can scramble your satiety (i.e. I’m full) hormones, so you don’t know whether you’re coming or going on the fullness-front.

Jess, graze nutritionist

It can also wreak havoc with your insulin levels leading to mood disorders, hormonal imbalance and weight gain. Ditch the diet sodas and instead opt for sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.

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plan ahead

Planning ahead before a party prevents you from having to make a decision in the heat of the moment and reduces your reliance on willpower.

Try to find out what kind of food will be served in advance so you can anticipate potential obstacles and work around them - this will lead to much better decisions being made.

Jess, graze nutritionist

If there’s only finger food, then having a small dinner beforehand or making concrete and exciting dinner plans for afterwards will ensure you get a good meal in the evening and you don’t gorge at the party on foods that might not be the healthiest.

Instead, you can enjoy the party for the people you meet, and save your dining experience for later!

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By Jess, graze nutritionist.

Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at jessipes.co.uk for even more.

view all posts by Jess

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