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12/5/09 9:39 A

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South Beach Diet Holiday Party Guidelines
Youíve planned, sent invites, shopped, and cooked. Now party day is finally here. You may be feeling a little stressed, but you donít have to be. The following suggestions can help you stay energized and worry-free before, during, and after the event.

Donít change your normal eating routine. On the days leading up to the party, and especially on the day of, stick to whatever Phase of the South Beach Diet youíre on and make sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and healthy snacks. This way, you wonít be hungry while youíre preparing the party food and when the party starts, you wonít be famished.


Keep yourself hydrated. While you donít need to keep an exact count of how many glasses of water you consume on a daily basis, keeping well hydrated will help you stay energized and combat headaches and fatigue ó two things you want to avoid on party day. Drink water when you feel thirsty, and remember that fruits, vegetables, and milk will also help contribute to your fluid intake.


Schedule time to exercise. Exercising decreases stress and increases energy. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, which help relieve stress and keep your blood-sugar levels stable so that you donít get cravings. If itís too hard to work in an aerobics, Pilates, or yoga class on party day, take a brisk walk or go for a bike ride.


Enlist friends to help. We all have friends or family members who offer to lend a hand party and holiday meals. Saying yes to a little assistance is a great way to reduce stress. Have your volunteers arrive early to prep a dish or two, arrange flowers, or get the tables set. And when the partyís over, commandeer some help for the cleanup too.


Enjoy some wine. If you like wine, have a glass once youíve had an hors díoeuvre or two or during your meal. Having food in your system when you drink slows the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and helps keep your blood-sugar levels steady. A glass or two of either red or white wine is fine. Avoid beer (except for the occasional light beer), high-sugar types of alcohol, such as aperitifs and ice wines, and mixed drinks.


Delight in dessert. Special occasions and dessert go hand in hand. If you like sweets, cut yourself a small piece of cake or select a cookie. Savor the dessert slowly, taking breaks between small bites. Or try the ďThree-Bite RuleĒ: Take three bites and then put the dessert aside for a few minutes; most likely you wonít come back to it. Youíll discover that just a few tastes of a great dessert can be very satisfying.


Love the leftovers. The healthy leftovers you have can be a blessing after all that cooking! Wrap extras in single portions to freeze and eat later in the week or, if you like, wrap and send items home with your guests as a reminder of a great occasion.
See all South Beach


My enemies don't be glad because of my troubles!
I may have fallen, but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light
Micah 7:8


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