Health Hosting

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BY DR LYDIA THURTON 

Serving food to a diverse crowd is tricky. There is a significant trend towards food consciousness. People are aware of what they consume and the health impact on their body. More and more people are eating with intention. Purposely avoiding food additives and processed foods in favor of healthy whole foods.

The goal is to host a holiday party where you serve delicious, wholesome food.  Leave guests feeling nourished and energized. Here are my top tips on how to serve a meal that will leave guests wanting more, but not reaching for a bottle of antacids.

Food allergies and sensitivities are commonplace. Ask guests to RSVP with their dietary needs to guide your meal prep. While not every dish has to appeal to everyone, consider having options for guests that are avoiding common allergens like dairy, wheat and nuts.

Avoid boxed hors d’oeuvres and desserts. I’m a fan of knowing exactly what ingredients are in your food. Make less variety, but better quality. If baking isn’t your thing, support your local bakery. Choose a bakery that uses whole ingredients. Try a gluten free or dairy free option.

Go heavy on the vegetables, light on the starch. Make one dish of rice or potatoes and a few dishes of quinoa, greens, carrots, brussel sprouts or beans.

A component of alcoholic beverages, called a congener, causes hangovers. Dark liquors contain more congeners. Whisky is the worst.  Serve clear spirits. The LCBO website has great mocktails, zero alcohol, drink ideas the designated driver can enjoy. Keep pitchers of water on hand.

Digestive enzymes help break down your food in your intestine. Buy a bottle from your health food store to keep on hand. Let people know that if they think they will be eating more than they normally would, you can supply with enzymes to help them digest. Nothing better than eating with no regrets.

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