A few weeks ago, I admitted being a recovering food-pusher. A food-pusher is someone who pushes food on you. Someone who makes you feel guilty if you do not eat the food they have prepared. And, the food involved is usually food that challenges your ability to choose not to eat it (read “bad” although I do not like to label food “good” or “bad”). I do not like it when people push food on me, so I have to work really hard not to push food on others.
I realized recently that there may be a solution to my food-pusher tendencies. A lot of times, we turn into food-pushers at special occasions – birthdays, holidays, holiday parties, graduations, etc. When I attend these kinds of events, my stress level rises because I know there are going to be less than optimal choices there, usually a lot, that I’m going to be tempted to eat. Even though I mentally prepare and use the tricks I’ve talked about, it is still stressful.
I do not want my guests to stress about food choices at events I am responsible for. I can still indulge my love of cooking and baking, but offer better choices. For example, rather than making super indulgent chocolate cookies, I can make Ellie Krieger’s Triple Chocolate Cookies. They are a little over 100 calories per cookie which is half or more calories of normal cookies. And, you don’t miss those calories. To support this new way of thinking, I have started looking for more healthful options for recipes I would normally serve. There are lots of resources out there for finding such recipes. One of my favorites is Cooking Light (both the magazine and the website). I find when I do offer “better choices” I tell my guests which of the items are the “better” choices are. I can see them relax because they do not have to worry about the extra calories that may sabotage their health and weight control/weight loss efforts.
As you think about the next event you are planning, or taking a dish to, (remember, the holidays are fast approaching) look for better food options to serve your guests. Search the web for lower calorie, lower fat recipes. Be sure and try them out before serving them to guests, though. You can still have some indulgences, but for each indulgence try to have at least one indulgent but better choice. For example, I could have the Triple Chocolate Cookies, and some other cookies that are more indulgent calorie-wise. You, and I, can still show our guests we care by cooking for them and, even more, we care about their health because we are providing options to support their health and weight goals.
Have a great weekend!