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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Have a Healthy and Stress-free Party

A healthy and stress-free party is pre-planned with a healthy meal-making menu made complete with right-sized dishes and glasses, flowers, music and fun napkins (photo by LivligaHome).

The first thing you need to know when having a healthy and stress-free party or a Livliga Lifestyle party, as I like to say, is what “Livliga” means. It is a Swedish word that means lively, vibrant and vivid. The idea is that if you are providing visually appealing, healthy food and drinks people will feel better, have more energy to party and will definitely have way more fun.

So where does one start when getting organized for a Livliga Lifestyle party? First things first– it all starts with the menu. It is key that you pre-plan the menu and the preparation of the food. There are many dishes that can be made ahead of your party day. By thinking through the foods and dishes you choose you can make sure they are healthy choices and that they can all be prepared in time for the first doorbell ring.

In choosing recipes for your menu, include items that are healthy, filling and can provide a balanced meal. Even if you set up your party more like a cocktail buffet, think about foods that can make people feel they have eaten a meal. It will help everyone to feel satisfied and not over eat.

Make sure to keep it simple. Pick recipes that have no more than 10 ingredients and do not have complicated instructions. In fact, make sure you include tried and true dishes you already know how to make. Next make sure to plan out the cooking so you can prepare most items ahead of time, not just the day of. With desserts I have even been known to make them way ahead and freeze them so I can make sure to get all the cooking done in a manageable fashion.

Choose foods that are visually appealing. Picking colorful dishes can do this. Also think about visual variety so each dish does not end up looking the same. Then you can enhance overall visual appeal through the presentation of each dish, which can be as easy as adding parsley and cleaning the sides of the bowl or platter before serving so it doesn’t look “messy” to the eye of your guests.

Right-size your portions. Think about foods that can be served up as individual servings which includes muffins, cookies, Bibb lettuce filled with a serving size of pasta or any variety of salads and grains; another good choice is using endive leaves with appetizer servings of other dishes you provide; also easy is serving up dips with sliced vegetables in a rainbow of colors. These are all simple self-serve options that have been pre-served or cut into measured out portions.

Keep drink choices simple too. Get in the habit of always offering a low calorie, non-alcoholic choice, even mentioning it first. This can be as easy as sparkling water infused with cucumber or lemon. I have a lot of fresh mint in my garden so I often garnish sparkling or tab water with a sprig of it. It smells wonderful, adds a fresh hint of mint to the drink and looks so inviting. And you can’t beat how easy it is to do.

I recently had my own Livliga Lifestyle party at my home. Now with the holidays coming upon us I thought I would offer up my own menu as a springboard to build your own healthy and “Livliga-styled” menu.

Livliga Lifestyle menu


Appetizers


Wasabi dip with Green Beans
Cauliflower “Caviar” with Frizzled Prosciutto
White Bean Hummus with vegetable crudite

Salads


Three-Grain Summer-Vegetable Salad
Caprese Salad With Red Onion, Grilled Zucchini And Heirloom Tomatoes
Roasted Beets Nested in Bibb lettuce Leaves

Desserts


Popcorn with Herb Salt
Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Strawberries

Breads


Whole Wheat Beer Bread with Golden Raisins
Banana Muffins
Apple Cake

Main Dishes


Vegetarian Chili
Poached Salmon
Teriyaki Chicken Drummettes

To complete your preparation for a Livliga Lifestyle party make sure to right size your dishes and glassware. Your guests will thank you later. No one really wants to over eat. People do want to enjoy what they eat. Right-sizing your dishes and glasses allows them to do just that. Choose salad plates or dessert plates, not dinner plates if it is a buffet. If you have different sized wine glasses, choose the smallest size. There are also beautifully designed right-sized dishes and glasses now available if you need some upgrading for healthier lifestyle choices. Check out Livliga to see what I mean.

Remember a couple of finishing touches to add to the festive nature of your party. A bouquet of flowers in a strategic place for guests to enjoy is always a plus. You can even use fun fruits or vegetables from the grocery store to dress up a table and add some visual interest. Think about music too. It can add to the mood and ambiance of your party. With the ease of Spotify and Pandora you can pipe music throughout your home with a click on your computer. Picking out some colorful paper napkins can add color and integrate the theme of your party. If you have time, you can even roll your flatware in the napkin, tie it with a coordinating ribbon and place the rolled napkins in a wide vase or bowl to make a beautiful centerpiece for.

Now that you have everything planned and organized, remember that you should have fun too. By thinking through the menu and the preparation of all your party fixings, you can. There is no need for you to get overwhelmed, you can never go wrong with simple and colorful.


Reposted from Sheila's Blog on The Epoch Time
To read the original article click here.

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