All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

How Do I Do This ????????

Posted by Susan on July 20, 2009

I am half Italian and half Irish. My mother was Italian so most of my food influences came from that side of my heritage. When you came to my house for a family dinner there was more food than necessary. I was raised with the belief that if you came to my home to share a meal, you had to leave feeling stuffed to the gills with all types of rich yummy food plus several different decadent desserts or I haven’t done my job as a good hostess !

I was also a child in the 70’s. The era that introduced “convenience foods “. More and more women were working outside the home , with all of us kids in school all day, my mother also worked. I can remember our during the week dinners growing up . I remember frozen pizzas. Hot dogs with cheese wrapped in crescent rolls, with a side of tater tots, breakfast for dinner (pancakes, waffles, french toast). Not a vegetable in sight during the week !

On weekends, when my father was home, (he commuted during the week and didn’t get home until we were all in bed ) we would have the standard meat, veg., potato kind of meal on Saturday night, and some Italian dish at my grandparent’s house on Sunday afternoons.

These are the influences that shaped my eating habits as an adult. I am not dissing my upbringing in anyway ! My mom did the best she could, and at the time there wasn’t as much attention paid to the food groups, and getting kids to eat less processed stuff .

Over the years I’ve struggled to eat better. Slowly I’ve taught myself to enjoy vegetables, fruit and whole grains. I continue to try new things and to educate myself on the benefits of whole foods. At this point in my life, finally in my 40’s I am making headway, and actually (surprise ! surprise!) enjoy eating a cleaner diet. I am very aware of the way my body feels when it is fed “good food” as apposed to “bad food”. I feels sick , bloated and uncomfortable when I eat to much sugar and fat and usually suffer from acid reflux that makes sleeping almost impossible.

So the question to myself is this: Why do I serve food to guests that I would not eat ? Why do I feel that I have to bake a fattening dessert ( or 3 !), or make foods like macaroni salad with real mayo and white pasta, or white Hamburger and Hot dog rolls ???? On a usual day would I eat like that ……. not at all !

I understand that I can’t impose my eating habits on everyone around me, and that I can’t a total buzz kill when I have people over. At the same time I’ve committed myself to this lifestyle because, for me , there is a high return. I feel better, I look better, and these things , in turn, effect all other aspects of my life.

OK so here is my dilemma …….. How do I entertain guests and still stay true to myself and my lifestyle and not become the place no one ever wants to go for dinner because she serves nothing but “rabbit food” ?????

Would a nice fresh fruit salad really be more satisfying than a 3 layer chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting ? Would people miss the fatty stuff, or would they feel better for having lighter, less heavy, bloating meals ?

Or, should I balance it, serve a little of both, even though I would never eat these things on a regular basis ?

A problem that solution poses is cost ……. can I really afford to make double of everything so that I have good stuff and my guests can wrestle with their own consciences ????? Not to mention the amount of waste, although I try to give away the leftover fatty foods, most of the time I end up throwing it all out !

This is another example of the “old me” and the “new me” trying to level out and find some common ground. I hated the way I felt yesterday after dinner with my family ! I am to the point where I prefer the taste of healthier foods . And to be truthful , it is hard for me to choose the healthier option over the junk option when it is right there on the table staring at me !

Any suggestions ???? How do you juggle being a good hostess with your new found healthy lifestyle without alienating your family and friends ?

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5 Responses to “How Do I Do This ????????”

  1. Jen, a priorfatgirl said

    I struggle here too! I dont entertain as much as I would like to, but my family does get together a lot and we each bring something. I try a lot of different recipes and switch out regular indgredients for better.for.us options. Recipes found on Hungry Girl also are great!

    I think hosting healthy but good can be done, just takes a little more creativty and planning!

  2. Rebecca said

    Oh gosh…I think everyone who tries to live the healthier life struggles with this.

    In the past I have served the fattening stuff, the spinach and artichoke dip, the queso etc. but in the two weeks I've committed myself to WW, it's not happening anymore.

    No appetizer to the already too much dinner I prepared. The reality is, most people I know are watching what they are eating so why add to their waistline.

    good luck figuring it out though!

  3. Bare It All said

    I think most people these days would rather you serve the healthier stuff. At home, my boyfriend hardly ever can tell the difference between his mom's full-on fatty spaghetti sauce and the light sauce I make with ground turkey.

    Try out cookinglight.com or other healthier recipes and see what comes of it! 🙂

    By the way, thanks for checking out my blog and leaving the encouraging comment. You obviously know what you're talking about!

  4. Sal said

    we all know eating healthier is better for us, and tastes satisfying. I think the biggest battle if having the confidence in that knowledge – you love the food you cook right? so why not share it with the folks. Without sounding harsh you could almost say you owe it to them.

    Have fun with it though – that's what entertaining is all about.

  5. Syl said

    Is it possible to do some research into the meals you serve and try to "lighten" them up. I know how much you enjoy cooking, maybe there is away for the favorites to be more healthy. Once you fiqure it out they could be new staples in your home, cooking something you really love in a better way and feeling good about it.

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