A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Entertaining houseguests

on April 9, 2014
My parents are coming to visit us for Easter and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m not kidding myself – I know they’re coming for this guy:
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That’s actually the biggest reason I’m glad they’re coming. I love seeing them but really I’m glad they’ll be here to spend more time with O. My husband and I grew up in the same town as our grandparents, so they were a big part of our lives. My parents are actually the family members that live closet to us here in Omaha and they’re 8 hours away! Thus, super glad any time they get to spend time with O. As a bonus, hubby and I will get to go see the new Captain America movie. 🙂
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The other reason I’m glad they’re coming is that I love to feed people and houseguests usually mean I get to break out more impressive recipes than are in our normal rotation. There’s just something about houseguests that brings out a smidge of “Martha Stewart” in me.
A couple of years ago, this would mean making my most decadent dishes and desserts, as well as stocking up on lots of snacks. These days, I have to think a little more carefully. I still want food that is tasty and feels celebratory, but I want options that are still healthy for me too. I don’t want people to avoid visiting us because we have “diet food” especially since I’m used to people looking forward to my cooking when they come visit. 🙂 I definitely don’t want to lose that!
My plan for the weekend is shaping up nicely. Right now, I’m planning for dinner Friday through brunch Sunday, although with my parents I never know exactly when they’ll be here.
First, I look at activity for the weekend to balance out the food. Anything that gives you a little buffer zone is a good idea and I find that when I’m more active, it’s easier to make healthier food choices too because I’m in the right frame of mind. In addition to the usual options like getting up to run before everyone is up, we’ll also look at more “active” entertainments while my family is here, like trips to the zoo or park or playing games outside with O.
The big meals we’ll all eat together at home are going to be dinner Friday and brunch Sunday. We’ll plan on eating out somewhere on Saturday for lunch. Thankfully, we eat out frequently so I know healthier options at many of our local restaurants (and maybe navigating restaurants will be my next Weight Loss Wednesday, since I certainly have lots of practice!).
The plan I’ve used with houseguests since starting Weight Watchers has been to structure our meals as little build-your-own buffets. This approach gives everybody lots of options and still feels fun. This works well for taco bars, cookouts on the grill or individual pizzas. We’ll go the grill route for dinner Friday, with steak, shrimp and sausage plus loads of grilled veggies and then some traditional sides like potato salads and baked beans. Cookouts always feel like a party and I can focus on the leaner options.
For brunch Sunday, I’m pretty excited about my “build your own plan”. We’re going to do a little frittata/egg bake bar since I have lots of little individual baking dishes. I’ll have the eggs whisked up (or egg whites in my case), plus mix ins of various cheeses, diced ham, mushrooms, maybe some sausage and grilled veggies left over from dinner Friday, as well as veggies like spinach, tomatoes, etc. It should be easy for everyone to pick what they want and throw it into the bowl. Then I can top them with the eggs and cheeses and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or so. It’ll be quick and relatively hands off so I can still interact with everyone. We’ll also have bacon, fruit salad and some pastry that I don’t like.
That last part – pastry I don’t like is one of the other keys to getting through entertaining without getting derailed. I only bring in off-plan snacks that I don’t particularly enjoy. I love my houseguests, but I’m not going to bring in something that’s a trigger food for me. Thus, I think about snacks that they enjoy that I don’t particularly (in this case, breakfast will be cinnamon rolls – which I like but can easily resist) and also load up on my favorite healthy snacks, so I have plenty of good options for me too.
I will still plan on a more indulgent treat for my parents (possibly jambalaya, which I know Darrell would enjoy as leftovers), but that will be my plan to leave them for dinner Saturday night while hubby and I head out to a nice, no-booster-seats or kids-menu kind of dinner date.
Back in early March, when I was originally thinking about inviting my parents for Easter and before I’d regained 5 pounds, I was planning on just taking the weekend “off” and trusting that I’d get back on track after they left on Monday. I still think that I could do that and that would be a reasonable approach to consider if you’re in this situation, but given that I’m trying to refocus my habits a bit this month to re-lose these pounds, I think I’ll stick to tracking for the weekend.
Am I the only one who immediately starts planning what I’m feeding houseguests as soon as they mention visiting? My husband thinks I’m nuts in this sense (even back when I was planning decadent things to feed people) but I am seriously a “Food is Love” girl. What about you guys?
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12 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Entertaining houseguests

  1. No I’m the same! I want to be prepared and be able to balance entertaining with some relaxation – not always easy, and then throwing healthy eating in there too makes it harder. Sounds like you are totally sorted though – good luck!

  2. Sounds like a super fun weekend!! We live in an apartment so we don’t get lots of family visits, but we often go to Dallas to visit my family. They have a couple restaurants up there that we don’t have in Houston so we always plan lunches out during the weekend! It’s amazing how much visits with family/friends are centered around food. I’ve never really thought about it until now!

  3. Rose says:

    Funny, that ‘a exactly what I did when my son & his wife & our 2 little grandsons came to visit a couple of weeks ago!! Glad we still have healthy choices even with company! Have a great Easter, enjoy your family.

  4. I start to panic when I have to cook for people ( other than my immediate family). Which is silly because I taught cooking classes for several years! I think it’s all the pressure of just wanting everything to be perfect! I hope you have a lovely visit with your family!

    • I totally get the pressure aspect too! I worry and second guess myself a lot when I cook for other people, once I come from down from the “high” of planning and get close to actual execution time!

  5. I’m not like that at all… I wish I had a bit of a Martha Stewart within me but I don’t.
    Everything you are making sounds great, and I think always having a couple of healthy options that you can eat freely will keep you in check.

  6. Yay for family visits! And for seeing Captain America (can’t wait to hear what you think… IT WAS FRIGGIN AWESOME!)

    • Cap is my husband’s favorite, so we’re really looking forward to it. I’ve heard great things! Entertainment Weekly ranked it as the best of the modern Marvel/Avengers series in the last week or so.

      On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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