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  1. Mr. Bad Food on Holiday Parties, Hangovers & Smarter Drinks


    Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an early Halloween party. Today I have the displeasure of trying to shake the cobwebs accompanying my first hangover of the holiday season.

    As I reminisce about the food and drinks I consumed during the down-the-street soiree, all I can say is... WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

    I was barely in the door when I found a cup of vodka-based punch in my hand. I followed that up with plenty of conversation and a few cups of a second punch... this one rum-based.

    I can now see that I made a fatal error by avoiding the healthier food offerings (there were a few) at the start of the party. It was full speed ahead -- or more like FOOL speed ahead -- for this partygoer who went stag because my wife was home with the kids.

    With no wife to rein me in, I decided to leave some punch for the other guests and turned my attention to the oversized metal bucket of assorted beers.

    Mixing liquor with beer is never a good idea, but my inhibitions were long gone so I drank on... and on... and on.

    It was about this time that I decided to attack the buffet. By now the pickings were slim so I wolfed down a few slices of sausage pizza and a bunch of chicken wings.

    In hindsight, Mr. Bad Food was the poster child for what NOT to do at a holiday party.

    If I could rewind the tape and do it all over again, I'd have started here at home with a light healthy dinner. And once the 7 p.m. party started I would have steered clear of the punch.

    It's not the booze that kills a diet (just a few brain cells). No, it's the mixers that do you in. Fruit-based punches are jam-packed with sugar calories.

    A vodka and diet tonic or a rum and diet Coke would have been far better choices. And I should have stuck to one poison, not a toxic cocktail of liquors and beers.

    I did try to stick to light beer but the bucket was kind of like a grab bag so for every lower-cal beer I had one full-strength one.

    Most of us go to parties with the best of intentions. Drinking has a way of chipping away at our resolve to be good. Suddenly, you're overcome with crazy thoughts like "I really NEED that seventh chicken wing!" or "A fifth slice of pizza won't hurt!"

    So if you find yourself at a festive gathering, please do as I say not as I do and have a good time enjoying your friends rather than the stiff drinks and belt-tightening treats.

    Not sure what to imbibe? Here are a few good choices:

    Red wine -- low calories PLUS heart benefits!

    Light beer -- some pack a mere 64 calories per 12 ounces!

    Single-shot drinks with diet mixers -- just be sure to sip not slurp, and limit yourself to just a few!

    Wine spritzers -- because they're half-white wine, half-club soda they contain 50 percent fewer calories!

    Water -- drinking a glass of water between beverages will not only cut down on the calories you consume but will also help ward off that next-day hangover!

    Party on my friends... but party on wisely! Your stomach and your head will thank you!

    Now where's that Pepto and aspirin?


    Author: John McGran

    Archived posts 2010
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