By nature, I am definitely a Martha and not a Mary. In this familiar Bible story, we learn that Martha stayed busy cooking and cleaning to ensure everything was perfect while hosting Jesus in their home. She became angry with Mary who did not help her and chose to sit with Him and enjoyed his company. (Luke 10:38-41) If not careful, I can pack so much into one day and stress myself to make everything perfect, especially when it comes to entertaining. There was a time, when I like Martha, would stay in the kitchen preparing everything while my family and guests enjoyed the company of each other. Stress would sometimes get the best of me as I pondered over having the most delicious menu and providing options for our health conscious guests. I soon realized I had to find a way to enjoy entertaining, which I love to do, and make it work with everything else going on in my life.
When desiring to host a party, I sometimes see two things that can happen to busy women
- Stress out which can lead to over eating
- Give up because it feels impossible.
When you have so many things going on in your life, hosting a party can feel impossible. I remember early in my marriage when my husband and I wanted to have a party, I thought I had to provide everything and my menu had to be something new and creative every time. I soon realized that most people want to bring something, even if it is something minor. Asking for assistance with the minor details allowed me to take things off of my “to do” list. I also learned that I have a few staple recipes that my friends and family love and look forward to having. There is no need to invent the wheel for every event.
To simply host a party stress free the healthy way, put in a few simple steps.
- Discover a new technique to manage your stress. It is no secret that some women tend to overeat or eat things they normally wouldn’t when faced with stressful situations. Establishing a daily quiet time or exercise routine, is one way to find balance and control and not allow food to be your outlet. Even if you can’t exercise as much as you normally do during the holiday season, don’t give up completely. Set yourself a new schedule so that you are able to maintain some kind of sanity. For example, if you normally exercise 30 minutes a day, change it to at least get in 15 minutes instead of giving up all together.
- Keep your menus simple and semi home made. For example, take a ready made salsa and add to it. One of my favorite’s is Walmart’s Peach Pineapple Chipotle salsa, www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-Peach-Pineapple-Salsa-26-oz/10324682. I love to add a can of black beans and corn and serve with Triscuit Thin Crisps for healthier options, www.nabiscoworld.com/Brands/ProductInformation.aspx?BrandKey=ritz&Site=&Product=4400000539. It makes a large quantity and guests love it. For a quick semi homemade desert, take a store bought brownie mix and make your own icing. To make it even more delectable, add your favorite chocolate candies into the mix. Do you have left over Halloween candy? Freeze them and pull them out when you are ready to bake. Be sure to have to go boxes ready for your guests so that they are out of your house along with the temptation to over indulge.
- Stick to familiar recipes. I have two or three “signature” recipes that I know will be a crowd pleaser. I can prepare them with little thought and my guests always look forward to having them. Mindless eating and sampling while cooking quickly add up to unnecessary calories. By sticking to your “staple recipes”, there is no need to sample.
As healthy busy women, we do not have to give up entertaining. With a few simple steps, we can be the “hostess with the mostess” and relax like Mary and enjoy our company.
Simple Chocolate Icing
Melt 3TBS of cocoa or 3 squares of Hershey chocolate (left over Halloween candy) and 1 TBS of butter. Stir in 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a dash of salt ½ tsp of vanilla and 2 TBS of milk. Mix with Blender and spread on cool brownies.