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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dealing with desserts

Dealing with desserts

Stop! Put down that fork and think for a minute before you head for the dessert table at that party. If you’re like me, you want to fit into the same size (or a smaller one) this summer.

It’s already funeral/wedding/birthday/graduation season in my neck of the woods. I realized last week that I hadn’t even started to plan my strategy. This type of event can be a real pitfall to healthy eating, but the worst part for many people is dealing with the dessert table.

Pre-planning is crucial to avoid overeating on these occasions. Here’s my strategy for all the birthdays, weddings and graduation parties coming my way starting in May: Saunter past the dessert table first and mentally make a first and second choice (if one is gone, you can still choose quickly). I find it best to grab a single pastry or brownie and make a run for it.

If you’re having fruit salad or a small cookie for dessert, go ahead and have a bit of potato salad. I mostly used a ¼-cup rule (don’t put more than ¼-cup of anything on your plate) at the last funeral luncheon I attended. You may also want to try to make sure half your plate is either fruits or vegetables of some kind (potato salad does not count).

If you are bringing something to a potluck, you can always bring a side dish or appetizer that in a larger quantity could serve as a main course, such as Greek salad (see Rachel Ray's Greek salad, which sounds pretty good). Enjoy the salad and one or two small treats.

An article in Web MD gives additional information that will help you have fun at a party without sacrificing good health guidelines.

My final word: Unless you love absolutely love cake, you may want to consider choosing another dessert. I find most cakes (particularly the frosting) to be too sweet, and generally, not worth the additional calories. If either my friend, Tatiana, or my cousin-by-marriage, Julie, is making a cake or pie, I will have a piece. It’s one of those cases where a substitute just won’t do.

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