A Single Serving at a Holiday Feast

9 Apr

I hope you all had a lovely Passover and Easter weekend!

Easter lilly

An Easter lily at my mom's house where we had dinner.

Dishing out heaping spoonfuls of all my favorite things is my usual modus operandi at holiday gatherings (especially gravy-soaked Thanksgiving). I certainly did plenty of overeating while visiting my husband’s family in New Jersey last week (more on that tomorrow). This Easter at my mom’s house in Los Angeles, however, I think I kept myself pretty well under control…even if I did start the day with a Cadbury caramel chocolate egg. That’s better than no breakfast at all, right? It would have been rude to not partake of gifts from the Easter Bunny. ;)

After a prayer, my family celebrated with a typical American Easter meal: a ham drizzled with a mixture of pineapple juice and golden (not dark) brown sugar; creamy mashed potatoes with butter; great northern beans; and corn bread muffins. In years past, we’ve varied our veggie choice (usually we have green beans) but this is what sounded good this weekend. As difficult as it was–because the food was so yummy–I only took one normal-sized serving of each item. Taking only one serving of  a holiday dinner is a big step forward for me. Diet Drop is about empowering ourselves to make healthier choices in order to lose weight by freeing ourselves of strict diet plans and supporting each other through friendship. I’ve described in previous posts (like this one) how our friendship has helped me immensely. Now, I feel like I’ve taken another baby-step forward in terms of making better eating choices. Maybe it seems silly to make such a big deal about only taking one serving. But, to me, it is a big deal.

Taking more than one serving at a big holiday-centered family meal is something I’ve been doing several times a year for my entire life. Taking only one serving of such a great ham dinner makes me feel pretty good about progressing toward my weight loss goal. Plus, it didn’t feel like I was depriving myself, which is also a big personal change. I didn’t feel like I was going to “miss out” on anything by not having a second helping. I finished dinner with a satisfied tummy and satisfied with myself for not over-indulging.

I think a few things helped me avoid overeating:

Our Easter eggs.

1. I ate little snack throughout the day to keep from getting too hungry before dinner, such as a small piece of chocolate, a hard-boiled egg (colored, of course), or a morsel of ham (it had to be checked, you know?). ;)

2. I stayed hydrated. I was drinking glasses of water for practically the entire day…except when I was drinking one soda or one of the two daiquiris I had.

3. I kept moving. I hardly sat still all day. I was either standing in the kitchen helping cook, walking, or helping clear weeds and brush outside in my mom’s yard. This little bit of exercise, which didn’t feel like exercise, made a big difference in terms of my perception of my own hunger. I have a feeling that if I’d been sitting in front of the TV all day, I would’ve eaten more.

We have a ton of leftovers, which is fabulous–yea!!! I love using leftover Easter ham to make all sorts of yummy stuff in the following days. Here are a few ideas I want to try this week:

1. Grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I’ve heard of combining Easter ham with gruyere, cheddar, or brie. And since it’s National Grilled Cheese Month (seriously, Google it), I think it’s the perfect time to finally try it.

2. Egg and ham baking cups. I’ve made bacon-and-egg cups before (similar to this recipe) and they were delectable. My cousin-in-law told me he’s had them using ham instead. Sounds good to me!

3. Ham stock. I’ve made chicken stock before but never ham stock. I’m excited. It can be used as a base for a range of soups (I’m a huge fan of soup in general) and can be used when cooking things like collard greens, beans, gravy, jambalaya, and more. I did not want to pass up the opportunity to try using homemade ham stock.

4. Pan-fried ham with mashed potato pancakes. Throw some ham on the skillet with eggs and you’ve got yourself a great breakfast. All of my previous attempts at making potato pancakes have failed. I’m determined to do it this week.

5. Chopped ham and hard-boiled egg salad, like a traditional Chef’s Salad. We’ve got all the ingredients, so why not?

6. Great northern bean dip. I’m not sure about this idea but I have a hunch it could be good. We have a lot of beans leftover and I think it’d be a fun experiment. I’d eat the dip  and some pieces of cold ham with crackers.

What are your favorite ways to use holiday leftovers? How did you spend your holiday weekend?

Stay healthy, my friends!


One Response to “A Single Serving at a Holiday Feast”


  1. Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1: Spring Mix Pasta « Diet Drop - April 11, 2012

    […] ham stock soup I plan to make this week (I will post the recipe)–in my previous post about Easter eating. Looking at what we had to work with in the kitchen last night, this is what I came up with: […]

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