My name is Lisa Tsakos, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, corporate speaker and author. This blog provides professional advice from a nutrition and weight loss expert (me!) about corporate and family health. Here you'll find recipes and articles that address work-related challenges like eating on-the-go and maximizing your productivity with the right foods. You'll also find out about how you can help your children develop strong immune systems and healthy bodies. As a nutrition instructor, I often found myself thinking, "When I have kids, this is how I will feed them." With two toddlers, I have the opportunity to practice what I have been preaching and to try out my theories. So far, they seem to be working! Follow me on my journey and also on Twitter @NuVitalityHW.

14 Feb 2012

Unjunk Your Oscars Party

Kale Chips with Turmeric & Nutritional Yeast
This article was previously posted on Yahoo Shine! in 2012.

Hollywood is poised to honor its finest in film in the biggest celebration of the year, the Annual Academy Awards. Why not celebrate the Oscars by hosting your own party? While elegance is a priority, you can serve up healthy hors d'oeuvres and drinks that are both decadent and good for you.
Dark chocolate is a winner at any party. Pick up several dark chocolate bars with 70 percent or more cocoa, break them into pieces, and serve on doilies. Doilies always look glamorous and can be purchased at your local dollar store. For added flare (and nutrients), include some bars with dried nuts or lemon zest.
Movies and popcorn go hand in hand. Make-ahead caramel popcorn that's fit for the stars is easy to prepare. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil and stir in Sucanat (unrefined sugar) or some brown sugar. Mix well and drizzle over freshly popped corn. The syrup will caramelize on the popcorn as it cools. Another option: Toss warm popcorn with some extra-virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast. The B vitamins will help you cope with the nail-biting anticipation). For an international flare, dust popcorn with a blend of cayenne pepper, turmeric and crushed coriander.

Serve whole-grain bagel chips, plain tortilla chips, and a crudité platter with a decadent dip made by mixing Greek yogurt with caramelized onions or shallots and fresh herbs. You can also make simple hummus, or if you're short on time, buy prepared dips such as Simply Organic Ranch Dip, organic salsa, and guacamole. My go-to dip: avocado mashed with prepared salsa. It's always a winner, looks complicated but couldn't be easier to prep!
All-natural ice cream or coconut ice cream served in a martini glass and topped with fresh fruit is not only fit for the stars but is so stunning that it will likely win Best Picture. A perfect topper is a miniature gingersnap cookie, such as Pamela's Ginger Mini Snapz, or for something more fun, Surf Sweets Gummy Bears.
Bake chocolate cupcakes designed to look like tuxedos made with an all-natural chocolate cake mix and homemade buttercream icing (or if you're short on time, Cherrybrook Kitchen's Vanilla Frosting).
Add glam to your party with your own designer cocktails. Start with a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds in champagne glasses topped with sparkling water and juice (try lychee or pineapple juice, or pear nectar) and fresh mint leaves. You'll feel like a movie star drinking Santa Cruz Lemon Lime Sparkling Beverage or Izze Esque Sparkling Lime Juice.
Turn black picture frames or shadow boxes into stylish serving trays. Display black-and-white photos of your favorite stars, this year's Oscar nominees, or stills from nominated or classic movies. 

A few more Oscar-worthy snack suggestions:
-Mixed olives
-Kale chips (click here for a great recipe)
-Black licorice (try Panda All Natural Soft Licorice)
-Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels
-Calbee Snack Salad Snapea Crisps (one of my favourite snacks)