“I feel terrible from all the junk food I ate,” is no way to ring in the New Year!

Yes, the New Year is a blessed time of new beginnings and a “fresh start” with numerous goals.  It is the perfect time to get together with friends and family.

It is the worst time to be ill from eating unhealthy, processed foods and an overabundance of processed sugar.

You don’t want to spend the first day of the year recovering from the stomach flu or heartburn.  You also do not want to begin the New Year by emailing clients to post-pone important meetings.

Here are three delicious appetizers you can enjoy this New Year without any guilt or stomach pain!

1.  Vegetables and hummus

Most dips are dairy-based, and the dairy is hard on most digestive systems.  This New Year, dip your vegetables into hummus instead.  This avocado hummus looks healthy and delicious.

 Vegetables can be broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and any others you favor the most.

2.  Fruit platter

Instead of pastries with bleached flour and large amounts of processed sugar, choose fruit.  Fruit has natural sugar and many health benefits.  Plus, it’s easier on your digestion and immune system.

You can thoroughly wash grapefruit or oranges, slice them, and arrange them thoughtfully on a platter.  This has been a favorite treat I’ve brought to parties–because who else thinks to bring fruit?!

If you are hosting, you can also make fruit smoothies for your guests.

3.  Bell Pepper Nachos

Who says you need to have chips at a party?  These bell pepper nachos are tasty without any chips!

The recipe does call for cheese, which my husband and I avoid.  If I made this recipe, I would use goat or sheep cheese instead. 🙂  I would also add some grass-fed ground beef.

Here is the partial list of ingredients you will need:

4 bell peppers, cut into small wedges
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt

Go here for the full recipe.

If you are not hosting the New Year party, here are a few tips to stay well and not regret what you ate:

1.  Eat before you leave for the party.

It’s easier to arrive at the New Year party and see that there are 2-3 foods you can eat rather than arrive and not be able to eat anything.  If you are already almost full from eating at home, you won’t need to choose between going hungry and potentially becoming ill.

2.  Offer to bring an appetizer.

If your friend or family member is hosting and does not eat like you, offer to bring a plate (or two) of your favorite appetizers.  This way, you will be confident to have something you can eat.

Most hostesses have plenty to do besides cooking leading up to the party.  You may lighten her load considerably by offering to bring your favorite New Year appetizer.

3.  Eat only what you recognize.

If you do not know what the seasoning is on the chicken, skip it.  If you are not sure what is in the dip, eat the vegetables without the dip.

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Which appetizer will you try first?