DIY grazing boxes (COVID-friendly appetizer or easy holiday gift)
Share my tips on making DIY pasture boxes; they are like mini cheese boards in a box! It's a perfect COVID appetizer idea or a nice surprise for something you love.

Share my tips on making DIY pasture boxes; they are like mini cheese boards in a box! It's a perfect COVID appetizer idea or a nice surprise for something you love. <3>

Hi friends! How's the week going so far? I'm so glad you enjoyed yesterday's workout - let me know if you try!

Since I'm officially in the holiday spirit, I wanted to share a fun appetizer idea if you're planning on Thanksgiving next week or the holiday season. Usually in situations like this I would just make a huge cheese board to share with my family and friends. Since we are more aware of individual servings / sharing, I thought it would be cool to do individual pasture boxes. It's like a mini cheese board in a box! Not only is this perfect for an entertaining vacation during those weird times, but it would also be fun for a movie night, a picnic at the park, or a replacement for cookie tins as gifts during the holidays.

DIY pasture boxes!  A cute and easy-to-use appetizer or holiday gift with Covid.  Get the details here: fitnessista.com

Cheese platter in a box

These DIY pasture boxes are very easy to assemble and you can customize them to suit your preferences and what you find on the market. For example, I love non-dairy cheeses and will always include them in my cheese boards, but this might not be everyone's cup of tea. 😉 These little beauties are wearable, can be made ahead of time, and look pretty awesome with a glass of your favorite wine. Since doing extras for taking photos for the blog, I have had so much fun surprising friends with pasture boxes and a bottle of wine.

DIY pasture boxes!  A cute and easy-to-use appetizer or holiday gift with Covid.  Get the details here: fitnessista.com

* Note: If you want to make them even smaller, you can put them in small mason jars. JAR-ceuterie is one thing, and I'm so here for it.

How to make a cheese board

I feel like they can be intimidating because there are so many beautiful cheese boards out there, but my best advice is to do them often. You will understand how certain ingredients go together, how you like to plate or stack various options. Make sure you have a mix of meats, cheeses (different textures and at least one * fun * or different cheese), and different textures and flavor profiles.

DIY pasture boxes!  A cute and easy-to-use appetizer or holiday gift with Covid.  Get the details here: fitnessista.com

* = from Trader Joe's

My favorite ingredients for the cheese board

Meats: salami, sopressata, prosciutto, pepperoni

Cheeses: * Unexpected cheddar, Midnight Moon cheese, brie, parmesan, smoked gouda, * blueberry goat cheese, * caramelized onion cheddar, mozzarella

Briney: kalamata olives, green olives, castelvetrano olives, pickles, olive tapenade, Dijon mustard

Dirty: marcona almonds (the rosemary ones from Trader Joe's are amazing), sun-dried tomatoes, grilled marinated artichokes, pistachios

Sugar: apple slices, berries, persimmon, pear, grapes, pomegranates, jelly of hot and sweet peppers, raspberry jam, honeycomb, dried apricots, figs, medjool dates, chocolate chips, kiwi

Crisp: nuts or trail mix, butter crackers, cheese sticks, * rosemary and raisin chips, flatbread, * anything except Bagel crackers, savory round crackers, crispbread

Additional keys: sprigs of fresh herbs (mint, rosemary and thyme are lovely), arils of pomegranate, super thin dried citrus slices or edible flowers

To make my full-size cheese board, I pile up each ingredient, starting with the meat and the cheeses. I fill in the empty spaces with the remaining ingredients in a pile to make it look neat. Finally, I add all the finishing touches for the aesthetic. For these boxes, I did the same!

DIY pasture boxes!  A cute and easy-to-use appetizer or holiday gift with Covid.  Get the details here: fitnessista.com

It was REALLY tempting to use a ton of ingredients like I usually do, but the boxes were small and I didn't want it to be too busy. In the end, I chose the salami, the pepperoni sticks, different crackers, the raspberries, the olives stuffed with garlic, the pickles, the blueberry goat cheese, the unexpected cheddar, the Chardonnay cheese, the cranberries with dried orange peel and honeycomb.

I tied them up with a little string, a stick of cinnamon and some rosemary, and boom. Cute and portable grazing boxes!

(Note: we had one left and it was just as awesome the next day !! I just wouldn't put the crackers next to anything that would make them soggy if you made them ahead of time, or just add them in crackers just before serving.)

I used these 6 × 6 boxes from Amazon, but maybe try making 8x8 boxes out of them and use tiny plastic cups for dips and sauces instead of the glass or wood bowls I use for full sized planks.

So tell me my friends: what are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? Edible gifts that you love to give for others? We still make different cookies, but we can make more of those pasture boxes and wine instead. 🙂

xo

Gina


Losing weight is never easy and there’s no one tip that’s going to change that. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated a process as many of us make it, like counting every calorie or stripping our diet of entire food groups while trying to follow aggressively restrictive diet orgie.

Instead of adopting a radical or all-encompassing approach, try adopting a series of saine habits and making them an integral part of your eating routine first. As these vêtements start to become ingrained, you may well find that losing weight and, crucially, maintaining a healthy weight become natural to you. And you’ll get to keep on eating carbs throughout.

Losing weight is never easy and there’s no one tip that’s going to change that. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated a process as many of us make it, like counting every calorie or stripping our diet of entire food groups while trying to follow aggressively restrictive diet orgie.

If you’re not sure what those habits could be, then we have advice from the experts to help. We have nutritionist Orla Hugueniot and former footballer John Barnes from Public Health England’s Better Health campaign, which aims to help people lose weight, plus other dietitians and registered nutritionists sharing tips that have worked for the people they’ve helped to lose weight.

You don’t have to try to take on all the tips at once. In fact, we’d definitely advise against trying that, because you’ll overload yourself and may lose détermination. Pick a few that you think you can manage to start with, then keep coming back and adding more into your lifestyle.

“Time and again, patients say to me that they are disappointed that they have ‘only’ lost a pound in a week, ” says George Hamlyn-Williams, principal dietitian at The Hospital Group. “The reality is that one pound ( 454g ) of fat equates to around 3, 500 calories. This means that over the week the pound was lost, they have eaten on average 500 kcal less per day – a massive achievement ! It’s so easy to eat or drink an additional 500 calories – two standard 50g parcs of chocolate would do it. However, to eat 500 kcal less is much more difficult and to be consistent with it is even more challenging – so give yourself a break and pat yourself on the back if a pound comes off. Remember, if you keep going, that’s 52lb ( 29. 5kg ) over a year – over 3½ stone ! ”

“Often in clinic, if someone wants to lose weight but is not getting a good night’s sleep, I won’t begin by talking about food, ” says dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine. “We talk about getting the sleep right first or they’ll be fighting a losing battle.

“The research shows that if people are chronically sleep-deprived they consume more kcal the next day. When you are sleep-deprived, the hunger hormone called ghrelin increases, which means that you genuinely, physiologically, feel more hungry. Your brain function is also impaired so that you’re less likely to be able to resist high-calorie, palatable foods. Also your energy level and your détermination are going dip so you’re less likely to want to prepare a healthy meal.

“Ideally, go to sleep before midnight, get between seven to eight hours a night, and stick to consistent bedtimes and wake times – even on weekends. Ensure your bedroom is dark, not too hot, not too cold, and ideally keep screens out of the room. Watch your caffeine intake – with your last cup of tea or coffee 4pm at the latest – and alcohol intake. People think alcohol helps, but actually it leads to restless sleep. ”

“If you’re mindful of portion sizes you can say goodbye to calorie counting, ” says Kerri Major, a registered dietitian and SENr sports dietitian, and author of The Dietitian Kitchen. “It can be useful to look at the recommended portion size on food packaging and see what you’re eating in comparison with this.

Additionally, a portion of fruit is one piece of whole fruit, like a banana, or one handful ( approximately 80g if you have scales to hand ), and Major advises aiming for three portions of dairy or dairy alternatives a day. “Portion sizes of dairy vary depending on the product, ” says Major. “Again, I recommend checking the food label, which usually indicates an appropriate serving size. ”

If you want to make portion control that little bit easier, Hugueniot suggests using smaller plates, and then dividing that plate up by food group. “Make sure that half your plate contains vegetables or salad, ” says Hugueniot. “The other half should be protein and carbohydrates. ”

Increasing the amount you cook for yourself will make you more aware of what’s going in your food and help you avoid high calorie and fat counts, especially those from unexpected places. Also, cooking is fun ! If you’re not sure where to start in the kitchen, healthy recipe boxes can be a big help.

“You could try doing your own burgers, ” says Hugueniot. “Add chopped kidney beans, some chopped onion and an egg to the leanest beef svelte you can get, grill it and serve with salad – making a much healthier meal than a traditional burger and chips. ”

“Snackotage” is a word we just made up ( although it’s probably a trending hashtag by the time you read this ), but it sums up a problem that can ruin many diets – too many unhealthy snacks that sabotage all your good work at meal times.

“Try to make sure you are eating meals at regular times, with healthy fruit and veggie snacks in between, and drink plenty of fluids, ” says Hugueniot. “This will help stop you snacking on unhealthy foods, and keep you more full during the day. The best snacks are those containing veggies, but if you’re having packaged snacks go for those with around 100 kcal and stick to two a day at maximum.

“Healthier snacks include : fresh fruit, low-fat and lower-sugar yogurt with fruit, plain rice cakes or crackers with lower-fat cheese, unsalted nuts and seeds, veggie sticks with lower-fat dips such as reduced-fat hummus and salsa, malt loaf, fruit loaf or a currant bun, crumpets and scotch pancakes. ”

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