Easy entertaining ideas can be the solution to beat the horror of having a party and not knowing what to do or what easy entertaining recipes to make and serve. Even if you are attending a party but unsure of what party dishes to bring, these ideas will help. The most dreadful part of entertaining is not providing fiber rich food dishes. People that are in the party mood rarely pace themselves when it comes to snacking. Usually that full feeling creeps up, and the regret of eating so much, or so much of highly processed, fatty, rich party food puts a damper on the party glow.

What Are High Fiber Foods?
Fiber is an essential part of human diet. Plant foods have indigestible parts, dietary fiber, that moves through our digestive system either staying intact or insoluble, or dissolved in water (soluble).

  1. Insoluble dietary fiber helps keep you regular, and clears out toxins. Whole grains are good examples of insoluble dietary fiber. Steel-cut oats, whole wheat, bran, brown rice, barley, and quinoa are some of the top grains.
  2. Soluble dietary fiber dissolves in water which slows digestion and lowers fats and blood sugar. Psyllium is one good example of soluble fiber because it is usually found as a powder to add to a liquid. Normally most fiber supplements aren't nearly as good as the actual food, but psyllium powder is derived from the husk of psyllium seeds so it does the trick quite well.

Flax is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. It is important to grind flax seeds to flax meal in order to reap the wonderful benefits. It is touted for healthful omega-3 fatty acids making it great for those fish shunners. Flax meal can be added to baked foods for a nice boost, like muffins or scones.

Brown Rice Pudding with Raisins and Cinnamon
This high fiber desert is creamy and has zero trans fats. It yields 6 half-cup servings and can be served warm or chilled. A nice easy entertaining, high fiber food that can be made ahead of time and chilled.

2 C whole milk (I would use almond milk instead because I don't do cow's milk)
â…“ C sugar
¼ C golden raisins
1 (3-in.) cinnamon stick
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 C cooked brown basmati or long-grain rice
2 large eggs, separated
1 TB. unsalted butter
ground cinnamon

None of those ingredients are too expensive for a delicious desert. So here's how to put it all together.

  • Combine 1 ½  cups milk, sugar, raisins and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, and cook for about 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
  • Stir in rice and vanilla extract, decrease heat to low, and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until ingredients are thick and creamy. Keep the heat low to prevent sticking.
  • Whisk together egg yolks with remaining ½ cup of milk, in a separate bowl.
  • Beat egg whites to stiff peaks in another bowl.
  • Remove cinnamon stick from rice. Slowly stir in egg yolk mixture, over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in butter until melted, then gently fold in egg whites.
  • Pour into a serving bowl or individual pudding cups, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve warm or chilled!

One thing to remember about fiber is this - it is only present in carbohydrates. So, you may be flipping out at that because you watch carb intake instead of calorie intake, or you just figure carbs are bad. Certainly refined carbohydrates are more stressful to a body because they raise blood sugar levels quickly and stress the pancreas to pump out insulin. Refined carbs are less processed so a body has to work harder to process them. They are machine processed foods that have been stripped of the bran and germ from the whole grain. White rice and pasta made from white flour are examples. Although refined foods have a longer shelf life and a smooth texture, they are stripped of valuable nutrients.

Whole GrainsCredit: dean 1986 / morgue file

Complex carbohydrates are; whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and items such as; dill pickles (made from cucumbers), soy milk made from soy beans and low fat yogurt. They take a long time to metabolize so glucose control is manageable and so is hunger control - you get full faster, and stay full longer. Carbs that are low on the glycemic index (effects of carbs on blood sugar levels) are high in fiber.

Interestingly enough, as fiber cruises through the digestive tract (recall that it is not digested) it doesn't add any calories to the food it's in. So, this vegetablesCredit: dean 1986 / morgue fileis another reason to eat fiber rich, because eventually it contributes to weight loss.

New Year's Eve Entertaining Ideas
How long has it been since you had an adult sleepover? What a nice idea to have friends over, a small potluck perhaps, games, stories, maybe watch a film together. If champagne is offered or other alcohol, no one needs to worry about driving home. New Year's morning can be a light breakfast of fiber rich muffins and coffee or tea, or smoothies.

For families who get together on New Year's Eve and choose to stay away from the alcohol, this is a nice suggestion for entertaining. Have a dinner that everyone has agreed upon before hand. This gives a festive, looking forward to the meal atmosphere because everyone has had a say in it. Also, it can be geared toward healthy fiber rich food, and perhaps the older kids can prepare some of the cooking dishes. High fiber vegetables are a great addition or replacement for meat if non-meat eaters are involved. After eating, move away from the table and gather on pillows on the floor in front of a fire if you have one. Light a special family candle and take turns talking about the past year. Make a love pledge to some kind of change in one's life on behalf of those one loves. For example, pledge to become smoke free because one loves oneself and others. Say, "It hurts me to see me smoke and since you care about me, I pledge to try my best to become and stay smoke-free." When the pledges are made, everyone blows out the candle together.

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