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Heather Bauer, RD, CDN Headshot

6 Ways to Host the Best (And Healthiest!) Oscar Party

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We ahh'd over Anne Hathaway's solo in Les Misérables, laughed and cried for Jennifer Lawrence's character in Silver Linings Playbook and sat on the edge of our seats for the entirety of Argo. Time will tell which films and actors will take home the coveted Oscars. You'll probably be on the couch, glass of wine in hand, girlfriends by your side and plenty of food in sight, predicting the night's winners. But let's be honest, you don't really want to gorge yourself while watching your favorite fit celebrities strut their stuff on the red carpet. It's a surefire way to feel not so good about yourself.

But you can watch the Oscars in style while keeping it skinny. Here are some of my quick fixes that will have your taste buds begging for more.

No carbs. No problem. Pizza is one of the easiest munchies foods to make. Sound unhealthy? Think again. You can easily whip up a cauliflower-crust-based pizza. It may not sound appetizing, but I was sold after my first bite. To make the crust, just chop cauliflower into chunks, pulse in a food processor, and then sauté in a skillet. Check out one of my favorite recipes from the Eating Bird Food blog.

If you're craving crunch. For years, popcorn has been touted as the perfect go-to healthy snack because, well, who doesn't love popcorn? And yes, it can be a healthy choice, but not if it's drenched in butter and salt. I'm going to let you in on one of my best-kept secrets: hot sauce. Not only does the spice give it a delicious kick of flavor, but it also helps you slow down while you eat, keeping you from finishing an entire bag in 10 minutes. If nothing will keep your paws off the popcorn, I recommend Good Health Half Naked popcorn because even if you do go overboard, four cups clock in at just 120 calories. It's a snack I tell my clients to always have on hand.

If you're a dip lover. Stray from the traditional Greek yogurt dip (even though there is plenty to love), and mix it up for your Oscar party. I like to lighten up a dip from the Sweet Heat: Cooking with Jenkins Jellies Hell Fire Pepper Jelly cookbook. Mix one-half cup light cream cheese, one-half cup light sour cream and two teaspoons of Hell Fire Jelly, and serve with veggies. You can whip it up in minutes, and I promise you and your girlfriends will love it!

If you need your potato chips. Satisfy that salty craving with roasted seaweed instead. Not only does it take longer to eat, but it's also lower in sodium and calories. SeaSnax even has Grab & Go packs that are only 16 calories! You're less likely to go back for seconds if you're eating pre-portioned servings. Toss a few packs on your coffee table for your guests to enjoy, too.

Give your kale salad a kick. If the Oscars were about food, kale would win the superfood award. Besides being a great source of antioxidants, it's rich in fiber and can reduce your risk for heart disease. Sounds like a winner to me! Try my personal favorite recipe: Use kitchen scissors to cut the leaves off of the stems of two heads of kale. For the dressing, squeeze the juice from four lemons, mix salt and pepper to taste and two tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk dressing and drizzle over kale. Top with two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Dress the salad 30 minutes before serving it (excluding the cheese) to really bring out the flavor.

Complete with a sweet treat. A party wouldn't be a party without something sweet. If you love peanut butter and chocolate (who doesn't?!), I have the perfect, slimming treat for you. NuttZo's Himalayan Truffles will hit the spot.

Here's how: In a medium bowl add one-third cup raw cashews or almonds ground into a fine powder, one tablespoon Himalayan Goji Berries ground, one-half tablespoon Raw Mesquite Powder, one-quarter cup PF, one-quarter cup NuttZo Original, one-eighth cup mini dark chocolate chips, one-third cup Bob's Red Mill Muesli, one tablespoon honey. Mix all ingredients with your hands. Roll into eight small balls. Refrigerate them for at least three hours in a closed container. Then roll each ball in cocoa powder and enjoy!

For more by Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, click here.

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