Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible Ambush," and unsuspecting Sam's Club member Linda

“This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sam’ Club. The opinions and text are all mine.”

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, which likely means plenty of holiday dinners and get-togethers. If you’re like me, the thought of hosting a big dinner is a little nerve-racking, which, let’s face it, is the last thing we want at the holidays, right? I mean, holidays should be a fun time to relax with friends and family.

That’s why I love shopping at our local Sam’s Club here in Traverse City, Michigan, where I can always find quality food at a great value for not only holiday planning, but everyday meals, too. We use our Sam’s Club membership All.The.Time.

Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible Ambush,” is partnering with Sam’s Club to offer tips on how to “Party Like a Pro” during the holidays (love that!). We all know the holidays mean lots of eating (and eating and eating), but Chef Irvine notes that eating healthy can be simple, delicious and affordable.

Chef Robert Irvine's Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Chef Robert Irvine’s Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

“A lot of people feel that healthy food is expensive, and I’m here to dispel that rumor, because it’s not,” he says. “It’s tasty, it’s inexpensive, it’s quick, and it’s fun to make. And you can do it with your kids, also.”

He uses the example of yams and marshmallows – always a sugary staple at our holiday table – and replaces it with sweet potatoes, yellow onions and spices. “It’s much more nutritious, and the kids will love it,” he says.

Chef Irvine adds that Sam’s Club has an amazing array of organic options all around the store. Look for the green signs, which signify “healthy, with a great value.” “When we think about healthy food,” he says, “we’re reducing the salt, fat and sugar, but without reducing the flavor. Healthy food can be affordable. It can be quick, but most importantly, we have to educate our kids about healthy eating, because when they cook, they have fun, they’re getting involved, and it actually changes their lives.”

Check out this video where Chef Irvine ambushes an unsuspecting Sam’s Club member named Linda and helps her choose healthy foods for her three boys — on a budget.

One thing that really strikes me about eating healthfully during the holidays, is that so often I eat without really thinking about what I’m eating. I don’t stop to consider, as Chef Irvine notes, the salt, fat and sugar in whatever it is I’m eating.

So for me, it’s all about eating mindfully and being aware of what I’m eating before I actually consume it. I don’t actually HAVE to eat everything that’s on the main table or dessert table. I can pick and choose and be aware of eating well, even during the holidays when all kinds of foods are everywhere I turn.

Jane's family at the table her grandpa bought at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 | Jane Boursaw Photo
Jane’s family at the table her grandpa bought at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Being a Sam’s Club member means having access to quality foods at a great value, which is perfect for all my holiday planning. And since I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I appreciate that Sam’s Club partners with growers both locally and globally to offer new and unique varieties that may only be available in the club for as little as two weeks at a time throughout the year. So when I see it in the club, I know it’s the freshest I can get in season. As the daughter of farmers, that’s important to me.

Sam’s Club produce is harvested at peak ripeness and transported with special care to ensure that it’s the freshest produce available. I love that Sam’s Club also offers some of the best values on quality organic products such as cooking ingredients, produce, chicken, snacks, side dishes and lots more. As mentioned above, the green price tags indicate organics at a great value.

Sams Club 3In addition to the “healthy holidays” video posted above, check out Food Network’s “Party Like a Pro” videos on dinner parties, cocktail parties and Thanksgiving Remix, all starring Chef Robert Irvine and the unsuspecting Sam’s Club members he ambushes.

Holiday entertaining can be the ultimate challenge, but with affordable, gourmet selections from Sam’s Club, you’ll be party planning like a pro for the best holiday season ever. Get started at, your one-stop source for great tips, recipes and behind the-scenes videos with Sam’s Club Members.

To ramp up the excitement of the holidays, Sam’s Club is offering a “Holiday Party Planning” sweepstakes between Oct. 22 and Dec. 31. One winner will win the Grand Prize, a $500 gift card and one-year Plus membership, valued at $100; five winners will win a one-year Prime membership, valued at $100 each; five winners will win a Wolfgang Puck 10-piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set, valued at $29.99 each; and ten winners will win a Kitchen Aid 3-piece Chef Knife Set, valued at $15.98 each.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sam’ Club. The opinions and text are all mine.


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