With Labor Day weekend knocking at our door, welcoming us to cookouts, drinks and social gatherings galore, you may think the ability to stay on track is near impossible, but it doesn’t have to be!
Let’s break down the biggest issue – food. I’m right there with you, raising my hand, ready to hit the barbecue. Am I right? I can see the usual spread: burgers, hot dogs, beer, potato salad, chips, ice cream, all the summer time favorites we just have to enjoy before fall quickly approaches…
But it doesn’t have to be full out indulges, guards down, get off track this weekend, because I’m going to help you create a plan of attack to kea you healthy and happy this weekend. When Tuesday comes, and you’re back in your usual routine, the last thing you want is “ugh, starting all over again from square one”.
- Plan ahead: let’s keep it simple peeps. You can’t expect the world to be on the same page as you when it comes to your nutrition and goals. You also can’t expect to find a bounty of healthy, organic and nutrient-packed foods at your friend’s cookout, your neighborhood party or along the beach boardwalk. On the other hand, you can bring healthy dishes to the cookout or pool party and snacks in your cooler for the beach. All it takes is a littttle extra preparation. Prepare a veggie tray, fruit salad, or some healthy hummus to bring along. Even give my Mango Avocado Guacamole a try! As long as there are nutrition and tasty options, you won’t resort to eating the fatty or sugary ones, which will not make you feel full and we know where that downhill slide goes.
- Get up early and get in a good sweat: you may be overindulging a little extra this weekend and again, that’s ok, however it’s a good idea to crush a workout before you get in your summer dress and head to the festivities. This way you can utilize that fuel post-workout to benefit those gains – and mentally you’ll just feel better and make healthier choices throughout the day if you start your day off healthy.
- Water water water: take a water bottle or two with you, that way if the cookout only has soda and beer, you have plenty of h20 to help you hydrated and just feel fuller. I’d even recommend making a batch of my Sassy Water, putting it in a nice pitcher and take with you for you and others to enjoy! It’ll help keep bloat and water-retention down as you’re sitting in the sun enjoying that sodium packed braughtworst.
- Don’t go hungry: when you’re attending a cookout or party where you know unhealthy food will be prevalent, and don’t have the time to prep food to take, have a healthy meal or snack beforehand. That way you won’t arrive at the gathering completely ravenous and eat whatever is in sight. Been there done that too many times. Yes?
- Steer clear of too much alcohol: not only is alcohol a ton of empty calories, it also weakens your willpower and inhibition. One minute you’re having a good tim socializing at the party, the net minute you’re hunched over the dessert table pigging out on cookies and brownies. No shame in our game y’all, we’ve all done it! Now, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my red wine, and I can knock back tequila shots, but I do so with caution and just have one to two drinks then sip on water for the rest of the evening.
- The small plate rule: you know at a cookout table, where alllll the food lays, awaiting for you to streamline down, scooping one of every single item there, because duh, you have to try it all and you wouldn’t want to offend anyone for not trying what they brought.. cough cough.. here’s the deal. Those two plate options? The one BIG paper plate that you could use as a snow disk sled, and then there’s the appetizer size one. Grab that one, the 2nd. The little guy. Why? Because when you PILE it up with all the fixins’ you just have to try, you’ll be consuming damn near HALF of what you would’ve when you used the big ‘ol plate. It’s all a mind game, and you’re in control.
- Most importantly, ENJOY YOURSELF! Life is about balance, I can’t preach it enough. Don’t not go to social gathers where you know there will be an overwhelming amount of food. Just be prepared, have your mental game on point, remind yourself it’s ok to let loose a little, that’s what life is about.
Here are some of my past recipes that I know will be perfect and easy to whip up to take to your gatherings this weekend! They’re clean, jam-packed with fiber and nutrients to keep you full! and obviously wow everyone’s tastebuds with them, duh..
For an appetizer: A big batch of Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas
For a main dish:Chicken & Avocado Salad
For dessert: Blondie Bars
Discipline and balance is about choosing between what you want now and what you want most. This weekend it’s all on you. Enjoy that hot dog or hamburger, drink lots of water, have that cookie, but always remind yourself to keep it in moderation and how you’ll feel come Tuesday morning when you’re back to reality.. bloated or feeling balanced and refreshed after a great weekend with family and friends? I’ll take the happy, fresh and slightly post-food coma induced please!
What are your go-to tips for weekend celebrations that help keep you on track? Share share!