Heading to a cookout or party this Fourth of July week? That likely means burgers, hot dogs, chips, and cocktails. As a nutrition and wellness coach, I recommend a few simple tips so you can enjoy both food and friends while staying on track with your healthy habits.
1. Eat a healthy snack about an hour before your party. Don't arrive hungry! Having a snack that combines fiber, healthy fat, and protein will help keep your hunger at bay so you don’t arrive ready to eat everything that isn't pinned down. Some good choices are low fat organic yogurt with berries, hummus with veggies, turkey breast with flax crackers, or an apple with almond butter.
2. Stay hydrated. I say it often, I know. But many people eat when they are simply thirsty. So drink up, that is your H2O. Especially in the heat, make sure to hydrate!
3. Grill vegetables or vegetable kebabs. This is a delicious way to enjoy fresh vegetables. Brush zucchini slices, bell peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil and seasoning. Place veggies or skewers on the grill over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, turning often. Enjoy!
4. Be prepared. Preparation is key when staying on track with your healthy habits. If you're unsure what's being served, bring your own healthy dish. Try this quinoa salad with roasted peppers and tomato (recipe attached below), or bring along another veggie based dish.
5. Dessert. Enjoy fruit salad. Choose fresh berries, watermelon, kiwi, and mango. It's delicious, refreshing, sweet, and satisfying!
6. Set your intentions. In my coaching practice, I work with clients on their whys... it's a big motivating factor to help stay on track. What are the reasons you want to stay healthy? Before you reach for the macaroni salad, 2nd or 3rd helping, dessert, etc., pause and ask yourself, is this something I really want? How badly do I want to fit into that dress for my daughter's graduation or upcoming vacation? Will this help lower my cholesterol numbers? Is this going to disrupt my sleep, zap my energy levels? What are your reasons for wanting to stay healthy? Everyone is different, so stay focused on your whys and what they mean for you.
Now, I'd like to hear from you. What are some of your favorite ways to stay healthy during the holidays?
Wishing you a safe, healthy, and Happy Fourth of July!