Who’s ready with me?! It’s Memorial Day weekend – the [un]official start to summer!
If you’re like most, you probably have mixed feelings about summer approaching this year. Summer is most likely not going to be what we’ve known it to be… yes, the weather is going to be hot – especially if you live in Texas too – but there aren’t going to be the Summer Camps, pool parties, long days hanging out on the beach, and just-because get-togethers that we all look forward to. Heck, even a typical Memorial Day BBQ is going to look a lot different this year!
But that doesn’t mean we can’t relish the time and still make the most of it! Look at it this way: there’s a lot more time to make popsicles, eat big slices of watermelon, and let the kids run through the sprinklers (while simultaneously watering your yard)! I have a feeling my tan is going to look pretty good this year too. Haha. Not that I recommend spending long hours in the sun, especially without sunscreen! In fact, definitely layer it on! [I’ve recently become obsessed with Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen (#notanad – I’m just helping a local company out here; they’re from San Diego too)! They honestly make the best clean ingredient, long-lasting, and easy-to-apply sunscreens I’ve seen – so definitely check them out! They are also extremely affordable too!]
But I regress. My point here is to make the most of your time. Whether that be stuck at home by yourself, with an army of children, or if your state is starting to reopen and you’ll be heading back into the office soon! Yes, life is currently different but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed! On the contrary, think of all the positives you’ve gained from these past couple months – and run with them! Maybe you’ve had time to learn a new skill [Skillshare will give you 2-FREE months!], cook a new recipe (or 30), or simply organize that junk drawer that has been overflowing for years! Take this time to nurture a better version of yourself – and that can start with a healthier way to BBQ!
You know, it’s never too late to start a new habit and to start working at feeling – and looking – your best! In many cases, it only takes a few small changes to start seeing big results, so don’t feel like you need to drastically change your lifestyle in one sweep! You can still enjoy your BBQs – and life – without feeling like you’re missing out!
So, instead of using this quarantine as an excuse to snack until no-end – and in particular this 3-day weekend where overindulging is usually just part of the game – let this extended weekend be the start to your new way of living!
10 Simple Tips for a Healthier Memorial Day
Here are 10 of my favorite BBQ/party substitution tips that will ensure you get all the bang, with a little less of the buck (aka, all the flavor without all the fat and calories):
- Add club soda to your cocktail instead of sugary sodas or even tonic water, (which is also loaded with sugar). This will save on both calories and sugar grams. Plus, it will give your drink a unique, refreshing spin that I personally love. Add a squeeze of lime too – it will make it even better!
- When it comes to drinking alcohol, switch between cocktails and water – especially when it’s hot. A lot of the time you will feel parched and so will continue to drink your cocktail when, in actuality, it’s what’s making you even more dehydrated! Drinking water will not only decrease the amount of alcohol you consume (since your body can only hold so much liquid), it will also help you avoid a hangover.
- Kombucha is another great alcohol alternative which not only makes not drinking alcoholic beverages that much easier (especially while pregnant!) – thanks to their great taste and fizzy mouth-feel – they help aid in digestion as well. [And yes, you can drink kombucha while pregnant; here’s an article I wrote about it.]
- Use veggie chips or even protein or bean-based chips or crackers to dip, instead of your typical potato chips. (I know these may sound kind-of funky, but they really have come a long way and a lot of them taste way better than your typical chips do now)! Other types of baked chips are also fine, just check the label and make sure there are no unnecessary additives. Flaxseed crackers are another option here, as well – they have tons of fiber, which is never a bad thing.
- Use Organic Greek yogurt (or a dairy-free alternative) instead of sour cream or mayo in dressings, dips, and spreads. This will save tons of calories and fat. Plus, it tastes really good!
- Snack on fruit or veggies instead of all the other apps that are usually offered at such events, or at least add a good-sized portion of them to your plate. These will not only help to refresh and hydrate you, but will also fill you up faster so you won’t eat as much of the unhealthy stuff.
- Eat shrimp cocktail or chicken skewers instead of the deep-fried [anything!], or the other greasy and/or cheesy hot apps. The protein will help fill you up without all the added calories and fat.
- If you’re a meat-eater and love your burgers, go for an Organic, Grass-fed option. I recently discovered TRIBALI Foods (for my family, since I don’t eat meat) – and love what they’re made of and what they stand for! (You can check them out, HERE). And when it comes to the buns: I recommend going “animal-style” and eating your burger with a lettuce wrap instead, or even keeping it open-faced so you are only getting half the carbs and calories you would otherwise.
- Grilled fish or even fish “burgers” are also a great choice! Just make sure you go with “wild” varieties because farm-raised fish are often loaded with artificial foods, grains, colors, additives, etc. There are also tons of great Veggie Burger options out there; I’m a huge fan of Beyond Meat products – even meat-eaters will love them!
- Add some watermelon or berries to your dessert plate instead of taking a larger piece of pie or another type of pastry or dessert. This will also help to fill you up faster, saving you both calories and an inevitable stomachache after eating and drinking all day. Or make a fruit-based dessert like my Apple Pear Crisp. Trust me, it’s addicting!
Eating healthy is not as hard as people think and can actually be just as, if not even more, enjoyable than eating loads of processed foods and junk. You just have to know how to do it right!
Let these suggestions help guide you this Memorial Day and I guarantee you will be thanking me the next morning – when you can actually get out of bed without a pounding headache and awful stomachache!
And as a side-note, don’t forget to honor your Service Members and to say an extra prayer for all of those families who have lost someone in the fight to help make our country what it is today. This is what Memorial Day truly is about – and we should never forget that!
As always, I want to thank you for being part of our community! We love having you!
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