Can you believe that Memorial Day is already here?! For most of us, that means the [un]official start to summer has begun! With that comes the pressure of summer attire and feeling like we need to look our best – thanks to the hot sun and lovely humidity many of us around the country get to experience.
And while this weekend is going to be abnormally wet and cool for much of the country, the daunting reality that summer and all of its anxieties will be here before we know it is a fact. Thankfully though, we still have a little bit of time both mentally – and physically – to prepare ourselves, especially for those of us who don’t feel like we are at our summer best yet.
Instead of letting this 3-day weekend be a time where we let many of our indiscretions go out the window due to the BBQ’s, food, and drinks that are sure to be flowing – and where overindulging is usually just part of the game – let this extended weekend be the start to your new, healthy way of thinking.
Here are a few of my favorite 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 into your cocktail instead of typical soda. This will save on both sugar and calories. Plus, it will give your drink a unique, refreshing spin which I personally love.
- When it comes to drinking, 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 to keep away your next-day hangover.
- Kombucha is another great alcohol alternative which not only makes not drinking alcoholic beverages all that much easier (especially while pregnant! ) – thanks to their great taste and fizzy mouth-feel – they help aid in digestion too.
- Use baked pita chips or whole wheat pretzels to dip, instead of potato chips. (The pretzels by Marys Gone Crackers are a great option too.) Other types of baked chips are also fine, just check out the label and make sure there are not added fats or additives. Or go for flaxseed crackers – these 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 taste 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 size 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 bacon-wrapped [anything!] or the fried and/or cheesy hot apps. The protein will help fill you up without all the added calories and fat.
- Add some watermelon or berries to your dessert plate instead of taking a larger piece of pie or other type of pastry or dessert. This will also help to fill you up faster, saving you both calories and an inevitable stomach ache after hours of eating and drinking.
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 food and junk. You just have to know how to do it right.
Take these suggestions with you to your Memorial Day festivities and I guarantee that you will be thanking me the next morning – when you can actually get out of bed without a pounding headache and awful stomachache.
And please, 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 all about and we should never forget that!