Graduations, Confirmations, Communions…the parties are in full force, and Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. All these celebrations are filled with delectable foods and cupcakes with gobs of colorful frosting, not to mention bowls of assorted chips.
What is a fit person to do? Do not let your stomach (or your heart) be troubled. There are times when it is fine to break our normal ways of eating, with the very clear understanding that we are making a choice to enjoy the party.
It is a healthy indulgence.
Decide ahead of picnic time how you are going to eat. Start by thinking about how really good you feel when you are doing your workouts and eating clean:
- energy is good
- sleep is more restful
- digestion is better
- your mood is lighter (and perhaps, so are you!)
This is the lifestyle you are practicing and it suits you well. There is no reason to feel like you are blowing it all to bits with one little barbecue.
Start with some protein. For those of you who love fried chicken, it is preferable to remove the fried and simply eat the chicken. Enjoying the burger or sausage without the bun is a good trade-off for a helping of pasta salad, or maybe a few chips.
Salads, green and otherwise, are typically prevalent. Enjoy those that do not have a creamy dressing, which may not be so good in the heat anyway. A handful of nuts is a good option if they are around. Vegetables are like a “get of jail free” card.
I love baked beans and am the only one in my family who does, so this is my big opportunity to enjoy. Choose water or unsweetened ice tea instead of soda– diet or otherwise.
Remember the 80/20 rule. The weekend party is probably part of the 20; I’m going out on a limb here.
As for dessert, those cute cupcakes with little checkered flags flying in the frosting often look better than they taste. If I’m wrong about that and they are amazing, enjoy every bite. If not, go for the fresh fruit salad or have extra greens.
If you’re going to splurge, it had better be worth it!
You are eating to live your best. Feel great and don’t carry the burden of starting over after the long weekend. Remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s about doing just a little bit better. Cheers!
“A party without cake is just a meeting.”—Julia Child