Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Healthy Fourth of July Tips





     If you think this is another sermon about how to white knuckle it thru the Holiday, then you are barking up the wrong article!  (... now do I have your attention!?...thought so...)  Special occasions are made for fun and I am all about having a good time.  But, part of an enjoyable experience is going to bed at night feeling good about yourself with no regrets of the day, and that is where I come in.  I am here to help by providing some awesome tips for navigating and enjoying the festivities to the fullest!  #partyondude  So let's get started~

1) Make a plan AND write it down.  Before the big day arrives, make sure to have an idea of the schedule and be prepared for down times, especially so you are not filling those empty moments with Americas greatest past time...eating!
2) Make a bored list.. (yes, I said bored list).  Don't be in the moment deciding what to do, have a reliable list written that you can easily access: catch up on a book or magazine, check Facebook, work a cross word puzzle, do a couple pages in a scrapbook, call an old friend, look on Pinterest for a new recipe you want to try, clean out your closet to donate to charity, paint your nails, work a puzzle etc.
3) Plan to include extra activity in your day, most people are off work and have more flexibility to exercise.  Even if you don't plan a formal workout, include outdoor activity as part of your get together.  Have relay races in the pool, set up a badminton game in the backyard, go for a family walk (look up the nearest nature trails in your area), play a game of around the world with the basketball, or croquet anyone!?  The point is, make it an active vacay and don't sit around all day inside eating, eating and more eating.  Being outdoors doing activities is a great way to bond to others, as we know the way to connect with people we love is thru shared experiences.  Volunteering at a Food Bank is another option if you have time in the day.
4) Have a list of healthy between meal snack options in case anyone gets hungry (especially you!), depending on the days schedule.  Have you heard of Carrots with Peanut Butter ...don't knock it til you've tried it!  String Cheese with 24 Almonds, 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese with a diced Apple stirred in (you can also stir in a low carb yogurt with Cottage Cheese or even a scoop of Protein Powder), 2 boiled Eggs with 2 pieces of Turkey Bacon, 1/2 an Avocado wrapped in a low carb Tortilla...you get the gist!
5) Now, let's get down to food!  If you think I'm going to give you a list of all the "you can't eat" foods you are sadly mistaken....unless... and this is big so listen up...unless they are HUGE triggers for you and wild horses will invade your mind and body and you won't be able to stop til you 1) are sick or 2) all the food is gone.  Know thy triggers!  I repeat, KNOW THY TRIGGERS!!!  If that is the case then it is best to not eat even one "Lay's Potato Chip", let's work together to find suitable alternatives, and chips are a good place to start, especially since they show up on most warm weather Holidays.
     a) If eating the entire bag of Potato Chips is in the realm of possibilities, since we know this is not an Olympic sport it is best to stay away.  However if you can stop after a reasonable single portion then enjoy every single salty bite with abandon and lick those greasy fingers clean.  BUT, make sure and buy the individual bags, ...DO NOT, let me repeat DO NOT buy the bulk bag.  Let each person get their single serving bag and when it's gone You. Are. Done.!...get it, got it, good!  Capish!?  Have fun with displaying the assorted bags in a decorative bowl to add to the festivities.  My last fun chip tip, there are a few Protein Potato Chips on the market that I really love, Quest Protein Potato Chips and Protes are among my favorite ones, they are individually packaged and great for dipping in Salsa!  ole'
     b) You can't have fireworks without Ice Cream! #amiright!?  So, we are dealing with the same principal here, if you can't have a spoonful with out eating a gallon, simply stay away and let's work on alternatives, if that's not a problem then have a 1/2 cup and enjoy every slow melty bite with gusto.  Top with berries, nuts (sliced Almonds or Pecan Chips), Lily's Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips, or reconstituted Peanut Butter powder.  If you are sensitive to the real sugar stuff and it fires up your cravings then I have two super duper suggestions that will still let you be the life of the party.  Four words, Halo Top Ice Cream!  They come in many different wonderful flavors and is the best darn stuff I have ever eaten in the frozen category,  I actually prefer this to the sugar filled stuff.  Visit halotop.com on where to buy these low sugar, low carb, low fat, low calorie pints of deliciousness.  These can sometimes be a little pricey, so another great option is to make your own by dicing a peeled medium banana into coins, laying flat on wax paper and freezing, when frozen add your disks along with 3-4 Tablespoons milk to blender and whip into instant Ice Cream, this is phenomenal and you can't tell the diff!  Top with the above suggestions for a wonderfully healthy treat.  Lastly, go to my blog, www.foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com and type Ice Cream in search bar and be prepared for about 30 homemade Ice Cream suggestions!  ...that should just about cover it!  ;)
     c) A Fourth without Hamburgers is like a day without sunshine... true or false!?  ...that was a trick question, of course a Burger beckons the sun, duh!  Here in lie's the problem, I am married to a grill master, my dying wish for my last meal would be his Grilled Burgers, my mom's Potato Salad (http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2014/05/grandma-marys-potato-salad.html), and my famous Baked Beans, http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2014/05/paiges-famous-baked-beans.html (... can you imagine not worrying about the consequences of calories...it would be a great meal)! Ha  However, that being said, it is unlikely that this Fourth will be your last meal AND my husband pounds out a 1/2 pound of meat per entree'...this girl don't need no half pound of beef....but she do need bout half o' dat half!  So, here are your three options; eat half with the bun and condiments and enjoy every last bite, or eat it plain with no bun, or lastly, crumble your Cheeseburger on a Salad with condiments on top (http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2014/05/grilled-cheeseburger-salad.html).  All great options, void of any suffering!
     d) Side dishes definitely add to the party, they also add a tremendous amount of calories.  So pick your sides wisely and stick to a few spoonfuls.  Did you know after three bites your taste buds loose that initial "lovin' feelin" and then you are just filling up for fun vs flavor.  Eat three glorious bites and move on to friendlier fare.  In no way would I want you to miss those special Holiday dishes that let you enjoy that full sense of tradition...unless, of course, as previously mentioned, they bring on the "wild horses" syndrome...then it's time to talk to the hand not the face...errr, ...mouth!
     e) Unless you plan to cart around a food scale in your bra purse, you are going to have to rely on other measuring tools to help keep portions in check.  I call this the smiley face method, imagine drawing a smiley face on a 9" plate.  Fill 1/4 with your protein/meat, 1/4 with your side dishes, and the bottom half with a beautiful mixed green salad that you will have to probably bring yourself.  If you stick to that visual you will be just fine.  Get what you want that first go round and after that push back, you are dun!  No seconds, period!  Time to get up, help clear plates, or go to the other room to visit.  You will finish with a happy plate and membership in the clean plate club will come at a small price!  This is a great time to stick a piece of sugar free mint gum in your mouth...
     f) Don't be rude, always volunteer to bring things to share.  You can control the offerings by bringing a big bowl of cut Watermelon, or other fruit (which are great dessert options...have you tried sprinkling Watermelon with Lime Juice and Lite Salt..simply divine!).  How bout a platter of cut veggies with a container of Fage Yogurt and a packet of Ranch stirred together.  And, don't forget a big bowl of beautiful mixed greens.  I bet others will appreciate your offerings.
     g) Eating is not a sport, no one will give you a gold medal for finishing first.  Take your time, slow down, take a drink of water between bites, look at those with whom you are sharing a meal not your plate, set your utensils down between bites, chew your food completely and savor the flavor.  Did you know it takes 20 minutes for your brain to catch up to your belly.  So help yourself out, dine like the French ...remember who won the race between the Tortoise and the Hare!?  #goals

     I hope some of these tips help you have a happy healthy holiday full of fun and laughter.  Wishing you all the best on these joyous occasions!  Please contact me with any questions or concerns if you need any additional help.  In good health, paige  :)

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