By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Across the globe it’s been warming up which means swimsuits, holidays, social events and barbecues. Sure, all of this is super fun, but often times these festive occasions can interrupt our health goals. When we have a lot of summer parties to attend, we’re more likely to indulge in heavier food options and then we feel bloated and gross. Sometimes it can even to weight gain. But that doesn’t have to be the case! It can be different with a few simple changes and choices.
So let’s talk about how to enjoy a summer soiree without the excess calories, sugar, unhealthy fats and grease.
Did you know that you can eat more than your recommended daily calories just on the pre-meal nibbles? When we mindlessly grab the deep-fried foods, breads, chips and crackers loaded with processed hydrogenated vegetable oils, excess salt, MSG and loads of unhealthy calories, it’s hard to stop at one. It’s best NOT to start at all, there are healthier options you can enjoy!
Pre-made dips are loaded with processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise and extra unhealthy fats with artificial additives. None of these ingredients necessarily deliver a tastier dip, they are just built to last longer. Making your own ensures extra phytonutrients, lower calories and a better flavor. Here are some delicious homemade healthy dips, chips and ideas: Easy Guacamole, Harissa & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Roasted Eggplant And Garlic
Drinking sweetened soda drinks, beer, creamy and sugary cocktails and mocktails that are loaded with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, etc. can UP your calories fast and will negatively affect your mood, blood sugar levels, weight and health. Want to know what’s really could be in your cocktail drink? For healthier options, choose sparkling water with freshly squeezed juice, slices of citrus or add frozen fruit cubes, to really make a drink fun. Choosing low calorie cocktails such as gin, soda and cucumber; vodka, fresh lime and soda; dry red and white wine and low calorie beer are all great choices when enjoying a few moderate drinks.
Keep a glass of water with you at all times. If you are holding a glass or it’s nearby and handy you’re less likely to make poor choices. Water keeps us hydrated, full and less likely to nibble and overindulge in alcohol. Here’s how to make your water more fun!
If you’re hosting the party, choose to serve quality leaner cuts of grass-fed red meat, organic chicken, wild fish, and other seafood. If you’re attending a party and not sure if the host relies on high-quality animal products, then keep it in the vegetarian family. For delicious meat free BBQ, don’t skimp on flavor and consider making these: The Burger that Beets, Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers, 7 Awesome Veggies to Grill.
Summer parties and gatherings don’t have to be all about the fried foods and low quality nutrition. Fresh salads and vegetable-based snacks are ideal for a summer barbecue, so offer to bring one and you’ll be able to add a variety of fruits and vegetables to it making it not only nutrient-dense but beautiful too. A colorful plate is a pretty plate!
The creamy heavy dressings that saturate a poor salad is unnecessary to make a salad interesting and delicious. Easy, simple and light is the key. Here are some Reboot favorites: Avocado Slaw, Tropical Avocado, Papaya & Ginger Salad, Carrot Ginger Dressing, Vegan Potato Salad, Honey Sesame Salad Dressing
Enjoy the bliss of summer fruits and smart sweets rather than eating another day worth of calories with too many calorie-laden heavy desserts. Enjoy these fun and light dessert recipes or try watermelon cashew cream wedges to enjoy at your next shindig.
Just like the age old advice on how you should never go food shopping on an empty stomach, don’t go to a party hungry or you’re likely to empty the party bowls. Drink a juice or smoothie before you go and you will resist the urge to dive in head first.