The summer party season is upon us! Impromptu pool parties with neighbors, and barbeques that are tradition with family and friends are fun, but they can sabotage your health efforts. Here are some healthy summer party tips so that you can enjoy, eat and still feel like a part of the party!
You don’t need to avoid summer parties!
But it is important for you to plan ahead! Many of these parties serve foods filled with highly processed ingredients, and chemical additives that can wreak havoc on your digestive system. But a little pre-planning can help you to avoid those issues! Do you really enjoy the bloating and discomfort that happens when you eat foods that don’t really work for your body? How about the fogginess, poor mood and lack of energy that happen the next day as a result of all of the sugar you ate? Planning ahead helps you to party smart, which will keep you looking and feeling great!
Here are a few tips when it comes to facing the food table at a party.
Bring a dish
Choose something you’ll feel good about eating and happy to share. There are a lot of great recipes and ideas out there that everyone will love Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bland. And you never have to tell them it’s healthy food!
You can even give some oldies a new twist. Instead of the tired old veggie tray……. bring blanched or roasted veggies and a couple great dips. OR, cut up some long raw veggies and stick them in mason jars, like bouquets. You can put dips in shorter jars.
Reinvent a favorite
Make those old standbys, just make them better. Look for organic ingredients and natural substitutes for less than healthy ingredients.
- Burgers? Grass fed is getting really easy to find in most grocery stores!
- Ketchup? Find a great corn syrup free recipe!
- Cheese for those burgers? Go for organic. At the very least make sure it’s from hormone free milk.
- Chocolate pudding for the chocolate trifle? Use raw cacao powder and other good for you ingredients to make your own pudding. It’s not much more work and your body will get nutrients it needs with none of the ingredients that it doesn’t need.
- Whipped Cream? Make your own from organic heavy cream or whipped coconut cream.
Check online for healthier versions of classic summer picnic and party favorites. A little time spent with Google will help you to find recipes for everything from gluten free cookies to grain free pizza crust.
Do remember however that a cookie is still a cookie, even if it’s gluten free and organic. These labels don’t give you free reign to eat as much as you want. You still have to practice moderation!
During the summer months it is always good to keep some fresh produce on hand. It is plentiful and typically costs less during the summer growing season. And if you keep plenty of fresh greens and vegetables handy and get a last minute invite to a cookout, you will have what you need to whip together a simple summer salad. This works well with different seasonal, summer fruits as well.
It’s okay to eat that brownie
We all have foods that we associate with good times. Don’t beat yourself up if you want one of Aunt Cheryl’s famous brownies. The key is moderation. Take one. Better yet, take one split it, and hand the second half to someone passing by telling them “it’s just to good not to share!”
Food is not the only obstacle that can sabotage you at parties, people can too. The biggest culprits are family and friends!
Although they care about you, well meaning friends and family will sometimes push food on your or make you feel as if you are the “weird one” in the crowd because you are not indulging in all of the goodies..
Here are some tips so you’re armed and ready for your next cookout.
- Do not feel the need to explain and defend your food choices. Quickly change the subject or excuse yourself to use the bathroom or that you are going to get a refill of your drink, or that you are going to grab some more food.
- If someone says “try this”, the easiest thing to do is take some. Comment on how good it looks, take it, then either discreetly toss it or take a small bite, then toss it or hand it off to someone else telling them it’s SO great they have to try it!
- Don’t avoid eating. There is no reason not to eat and if others see you not eating it is going to invite questions. Load your plate with good choices! You’ll be satisfied and you’ll avoid unnecessary scrutiny.
- Bring support. If you have a family member or friend who knows and supports your healthy lifestyle, they can be a huge support during the party. If they are eating healthy as well, even better!
People don’t like change
Most importantly, remember that not everyone needs to “get” you. People do not like change. It makes them uncomfortable. That includes you changing. You becoming healthier and happier may actually be making their bad habits and choices stand out to them. Unless someone is ready, it’s easier for them to be in denial or make excuses (or keep you stuck in the same spot their in) than to take an honest look at where they are and why.
If and when they are ready you’ll be there with tips and advice from your journey. Until then, take care of yourself and enjoy those summer parties!
What are your biggest challenges at parties and get togethers? Let us know below.