Celebrations of independence are just around the corner and just as with any celebration, if you're trying to stay on track with your healthier living efforts your parties may require a little extra planning to offer some food options that aren't going to totally derail your efforts.
Depending on where you are on your health journey you could choose to approach celebrations in a few different ways:
1. Don't indulge at all. This approach is the hardest for some and the easiest for others. It really depends on how you're doing with your sweet tooth. Some find that if they indulge at all then they completely go overboard with what they eat so it's easier to stay on track if they don't indulge at all. Others will feel over restricted and then begin a binge cycle.
2. Plan your indulgence. For most people, this is the my suggested approach to celebrations because it's usually the most sustainable approach. Go into the day knowing you're going to have some delicious food you wouldn't normally eat and have the mindset that you'll get right back to your better food choices the next day. Where this could get you in trouble is if you have trouble resisting a binge once you start eating indulgent foods OR you have access to leftovers of the less-than-ideal food options and your indulgence carries over into several days.
3. See how you're feeling. This approach tends to lend itself to disaster unless you use it carefully. First, you should think about how you're feeling now that you've started to nourish your body with healthier foods and compare it to how you felt when you weren't making the best choices for your body. Next, remember your goals and your reason for starting a healthier lifestyle. Then approach the parties and events with the goal of having fun but not over-indulging. This approach may be perfect for those of you who struggle with obsessing over foods and feeling over restricted.
To help yourself out it's smart to bring a healthier dish to events that you would like to eat yourself. Chances are there are plenty of other people at the event that will appreciate your healthier option. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Watermelon Caprese with Balsamic Glaze
2. July 4th Charcuterie Board
3. Quick Watermelon Skewers
4. 4th of July Fruit Kabobs
5. Blueberry Tomato Caprese
6. Watermelon and Blueberry Sparklers
7. Red, White and Blueberry Parfait
Summer is almost here which means kids will be home all day and asking for snacks. As a parent, you’re likely to eat what you’re feeding your kids and vice versa so keeping snacks healthy will benefit everyone. Here are some creative snack ideas:
1. Mini Zucchini Pizzas
2. Carrot Muffins
3. Apple Sandwiches
4. Homemade Fruit Roll Ups
5. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
6. Popcorn Trail Mix
7. Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips
8. Banana Dog Bites
9. Applesauce Mini Muffins
10. Veggie Cups with Dip
11. Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels
12. Roasted Chickpeas
I am so looking forward to being able to get back to the pool! The cool water on the hot summer day, the smiles on my kids faces, the great sleep the kids get after a day at the pool, the memories made and the times of conversation (or chaos) during rest period. Speaking of rest period, anyone else's kids ALWAYS hungry during rest period while you're at the pool? Here's my list of go-to healthy snacks that I usually pack from myself and the kids.
1. Cheese sticks (high protein!)
2. Popcorn (choose one like Boom Chica Pop that has limited ingredients)
3. Nuts (careful to be considerate of any peanut allergies around you! Nuts are a great source of healthy fats.)
4. Frozen grapes (you can freeze almost any fruit but frozen grapes are a fan favorite at my house!)
5. Berries (great finger food packed with antioxidants)
6. Cut up veggies with humus (serve this one at one of your first swimming breaks so it doesn't get too warm)
7. Low sugar juice (refreshing and much less sugar than a popsicle)
8. Smoothies (great in a Yeti or similar insulated drink container)
9. Juice Plus chewables (great alternative for fruit snacks and packed with nutrition so the kids get a "treat" that's actually really good for them)
10. Applesauce/Fruit Pouches (unprocessed fruit trumps these pouches any day but these pouches are so much better for you than a popsicle or other sugary treat from the snack stand at the pool)