Summer picnics and swim parties are part of the fun of summer, but if you don’t attend these events with a plan, they can derail your workout goals, and leave you with a food hangover. I am not suggesting that you only nibble on carrot sticks while your friends chow down on German potato salad and 2 inch thick burgers. There is COMPRIMISE AND MODERATION with food choices!
Instead of KFC fried chicken, (extra crispy can run you 510 calories and 33 grams of fat, and who can eat one small piece?), cook a piece of chicken at home that you marinate. You can throw it on the grill or take it pre-cooked to your’ gathering.
Sandwiches are easy to bring with you. Use low fat, low-carb whole wheat bread and get grilled chicken sliced from a deli that sells low-sodium, roasted meats which has fewer preservatives than pre-packaged deli-style meats. Load your sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, sliced onions, green peppers or grilled zucchini versus higher fat cheese and chipotle mayo.
If brats and hot dogs are in the menu, take a low-sodium chicken or turkey brat. Organic markets carry a variety of flavors. Eat without a bun with homemade slaw (see a recipe below).
Stay away from mayonnaise based potato or macaroni salad. Sorry, but they are loaded with calories and can often pose food-safety concerns if they arem served in the sun without proper refrigeration. Make one at home with 0% Greek yogurt or low-sugar vanilla yogurt. Also, you can make a tasty variety with EVOO and flavored vinegar and spices. You may end up converting some of the guests to your healthier version!
Baked beans are actually not bad for you, in reasonable portions. You can find delicious varieties in the organic aisle that are lower in sugar, and taste great.
If ice cream or fruit pies are offered, try having a small scoop of sorbet with fresh fruit on top. You can also clean and freeze grapes or make homemade frozen bananas with some fine dark chocolate drizzled over the top for a refreshing after dinner treat.
Don’t let concern about the calories in typical picnic foods ruin your summer fun. A little planning and clean eating mindset will allow you to participate, while staying true to your goals
Paula’s quick homemade slaw recipe:
Take broccoli slaw (in bags at the grocery), add ½ cup 0% Greek yogurt or low-sugar non-fat vanilla yogurt, 2 tbls. Craisons(optional- can also use pineapple bits) , 3 tbls. sliced green onions, roasted no-salt pine nuts, sliced almond or pecans, a dash of spices, lemon flavored sea salts or kosher salt, a dash of pepper. Stir well and enjoy.
Today i am leaving to have a summer vacation with my children. After a hectic end of the school year. moving, and my daughter's graduation, I am worn thin so I am taking these weeks off from blogging to enjoy my kids, and re-energize my batteries. Leave me messages of encouragement from your summer moments, and I'll talk with you when I return.
Thanks for your support!