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Surviving Summer Soirees

Now that the days are longer, the breezes are warmer and gardens are bursting with color, the summer social season has officially begun! It seems like there’s always a birthday, graduation, wedding or other occasion to celebrate. And, with all of this celebrating comes lots and lots of eating. It can be challenging to keep up with our good eating habits when faced with delectable displays of culinary goodness. How can we enjoy getting together with friends and family while not packing on extra pounds?

  • Pre-party (don’t starve yourself before the event. Stay hydrated and fill up on lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates with plenty of fiber - so you don’t arriving starving)

  • Offer to bring a healthy dish that you will enjoy

  • Choose leaner proteins (chicken, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, pork tenderloin, fish/shrimp, chicken/turkey dogs)

  • Choose your “indulgence” item & be mindful of the rest of your plate

  • Skip the bun on your burger or hot dog

  • Fill your plate with fresh veggies and fruits (crowd out the refined carbs & saturated fats)

  • Pass on the bread basket

  • Use a smaller sized plate if available

  • Share dessert or grab something to go

  • Be mindful of hors d’oeuvres consumption (opt for grilled or steamed apps/raw veggies/cheese/raw bar)

  • Stay hydrated with water/seltzer

  • Add soda water to your alcoholic beverage to create a spritz

You can certainly enjoy a burger, hot dog, bbq ribs or that creamy pasta salad if you are craving some, just be mindful if you have a lot of parties back to back - you don’t want to overindulge day after day. And, if you do end up eating more than you planned, make a point of being more intentional the next time! Don’t beat yourself up for being human. Remember that these are special occasions and if you stick to clean eating once the event is over, you will be fine!

A good rule of thumb that I like to use when assessing my overall diet is the 80/20 rule. If I eat clean 80% of the time, that leaves me with carte blanche to eat whatever I’m craving 20% of the time without any worries.

Here are a few recipes that will lighten up your summer gatherings!

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