Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shine in the Sun


Shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits crawl out of hiding as the sun sizzles to the start of BBQ season, also referred to as “Beer-B-Q” season. J


Social gatherings may be centered on eating and drinking, and lead you to consume more than if eating alone.  Use this as a positive time to share your recipes with others.

One more cocktail than planned, could lower your inhibition and leave your hand reaching for those foods you typically resist and often in large quantities.  
  • Think: Do you feel hungry?  How will you feel about this indulgence later?
  • Use a smaller salad plate rather than a large dinner plate to help control portions.
  • It’s OK to indulge in your favorite “unhealthy” foods, just remember, portion control.
  • Sit and eat.  Use a plate and utensils to be mindful of your eating and enjoy your foods and friends/family.
  • From a bowl of snacks, grab your initial handful, and let that be that.  Take small bites and eat one chip/pretzel/etc. at a time.

Drinks:
  • Watch the mixes.  Substitute tonic water with fresh squeezed fruit.
  • Sip and enjoy your beer.  The question for heavy vs. light beer leads to how much of each will you be consuming?  Heavier beers contain more calories, but typically contain more alcohol, so you drink a smaller amount.  Try from the large variety of microbreweries that have flavors to satisfy all taste buds.
  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water.  Water will help you cut calories and keep you hydrated, especially in the summer sun.


Optimize your nutrition this summer:
  • Limit over-charred grilled items.  The products caused by grilling and smoking foods may accumulate over time and increase the chances of cancer development.  If you do grill, add antioxidant-rich spices such as rosemary and thyme to your marinade to help reduce the cancer causing processes.
  • If you typically consume meals higher in animal products, take advantage of fresh local produce available.  Use summer as your time to increase plant foods into your meals.  Color your plate.  The more color, the more variety of nutrients to help you achieve optimal health.  Refresh your meal with a chilled soup such as cucumber-dill or gazpacho with lots of chunky vegetables.


Some of my favorites:
  • Strawberries: low in calories, high in fiber, great source of vitamin C
    • Snack up with a sweet treat: mix strawberries with low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • Asparagus: good source of iron, B vitamins and vitamin C
    • Quick side dish: drizzle asparagus with olive oil and bake
  • Melons: look for them starting in June for peak freshness.  Good source of vitamin C and potassium
    • A fresh fruit plate is a naturally sweet dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth
    • Create a fruit salsa for a fat-free salad dressing or top it on fish: dice mango, honeydew, cantaloupe with cilantro, onions and squeezed lime


Shimmer instead of burn in the sun, remember to wear your sunglasses and sunscreen!  Enjoy the weather and socializing with good food and beverages.

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