Today shall be a day filled with family, friends, fun, and of course, FOOD!
Food is culture; it brings people together. If you think about it, we revolve a lot of our lives around food! When you think of a typical first date, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Dinner and a movie. What about a birthday party? Cake and ice cream. Thanksgiving? Christmas? Easter? Dinner, of course! Events and holidays in the summer are mostly formed around drinks and cookouts. Although I do think its important to get a cheat or treat meal in every once in a while, sometimes you don’t want to fall completely off the wagon, because I do understand it can be difficult to jump back on.
Personally, I think we can all do something about this. Every day I see more and more people becoming interested in changing their lifestyles and wanting to live more healthfully. The problem is, we really don’t know where to start, and how in-depth to go. I think if more people start making little changes at events and holidays, we truly can start making a difference in living healthier lives.
The problem is, many people associate eating healthy with eating boring and less tasty food, and the only real “good” food is unhealthy food. This is completely false. Guess what? Most junk food that you find in a store, and even grandma’s cookies are a combination of ingredients. Surprisingly swiss cake rolls and nutty buddies do not come from the ground, or off a tree. The first snack cakes were MADE by people! Have you tried eating flour alone? Baking soda? Partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil? Yeah…they’re not very tasty. This doesn’t just go for sweets! Fried chicken, boxed macaroni and cheese, potato salad, etc. they are all combinations of foods, that were probably made through experimentation in a kitchen.
So what if we started to do the same things with healthier food? Experiment, make, and try new recipes with food that is more waistline friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. Offering more nutritionally dense foods at events and holidays (along with grandma’s cookies, of course!) to make America believe that healthy is not boring, and that it can in fact be right up there with some of your personal favorites. Try and tell me that a juicy steak cooked just the way you want it paired with a perfectly baked sweet potato isn’t delicious. (Hint: people may think eating steaks and other red meats is horrible for you…think again! Eating this will help your physique a lot more than fried chicken and potato salad!)
Tips for surviving events and holidays:
- -Try to incorporate at least some protein in every meal. Eggs, egg whites, meats, tofu (if vegetarian), protein powder such as Rule One Protein, plain greek yogurt and smarter foods that may be high in another macronutrient such as nuts (good source of fat) and quinoa (a good source of carbohydrates) but also have a notable amount of protein hidden in them.
- -Cook and bake with coconut oil. It is so much better for you than other oils, and is in fact 60% medium chain triglycerides, which actually helps BURN fat!
- -Use vegetables as meal fillers! Instead of loading up on more pasta, try loading up on some broccoli or cauliflower. The fiber and water content will help keep you fuller.
- -Sweeten baked goods with FRUIT! Dates and bananas are very common for this! For lower calorie sweetening, try some stevia- which is a zero calorie sweetener that is extracted from a plant.
- -Eat fat. Yes. Eat fat!!! Avocados (hello, who doesn’t LOVE guacamole!), nuts and nut butters (from real nuts like almonds and cashews, not peanuts which are actually legumes!), coconut oil (which is a solid at room temperature so I use it as butter!), whole eggs, grassfed butter, and fats from meat! Steak, beef, uncured bacon, there are so many delicious options!
- -Lose the bun, or replace it with something better. My family has been using Ezekiel english muffins when we grill burgers and honestly, it is easily one of the best ways to eat a burger! That extra crunch from toasting them is exactly what burgers needed to be even better.
- -At cookouts and parties, offer fruit, nut, and vegetable platters.
- -Water, water, water! You must stay hydrated, especially when consuming alcohol. Always keep a bottle of water by you to sip on while you’re having a drink.
- -Use club soda and fruit to sweeten drinks rather than juices and tonic water.
For a low calorie and inexpensive treat to bring to parties today, try THIS:
What you’ll need:
-Box of graham crackers,
-Cool Whip Free
All you need to do is freeze the cool whip, then add 2 tablespoons of it on to half of a graham cracker. Sandwich it with the other half, and dip the sides in festive sprinkles! Freeze for 10-20 more minutes and you now have under 100 calorie “ice cream sandwiches” 🙂