Having fun and eating healthfully are not mutually exclusive on Memorial Day! There are so many delicious, healthy options to choose from, including the fresh quinoa salad and Banana Nice Cream recipes below. Read on for some easy tips to keep you eating well this weekend!
FIVE FOOD TIPS
1. Don’t arrive on an empty stomach
It is tempting to restrict food intake before attending an event where unlimited food will be available such as a potluck or a barbecue in order to “save calories”. However, this may lead you to eat more and make unhealthy choices at the event itself! Have a healthy snack a few hours before the event that includes a carbohydrate and a protein to keep you satisfied and avoid overeating unhealthy foods at the party! Here are some healthy ideas:
• Fruit + Nuts
• Hummus + Carrots
• Peanut Butter + Apples
• Greek yogurt + Berries
2. Avoid going for seconds immediately
It takes about 20 minutes for our brain to realize we have had enough food and to feel satisfied. It is therefore a good idea to have one small plate of food and wait a while before making a second trip to the buffet! I would recommend waiting at least one hour before getting seconds.
3. Bring something healthy
If you are attending a potluck or barbecue, try to bring something healthy that you are sure you will want to eat. This is especially important if you are following a special diet or if you are vegan for example.
4. Start with the vegetables
Always begin your meal with the vegetables. Vegetables provide volume and bulk to meals all the while being low in calories and high in nutritional value. Starting with the vegetables may fill you up faster making you eat less of the other high-calorie and poorly nutritious food.
5. Use a smaller plate
Have you ever kept eating even if you weren’t hungry anymore just because there is food left on your plate? Using a smaller plate will limit the amount of food you can fit on one plate, consequently leading to eating less. Moreover, having a small plate filled with food may trick your brain into thinking you are eating more compared to a large plate with the same amount of food.
THREE HYDRATION TIPS
Why is hydration so important?
Water makes up the majority of our body weight. In order for our body to function properly, we need an adequate water and electrolyte balance. Electrolytes are minerals that play an important role in almost all of our body systems including heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and metabolism. Some examples of electrolytes are sodium (salt), calcium, and potassium. It is especially important to stay hydrated on hot summer days or when physically active as we lose a lot of our water through sweat.
1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
It is important not to forget that water intake can also come from food! Fruits and vegetables are a great source of water. Some of them are as high as 96% water with the rest of their components being vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, and other elements that are incredibly good for you. Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables that are highest in water:
• Cucumber 96%
• Watermelon 92%
• Strawberries 92%
• Tomatoes 94%
2. Drink before you are thirsty
The feeling of thirst indicates that your body is already beginning to experience symptoms of dehydration. Our bodies contain baroreceptors that sense changes in blood pressure and osmoreceptors that sense changes in blood electrolyte concentration. When blood pressure drops or when our blood is too concentrated in electrolytes, these receptors send signals to the brain, provoking the feeling of thirst. This means that in order for one to feel thirsty, the body is already lacking water, hence the importance of drinking water before feeling physically thirsty!
3. Add natural flavor to your water
Sick of plain water? Try to add some slices of cucumber, lemon, or other fruits to your water. This will not only contribute to additional vitamins, but also add some healthy flavor, making it more likely for you to sip on it throughout the day.
ATTENDING A BARBECUE?
HERE ARE SOME FOOD TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY!
1. BBQ foods to focus on
- Lean Animal Protein
- Skinless chicken
- Skinless turkey
- Hard-boiled egg
- Vegetables (Fill up half of your plate with these!)
- Corn on the cob
- Mixed vegetables on the grill
- Steamed vegetables with soy sauce
- Raw vegetables with hummus dip
- Fruity Deserts (Recipe below!)
- Banana “nice-cream” *
- Fresh fruit salad
- Frozen fruit popsicles with no added sugar
- Healthy CarbohydrateS (Choose whole grains!)
- Oven-baked sweet potato
- Whole grain burger buns
- Whole grain pasta
2. BBQ foods to avoid
- Dressings and Sauces
- Store-bought processed dressings
- Butter on the corn cobb
Better dressing and sauce options (any combination of the below):
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar
• Lemon juice
• Blended avocado
Heavy Meat Choices (eat sparingly!)
• Pork sausages
• Non-lean ground beef
WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL?
DON’T WORRY, ALCOHOL IS NOT FORBIDDEN. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT WOMEN DRINK NO MORE THAN ONE DRINK PER DAY AND MEN DRINK NO MORE THAN TWO DRINKS PER DAY.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR CHOOSING HEALTHIER AND LOWER CALORIE DRINKS!
1. Choose Wine
Red wine contains a very high amount of antioxidants. Drinking wine, especially red wine, in moderation is associated with numerous health benefits such as anti-ageing properties, improving mental health, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. Replace soda mixers with 100% fruit juice
Sodas are empty calories. They contribute a high amount of calories without providing any health benefits at all. On the other hand, fruit juice contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health!
3. Drink it on the rocks
Having a normal serving size of 40% hard liquor (1.5oz or 43mL) on the rocks may be the best way to limit calories when it comes to alcohol. However, it is recommended to drink with a meal and not on an empty stomach!
(EACH MAKES ABOUT 4 SERVINGS)
• 2 cups cooked quinoa
• 1 large handful arugula
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes
• 1 cup chickpeas
• 1 large onion
• 2 cups diced cucumber
• Fresh basil leaves
• Cumin powder to taste
• 1 avocado
• 2tbsp olive oil
• Lemon juice
• Salt & pepper to taste
Mix everything together and enjoy!
• 4 large frozen bananas
• 1 sliced banana
• 1 cup walnuts
• Cinnamon powder to taste
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
1. Blend the frozen bananas together with cinnamon powder in a blender
2. Distribute the mixture evenly into four bowls
3. Top with walnuts, banana slices, chia seeds and cinnamon powder!