Best Bets for Summer Partying: Tips and Tricks to Healthful Feasting

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for summer. I’m craving a little sunshine, BBQ with family and friends and a glass of Rose.  Here is my guide to partying it up while maintaining healthy habits.  Party Empowered…

  1. Foundation is everything. Set the foundation for a healthy day of eating by eating a well-balanced power breakfast that keeps you fueled and focused until your next snack or meal. My go to breakfast is two whole eggs, ¼  avocado and berries.  Make smart choices all morning long, and you’ll be more inclined to keep it going than if you started the day with a donut.
  2. Arrive “satisfied.” Don’t starve yourself until the party or “bank” your calories. I promise this method will backfire and you will likely make poor choices and overeat.  Plan a pre-party snack —  such as a cup of gazpacho or   egg muffin cup – and you won’t be so inclined to overdo the appetizers.
  3. What’s the “special”? Don’t waste your time putting anything between your lips that isn’t special. Ask the host what the most coveted dish is. Maybe it is an heirloom tomato salad (wahoo, dig in!) or perhaps it’s the famous mud pie (reason to eat grilled veggies and skip the chips, so you can have a taste). The point is, scope the menu, survey the buffet and plan your plate.
  4. Delay your drink. Before you arrive, decide how much alcohol you are going to have. The extra calories and inhibition lowering side effect are reason enough for you to D E L A Y your first drink. When the host asks what you’re drinking, opt for a sparkling water with lemon for the first round.  If the parties goes on, continue with water or sparkling water in between alcohol.
  5. Hone your food GPS. Navigating the fare may take some creativity. Grab a plate. Make one beautiful meal out of the healthy stuff and what you love most. Anything you put in between your lips should have hit your plate first. This will prevent grazing and mindless eating. No salad? That’s OK, pile your plate with lettuce, tomatoes and onions as well as whatever else you find on the burger fixin’s table. Pair the guacamole that is sitting in the center of the bowl of chips with the crudités hanging out next to the cheese board. Partake in the veggies while the burgers and dogs are grilling and hold out for the lean protein that you love, like steak, fish or shrimp.
  6. Bring your food. You should have 2 – 3 signature dishes such as a tomato salad, tandoori chicken or zucchini carpaccio to contribute. Bringing healthful fare to the party ensures there is something you will be able to enjoy without worry. You’ll feel healthiest, most empowered and suffer less regret if you choose mostly veggies and lean meats, so make a beautiful plate and enjoy it.
  7. Do dessert. Eat fruit. Whole, sliced, grilled and clean, loading up on water volume, antioxidants and satisfying fiber is definitely a great way to conquer the end of the meal. Indulge mindfully. If you want the cookie or piece of pie  then own it. Plate it. Eat slowly and enjoy it. It’s going to be a long summer of BBQ’s, cookies and your favorite farmers market pie, so don’t waste your time on treats that aren’t special.
  8. Reframe. You are actually not going to the party for the food. The food is just an excuse to get YOU to the party, so be present with your friends and family. Prioritize catching up with loved ones, making memories and another milestone in the year over the food. Really connect with the guests, support the host and participate in the event. It’ll take your mind off of the loaded potato salad.