Friday, June 28, 2013

3 Things to Consider for a Healthier Long Weekend

It's a sunny day in Saskatoon and I feel like everyone is ready to evacuate the city.  With images of lakes and Canada Day celebrations, I know many people will be enjoying food and perhaps alcohol over the next few days.  For those that know me, you can already guess that I'm thinking of red and white flavour combinations - I know a recent favourite has been bocconcini, cherry tomatoes, and basil.  Although a change to red and white on a stick can be watermelon, feta, and mint.  I brought that as part of my appetizer dish to my foodie group this week.  Drizzled with a dash of red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper, it makes a nice refreshing (and colourful) treat, plus watermelon is so delicious right now!  I posted something similar as a salad previously.

If you plan to enjoy a few happy hours over the weekend (or summer), make educated choices when it comes to your beverages and snacks.

1. Mix it up
The proof of your alcohol, mix you choose to use, and size of your cocktail can all add up on you.  Liquid calories are harder to keep track of, but you don't have to throw your diet (or healthy eating goals) out the window.  Avoid the extra sugars of pop, juice, and syrup, and opt for a light beer, small glass of wine, or hard liquor with water or soda water.  Take your time sipping an infused vodka on the rocks to avoid the mix altogether.  Keep hydrated when it's hot out by consuming water between cocktails, this will help slow you down too.  See webMD for more tips to keep your alcohol calories in check and find out how many calories are in popular cocktails

2. Veg out
Go in any grocery store right now and you're likely to stumble upon a potato chip display.  They're convenient, you know they taste good, but now that you're eating for health, you need an alternative!  Change it up and see which vegetables you enjoy either raw or baked into 'chips'.  The food choices people tend to make when under the influence of alcohol aren't usually healthy choices, so make sure you have a healthy variety available when hunger strikes.  I quite enjoy kale chips but you can get creative with many other options such as zucchini, squash, beets, and sweet potato.  The Huffington Post has ideas and recipes for 12 different vegetable chips.

3.  Move away from the food
Enjoy the sunshine, or even a walk in the rain (if it happens!), don't just plant yourself in the kitchen, around the fire, or on the beach with various bottles and bags.  Move your body, I know we've been pulling out the bikes, golf clubs, discs, frisbee, etc. to enjoy the sunshine and sneak in some activity.

Enjoy the mental break from work and chores, and enjoy some great food, friends, and fitness.  Just remember what your health goals are and choose those 'treats' carefully (and mindfully).

Happy Canada Day!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching