Memorial Day Weekend: a time to honor those who lost their lives in service of our country, a time to relax over a three-day weekend, a time to … eat until you’re overstuffed, drink a lot of beer, and lay around all weekend? No way, you’re not going to get off that easily! I’m all about taking a weekend to enjoy yourself, indulge, and relax, but I have 7 tips to make your Memorial Day Weekend healthier … while still enjoying yourself and not feeling deprived, of course.
Here are my top 7 tips for a healthier Memorial Day Weekend:
- Drink a lot of water. Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! Aside from all the health benefits, water is a great way to fill yourself up, reduce cravings and unnecessary snacking, and stay hydrated. Try alternating water with your alcoholic beverages, or do like I do and always have a glass of water alongside any other drinks.
- Get in your workout in the morning. Grab a friend or family member, and get outside to enjoy the (hopefully) nice weather with a walk, run, or bike ride. With so many parties, barbeques, and opportunities for relaxation, it always becomes harder to get in your workout later in the day, so commit to working out in the morning. You won’t regret it, and you’ll feel better about indulging later in the day! (source)
- Sneak in your veggies to fill you up and give your body the nutrients it’s craving. Heading to a friend’s barbecue? The sides at traditional barbecues tend to be very heavy (like potato salad, macaroni salad, or coleslaw … does anyone really even like those, anyway?). So why not bring over a veggie tray with some hummus (a quick recipe below!) or a green salad with fresh veggies? Celebrating at home? Throw some veggies on the grill – grilled vegetables are so delicious (just a bit of olive oil + salt/ pepper/ any spices and herbs you choose).
- Choose leaner meats if you’re grilling. Go for the chicken, fish, lean steak, or veggie burger instead of the ribs, hot dogs, or bratwurst (seems totally random, but it kept coming up when I was searching for traditional Memorial Day foods!).
- Limit your sweetened drinks. Lemonade, juice, frozen margaritas and daiquiris all scream summer, but they also pack lots of extra sugar and calories if you consume too much. So opt for lighter drink options, or limit yourself to one of the sweeter ones and really savor it!
- Eat mindfully. It can be very easy to put back a basket of chips or a half-dozen cookies without realizing it, so make sure you actually put your food on a plate (studies show this slows you down and limits portion sizes), and really enjoy it as you’re eating it!
- Opt for a healthier dessert. Like the sweetened drinks, all the baked goods can really add up, so choose one of my 10 healthy dessert ideas from my last post, or enjoy some fresh watermelon or cherries. For a special treat, grill some pineapple – delicious!
Now for that hummus recipe I mentioned!
Healthy Lemon Herb Hummus (or sauce)
I created this several days ago when I was trying to use up the fresh herbs I got from the garden. Simply dump the following in your blender: 1 cup of drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, the juice of ½ a lemon, 1.5 tablespoons of tahini, a few big handfuls of spinach, the leaves from one sprig of fresh thyme, a dash of salt and pepper, and as much water as needed to get it moving. Give it a good spin for a minute or two, and enjoy!
This has a ton of flavor, and works great as a sauce as well. Before the 10K last weekend, I roasted up a bunch of veggies and a frozen filet of tilapia, sautéed some spinach, basil, and cherry tomatoes, and stirred it all together with ½ serving of whole grain pasta. I topped it all off with a few dollops of this hummus, and it was delicious!
So tell me in the comments … What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend? What healthy tweaks are you going to make?