Memorial Day signals the kick-off to the summer season; a time for backyard barbecues, picnics, bonfires and pool parties. Unfortunately, for the waistline this can mean an array of heavy pasta salads, decadent meats, sugary cocktails and indulgent desserts.
The truth is, warmer weather, birthdays, holidays – regardless of the time of year, there’s always going to be temptation that will lead the most disciplined eater to veer off the healthy path.
Living healthfully means that you have to learn to be able to navigate social situations without throwing healthy eating out the window. The good news is that you don’t have to be deprived of delicious food. You can start this season right by skipping your typical calorie-laden fare and experimenting with new and healthy party foods that everyone will love. Let’s break it down by course.
The appetizer selection sets the mood for any party, but it can also be a minefield of calories. Select light and healthy appetizers that won’t fill you or your guests up before the main meal.
The grill is one of the simplest stages for healthy eating with limitless possibilities for delightful meals. Seriously, grilled food is the best and one of your healthiest avenues of cooking. Tasty and full of flavor, it would be hard for anyone to say “no” to a meal fresh off grill.
Side dishes are a great way to show off you culinary skills without too much effort. You can get creative or stay traditional and still keep it healthy.
Beverages. Probably the most silent calorie monster of them all! Calories consumed in beverages easily go unnoticed, but add up very quickly. Here are some options so that you save your calories for the main event.
Since all the food choices have been light and healthy, there will be plenty of room for dessert.
That completes a lavish (and easy) party menu that won’t make you hesitant to step on the scale in the morning. Now enjoy a guilt-free Memorial Day and summer eating season.
Carolyn Reynaud, MS, RD, LD is a licensed registered dietitian and a paid contributor to SteviaBenefits.org. She received her BS in nutrition from Michigan State University and her Masters and Certificate in Public Health from Georgia State University. She has experience working in several avenues of health care including corporate wellness, clinical disease management, research, and health promotion. She has been working as a health coach specialist for close to 6 years, where she counsels patients on preventative healthcare and helps them meet their health goals. Follow her on Twitter @ReynaudCari.