I’m sure many of us will be socializing at picnics with families and friends this weekend. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fried chicken, pasta salad, chips, dip, beer…and the list goes on! While I enjoy many of these foods in moderation, indulging all of them in one sitting would leave me feeling guilty, bloated, tired and sick in my stomach! I understand how tempting it can be when you are sitting around and that bowl of chips is just sitting there in front of you! Whether it is Labor Day or Christmas day, I always used to come home on holidays feeling so full, yet still hungry for more! I know you know what I’m talking about! The key is moderation, portion sizes, and smart decisions.
Here are some tips to help you get through those Labor Day picnics without feeling so guilty afterwards!
1. Whether you are hosting or bringing along an appetizer or side dish, consider making a big vegetable platter! The more unique the veggies, the more appealing the dish! Rather than serving a ranch or veggie dip, use Greek Yogurt Herb Dip!
2. How about a yummy fruit tray! Don’t feel like cutting up all of that fruit?? End the summer season with a big bowl of watermelon!
3. If you insist on going for the typical hamburger or hot dog meal, substitute wheat bread for white bread!
4. As for the dessert??? Rather than brownies and cakes topped with frosting, consider serving, or bringing along, angel food cake with fresh strawberries!
Here are a couple of clean eating recipes that you could use while either hosting or attending your picnic this weekend!
Clean Eating Spinach Dip: (Makes approximately 6 cups)
* 1 (6 ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese
* 10 ounce container frozen spinach, thawed
* 8 ounce can water chestnuts, chopped fine
* 2 tbsp onion powder
* 1 tsp dried parsley
* 2 tsp garlic powder
* ½ tsp salt
1. Using a blender, blend the cottage cheese until it is smooth and creamy.
2. Put the cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl, and add all other ingredients.
Stir well! (I like to heat mine up a little bit before serving).
How much easier can it get?!
Recipe: The Gracious Pantry
Light and Fresh Potato Salad
“ 2 tbsp canola oil
* ¼ tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 5 cups cubed red potato (about 2 pounds)
* ½ tsp salt
* 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
* ¾ cup sliced grape of cherry tomatoes
* ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
* ½ cup chopped orange bell pepper
* ¼ cup chopped green onions
* 1 (2 ¼ ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1. To prepare dressing, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
2. To prepare salad, place potato and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potato; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender; drain.
3. Add potato to dressing in bowl, tossing gently to coat; let stand 15 minutes. Stir in cucumber and remaining ingredients; toss well. Cover and chill
Recipe from: Cooking Light
Just remember, holiday picnics don’t have to be about eating all day and regretting it the next, especially if you step on that scale! Are you going to a party where you know you won’t find anything healthy? The best solution to that situation is to bring a clean eating appetizer / side dish with you! That way you know you have something to fall back on! By making a few substitutions, your day can end much healthier!
Enjoy your picnics this weekend!