Tips for Staying on Track this Holiday Weekend

As we approach this holiday weekend, pools will be opening, grills will be fired up, and picnic food will be EVERYWHERE!  Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato / pasta salad, baked beans, chips, ice cream, other types of pudding filled desserts, beer, and the list goes on!!  Ahh!! How are you going to handle this? Just when you were finally getting in to a healthy routine, getting those bodies ready for summer, a holiday weekend comes. Do you  have a holiday party to attend or are you hosting one? Or maybe you will be in both situations! Have you thought about the menu yet? Have you created a plan of action?  

I am here to tell you that a holiday weekend does not mean that you have to throw in the towel and ruin the progress that you have made so far.  Having said that, it is more than easy to get off track, over indulge, and step on that scale Tuesday morning only to find out that you've gained a few pounds.  Believe me, been there done that! So, I am here to give you a few tips to think about before your weekend officially begins.  Yes, planning out your meals is something that you need to consider doing if you want to have the best possible chance of staying on track.  Before getting in to my tips, I do want to say that it is perfectly fine to indulge in a sweet treat or even a meal.  This can be considered your weekly treat!  Something that I emphasize in my  challenge groups is that clean eating is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix diet.  As a results, unless you stay extremely strict with your diet, a cookie here and there, or some pizza and/or french fries are going to be eaten at some point in your lifetime!   So, implement that 80/20 rule.  80% of your time you stick with healthy eating and 20% of them time you eat whatever you want (within reason)!  What I mean is, if you decide you are going to treat yourself to a yummy dessert that someone brought to the party, stick with a small serving.  What you don't want to do is eat way more than you should, leaving you feeling full and bloated.  Something else to keep in mind is if you decide to indulge in your cheat this weekend, don't feel guilty about it!  You planned it and you deserve to eat, and enjoy it! 

So, here are some tips that will help you stay on track this weekend! 

1. Work Out!  Knowing that I will be tempted with foods that I know I shouldn't be eating, and also planning my cheat meal in the mix, I want to make sure that my workouts stay consistent.  If you know you are going to have a busy weekend, get up early and squeeze in a short workout!  It can be a short HIIT workout that only lasts 20 minutes or even a 30 minute cardio workout, which makes up less than 4% of your day! When you work out in the morning, you are more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day.

2. Shakeology! Ok so I know that everyone reading this may not drink Shakeology, but those of you that do, it will definitely be a life saver this weekend!  I love that I can get my chocolate fix AND my daily dose of nutrients in one meal, not to mention is it equivalent to 5 salads in one serving!   So, how do I incorporate that?  Well, I actually only have one party to attend this weekend so I will drink my typical shake for breakfast and then have another one shortly before going to the 5:00pm party.  That way I am not starving and ravenous when I get there.  

3. Stay hydrated!  This goes without saying, but being sure you drink enough water throughout the day, every day, is so important!  You should aim for half of your body weight in ounces.  I know it is hard to get that much water in, but staying hydrated will help to keep you full and your body won't confuse hunger for thirst.  If you plan to have an alcoholic drink or two, the rule-of-thumb is to drink one full glass of water before your drink.  

4. Socialize!  Keep your focus on socialization, not mindlessly eating.  How often do you get together with friends/family, whether it be for dinner or for a holiday party, and you find yourself sticking your hand in the basket of chips while you are all sitting around chatting? Seriously, are you REALLY hungry when you do that?  In the many times that has happened to me, the answer is NO!  If it is too much of a temptation, sit on the opposite side of the table or socialize in another area.

5. Bring a healthy appetizer/side dish!  If you hosting a party, then you have complete control over the menu.  While not everyone may be in support of eating healthy, you can still make healthy options.  It's YOUR party!  If you are attending a party, bring along a side dish or appetizer that you feel comfortable eating.  That way, if you get to the party and realize that it is all fried and unhealthy food, you at least have what you brought!  It can be something simple like a fruit tray, veggie tray, or even decorative fruit skewers!  You can also check out the recipes below. 

Now that you have read about some tips to staying on track this holiday weekend, let me share with you some great picnic recipes that you can serve at your party, or bring along to the party you are attending.

Southwestern Salad
Clean Eating Recipe, Southwestern Salad

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  For best flavor, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Options:  You can eat as is or you can serve over lettuce/spinach.  

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! (You can serve either warm or cold).

Bean Salsa
1 Red Onion finely diced
1 can of Black Beans drained and rinsed
1 can of Kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 Avocado sliced into chunks
1 tomato diced
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp salsa
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn thawed and drained
3 Tbsp. Plain Greek Yogurt
Olive Oil

1. Mix all liquid ingredients together.
2. Add in all other ingredients and stir.

Light and Fresh Potato Salad
*1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
* 2 tbsp. canola oil
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
*5 cups cubed red potato (about 2 pounds)
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
* 3/4 cup sliced grape of cherry tomatoes
* 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
* 1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
* 1/4 cup chopped green onions
* 1 (2 1/4 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.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Zucchini
1. Marinate the chicken in the olive oil, lemon juice, red onions, and paprika for 30 minutes.  
2. Season the chicken with Mrs. Dash.
3. Skewer the chicken cubes with the bell peppers and zucchini onto the stick.  
4. Grill or broil until cooked through (about 8 minutes).

Clean Eating Cookie Dough Yogurt

I hope this helps!  Please email me at if you would like to chat about your summer health and fitness goals!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!  Stay safe and God Bless! 

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