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Summertime Party Guide: Enjoy the Summer without the Guilt!

9:14 AMJaime Messina

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The summer is filled with parties, cookouts, and get togethers. One of life's greatest joys is socializing with friends, and making new ones! But lets be honest it is hard enough sticking to a nutrition plan and eating healthy at home, it is even more difficult to stick to it at parties and restaurants. Don't worry, you don't have to hide in your house all summer long if you want to stick to your plan! You will be surprised at all the things you can enjoy when you are out with friends...the key is MODERATION! It is perfectly fine to indulge on occasion. Doing so does not mean that you have to throw your healthy eating plan out the window and give up! All it takes is a little tweaking here and there. For example, if you know that you want to indulge on something not on your plan at a party, cut back on the calories you drink! If you know you are in the mood for a cocktail, choose the right foods! Bottom line is that we don't have much time here on the earth so we need to figure out a way to balance being healthy, enjoying our lives, and enjoying each other. 

Today I will provide you with some tips to make it all easier!

TIPS FOR PARTIES: 

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  • Tell the host ahead of time that you're watching what you eat, ask about light options. If there aren't any eat or have a shake before you go so you aren't forced to make a bad choice.
  • Offer to bring a light or guilt-free app or dish! Most likely if you are wanting an option like this, so are others at the party too!
  • Skip the apps and wait for the main course! Picking on things might not seem like much, but can really add up.
  • If you arrive at a party and there are no healthy options, get creative! Scrape sauces or breading off of food. Look for the lean protein!
Things to enjoy: 

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  • Sashimi 
  • Sushi (high protein, low fat, and low calories, avoid tempura) 
  • Shrimp cocktail (1 shrimp has only 10 to 20 calories!)
  • Nuts. They have fiber, protein, and healthy fat to keep you full. (limit salt and quantity-15-20 is perfect.)
  • Hummus and Pita
  • Baked tortilla chips and salsa
  • Grilled Skewers (fish, meat, chicken)
Things to Avoid:
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  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Fried foods
  • Sausage
  • Cheese Plates
  • Heavy Dips
  • Potato Chips
  • Buffalo Wings

Tips for Restaurants:
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  • Do some research and suggest a restaurant that serves fresh, healthy food. You will be surprised how many people will appreciate this suggestion!
  • Take your time eating! Make sure to drink water, set your fork down between bites, and enjoy your company!
  • Remove the bread basket, or move it out of reach! (I LOVE bread, so I always put it at the other end of the table.)
  • Take home leftovers! The portion sizes at restaurants are alway massive. If you are cleaning your plate, it is most likely more than you need. Don't be afraid to ask for a box and bring some home.
  • Split an entree with a friend! I find that splitting a small app and then an entree with a friend provides the perfect amount of food.
  • Drink lots of water. When others are drinking and I am not in the mood, I ask for sparkling water with lemon. It makes me feel like I am having a cocktail as well. 
  • If you want a drink, skip the appetizer.

Things to enjoy:

Starters
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  • Soup (broth based, avoid creamy soups)
  • Salad ( avoid creamy dressings, and too much cheese)
  • Appetizer with lean protein (lettuce wraps)
  • Steamed artichokes (my fave!!)
  • Seared Fish/sashimi

Entrees
  • Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and steak (filet mignon is lean)
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Side Dishes
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  • Veggies are best- asked for grilled, roasted, or steamed
  • Baked potato (sweet potato if possible)



sorbet, clean eating, clean eating tips, healthy eating party tips, how to eat healthy at a restaurant, healthy dessertDesserts (I find that it is best to skip dessert, but if you must)
I always try and skip dessert. If others are eating, I will ask for some green tea. Another idea is to split a dessert and just take a bite or two.
  • Sorbet
  • Fresh fruit
  • dark chocolate

Things to Avoid:
  • Food does not need to drown in sauce. Ask for it on the side so that you can control how much goes on it!
  • Stay away from anything described as fried, crunchy, or sauteed. 
  • Avoid the cheese, cream sauces, and mayo.
  • Avoid the fried platters! 
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Those were my tips on how to enjoy parties and restaurants without completely screwing up your nutrition plan! The bottom line is that you need to decide what is important to you. If that huge piece of cake and plate of wings is more appealing than achieving your goal, then go for it. If not, then try the other options. At the end of the day it is up to YOU, and you can make the decisions that work best for you. 

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