Nutrition Tip Tuesday: Social

Here we go! We got this! We are doing it! What exactly is this ‘it’ we are doing? We are going to be more mindful of what we eat and drink because we want to be stronger, healthier, have more energy, etc. Then, BAM, an invitation to a social gathering happens…OH NO! What are we to do!?!?! Well, before you enter the bunker for safety, we need to be a bit real here in our approach to living a healthier lifestyle; because, life happens.

Just because you decide you’re going to be more mindful of the foods you consume and how you move your body, does not mean you’ve got to hole yourself away until you’ve reached “the goal.” There will be birthday parties, dinners out, and wedding invitations coming you’re way–best be prepared so you can both enjoy the event and stick to your goals. Also….the holidays are coming (said in your best GOT voice)–so, why not be have your game plan at the ready?

Here are a few tricks you can use to prepare yourself for the upcoming busy social season:

  • Bring a Dish to Share

When appropriate, offer to bring a healthier option to the gathering. This helps the host/hostess and gets you an option if all the food is going to set you farther from your goal. For example, bring along a crudites platter with a greek yogurt based dipping sauce. Side note–crudites is just a fancier way to say ‘raw vegetables’ so bonus points for Frenching it up. But again, only do this if it’s appropriate; you don’t want to insult the person inviting you to their event.

  • Cheers!

With the festive season approaching, there will be many opportunities for you to become merry and bright. However, be mindful the prettiest of cocktails can also pack a high caloric punch all while offering zero nutritional benefit. Alcohol also dehydrates the body. It is one of the main reasons if you have too much fun at the office Christmas party, the next day you feel a bit well, like a Grinch. Your body is dehydrated. Additionally, those fun seasonal beverages your friend discovered on Pinterest likely have higher amounts of sugar via the additions mixed with the alcohol. Is there a hierarchy for adult beverages and how much/little dehydration they can cause. The answer is any alcohol will dehydrate the body to a degree and the more consumed, the more you’ll become dehydrated. Dependent upon the type of mixer used, the higher/lower the sugar content of the beverage thus affecting the drink’s overall sugar content and affect upon your body’s blood sugar. Ways to monitor the amount of beverages you consume thus limiting the affect on the waistline: alternate cocktails and sparkling water; ask for lower calorie mixers such as diet club soda with citrus; or if there is a lower calorie/light option to the cocktail offered say, yes. I am not saying you’re to avoid alcohol–unless that is your preference–I am simply advising you to drink responsibly.

  • Cakes, Cookies, and Pies…oh my!

They’ll most likely be at any gathering you are invited to attend. The kick off to sugar season is quickly approaching–Halloween. So, may as well have your game plan at the ready. If sugar is your nemesis, be mindful there are multiple ways to handle it when she rears her ugly head in your direction. You can avoid consumption at all cost. Cold turkey. Just say ‘no thank you’ when Aunt Gladys offers you here famous pecan pie at Thanksgiving; however, if declining the sweet treat is not an option, here is one approach you could use. Ask yourself some of these questions, “is this the ‘x’ the best of it’s kind?” “Can I find this ‘x’ any ‘ole place?” “Is this ‘x’ a once a year treat?” Depending on your answer, this may help you be a bit more selective on which treats you choose to consume. “Is this ‘x’ the best of it’s kind?” If the answer is ‘no’ then don’t waste your time. Before pilfering all of your child’s Reece Peanut Butter Pumpkins from his/her Halloween bucket, ask yourself “Can I find these any ‘ole place?” Also, if Aunt Gladys’ pecan pie is the one thing you truly look forward to at your familial Thanksgiving table each year, enjoy the slice she cuts for you and move on.

Bottom line here is be selective with what you choose to consume during the upcoming holiday season. Select your method and whatever you choose to do, don’t beat yourself up for enjoying the moment. Make the memories. Enjoy the experience and move on. As long as you’re not consistently over doing it from October 31st-December 31st, you may surprise yourself and not be one of those folks racing to join the local gym January 1st with your long list of resolutions in hand!

Until next time,

-E

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