Doing Labor Day Right: How to Eat, Drink and Indulge this Holiday Weekend

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Holiday weekends can be hard. They're usually full of sugary cocktails, unhealthy desserts and fried everything. Here are a few pointers (and recipes) to keep you on point without feelings deprived this holiday weekend.  

•IF YOU'RE GOING OUT TO EAT, TAKE THE LEAD ON CHOOSING A RESTAURANT: Whether it’s a work dinner or a date, jump in and offer suggestions for restaurants that you know have healthy and wholesome options for you. Clean Plates is a great resource for finding healthy places to eat in your area.

CHECK OUT THE MENU AHEAD OF TIME: If you can’t pick the place, don’t fret. Look at the menu and see what options are aligned with your way of eating. If you dont see too much on the menu for you, it’s okay. You can call ahead and explain your food preferences or you can even ask the server if the kitchen can put together something simple for you such as a lean grilled protein and steamed vegetables. Usually, restaurants have these ingredients and you just have to ask nicely so they’ll accommodate you.

•HEADED TO AN UNHEALTHY BBQ?  NEVER SHOW UP HUNGRY!  I’m not suggesting you have a full-on meal beforehand, but have a handful of almonds, a low-glycemic fruit, or a lean piece of protein so you dont arrive to the party ravenous and dive head-first into the deep fried oreos or a plate of french fries. Making sure you dont have low blood sugar while heading out to a meal is a great way to keep you on track.

GO FOR GREENS: Narrow in on a few dishes that are heavy on the greens. Avoid anything with lots of sauces, as there may be hidden ingredients that you might be trying to avoid. Your goal should be to eat about 50 percent veggies accompanied by a nice lean protein and some complex carbohydrates like quinoa. If you dont think your friends will be serving anything like that, then offer to bring your own, or a nice big salad for the group.  

HYDRATE: Often times we mistake dehydration for hunger—especially in the summer heat. Being thirsty can actually lead us to overeat, so make sure you’re getting plenty of water.  If you're drinking adult beverages, hydrate even more and grab some shade as hanging out in the sun will make you sweat even more and throw your electrolyte balance off.  

ADULT BEVERAGES: If you can skip the drinks, you’ll be doing your body and brain a favor. But if you absolutely must drink because the peer pressure is too much, make good choices and cap yourself at two drinks. Opt for a red wine or a hard liquor without any sugary mixes added to it. Vodka soda, gin and soda, tequila with a squeeze of lime are all better options than sugar-laden cocktails. You can also find our favorite healthy cocktails here

CRAVING DESSERT?: No problem!  Fruit can be a real treat on the eyes and tastebuds, but if you want something extra special, try my vegan brownies, or mango vegan tart.  


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