Make Wise Choices at Food Celebrations
There are a lot of food-related events and activities slated for May—National Hamburger Month, and National Barbecue Month and more. In addition to the dedicated food event calendar, count Mother’s Day, graduations, and bridal showers. There are plenty of occasions for good eating and fellowship, creating the circumstances for you to easily venture off the path to the healthy lifestyle. No worries, I have suggestions for you. You’ll be able to enjoy, indulge, and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle goals.
Mother’s Day 2014 is the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day and Moms most enjoy taking a break and spending time with her children/kids no matter how old they are. If brunch or a breakfast buffet is planned, here are a few tips for healthy choices.
- Before hitting the buffet, enjoy a glass of water. This will keep you hydrated, and help you avoid over indulging when you’re face to face with the foods on display.
- Opt for assorted fresh fruits in place of fruit juice. Fresh fruits will help boost your fiber intake.
- Choose whole grain pancakes or waffles.
- Eggs as a protein food will stave off hunger longer than carbohydrates—avoid rich sauces, limit the amount of cheese, and add vegetables, or lean meats to omelets. And if you swap egg whites for whole eggs, that is even better.
- If ordering a side of meat, go lean—turkey bacon, chicken sausage or one instead of two sausage patties.
National Hamburger Month was created by one of the leading hamburger chains to celebrate one of the country’s most popular foods. When burgers patties first hit the grill of consciousness, they were beef burgers. These days the well-dressed burger bar includes patties made from turkey, chicken, buffalo and seafood.
I typically suggest you choose lean meats, but you do need a little fat in a good beef burger. Choose beef that is 80 percent lean, typically labelled 80/20. Avoid adding salt, especially before cooking. Chicken and turkey burgers are also good options and if you mix in dark meat, your chicken or turkey burger will be more flavorful and moist.
- Make slider-size patties or if a larger size is your choice, start with a meat patty that is 4-ozs. about the size of the palm of your hand.
- Choose hearty whole grain buns and consider an open-face burger with served with one-half bun.
- Healthwise items to serve with your burgers include fresh salsa, roasted mushrooms or chopped cucumbers or pickles.
- Serve sliced carrots or zucchini with low-fat ranch or onion dip in place of potato chips.
National Barbecue Month is all about enjoying the seasonal weather and cooking on the grill. Everyone loves good ‘cue and the secret to ‘cue worth bragging about is to start with good meat.
- Grill chicken, turkey or fish steaks. For any of these make sure the grill is not too hot.
- You can flavor the meat by marinating it 45 minutes to an hour.
- Choose side dishes that are not high in calories—try potato salad or coleslaw with vinaigrette dressing in place of the traditional mayonnaise, sour cream or salad dressing.
- Add plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit. For dessert choose angel food cake with a topping of fresh blueberries, raspberries or strawberries.
- Keep food safety top of mind—keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use separate utensils for uncooked and cooked meats and discard the marinade after removing the meat.
These are a few of the food-related celebrations. With these tips you can enjoy good times and good food and the healthy lifestyle.
Take Away: By choosing the well-being lifestyle, you can still eat foods you like. Just remember to choose moderate amounts, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise.