Happy Independence Day everyone! The day of the 3 “B's” has arrived, as most of us will celebrate our Independence Day by Barbecuing, drinking Beer and wearing Bathing suits. This day only comes once a year where us Americans like to go big or go home. The challenge here becomes not over doing it in the food or beer department. The question then becomes, how can we muster up enough self-control to have fun, but not drive ourselves over the edge?
Below are some helpful suggestions about making this holiday a healthy and happy one, that wont make YOU feel bad about yourself the next day.
1. Get the endorphins and blood flowing by doing some form of exercise in the morning. You will probably spend most of your day sitting and chatting, so get your body moving!
2. Start off the day eating a healthy and balanced breakfast—consisting of a protein and carb. It also doesn’t hurt to get some veggies in! Having a solid breakfast will keep your blood sugar stable so you will feel on track as you head to your afternoon/ evening BBQ.
3. Arrive to your BBQ with mindfulness in mind—take your time to say hello to the hosts/other guests. Enter into your mindfulness state where you get in touch with your breath and feel the energy of your environment. Anchor yourself in the situation so you feel centered and in control. This will help you make smart decisions throughout the night. (This means no running for the food/ drink table the second you get there). Remember to PAUSE, BREATHE, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT and ACT as you feel good about what you decide to drink, eat and do.
4. Food choices—make sure you are making decisions in tuned to what YOU are craving. If you are craving that burger, GO FOR IT! However, maybe you would feel better to split it with a friend or eat it without a bun? Don’t think about restricting yourself, but focus on eating smartly and mindfully. Also, remember to load up on lots of veggies before reaching into the chip bowl. Carrots, celery and other raw veggies are delicious to eat with salsa or other light dips.
5. Focusing on the lights—once you have eaten your meal, spend your energy else where in the party. Don't socialize by the food table as this may make you more tempted to snack. Get yourself to play a yard game with friends, go for a walk along the beach or go mingle with someone new—fill your mind with something else than food.
6. Hydrate!—Drink lots and lots of water! Remember to keep hydrated throughout the day. This will not only prevent you from feeling the heat of the sun, but it will prevent you from over eating. Studies have shown that your mind might think you are hungry, when in fact you are only just thirsty! Add lemon or other fruit flavors to keep you quenched and hydrated throughout the day.
7. Most importantly, HAVE FUN, BE SAFE and TREAT YOURSELF WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT!