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Stay on Track even at a Party

Oh yes, it’s Memorial Day weekend. 
The beginning of a summer of neighborhood gatherings, barbecues, parties and so many chances to get derailed from a healthy eating plan. But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t automatically assume you can’t eat well at parties. If you decide its a cheat day that fine. We are all allowed to indulge but there is also no reason why you should avoid a social function just to stay on track.
So how do you do it? Here are several tips.
1: Host
The easiest way to make sure that the table is not full of tempting treat food is to host the party at your house. My husband and I are having a memorial day party and I have made a whole menu of clean yet delicious food so no matter what everyone else brings I know I can fill my plate with food that I think is yummy but I have not gone off the deep end. The best part? I don’t think anyone is going to notice that its all clean!!
My menu? 
Organic Tortilla chips and pico de gallo 
Veggie tray
Clean pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce
Cilantro rice
Balsamic Tomato Salad
Clean Roasted Potato Salad
Fruit salad
Now I am definitely going to be indulging in an adult cocktail or two but that is where I choose to splurge, for you it might be a brownie or something else. Don’t be the food police on yourself, have a good time but seek out the best choices and make them. Nobody is twisting your arm to eat that ranch chicken wing dip or that piece of cake, your choices are YOURS. Make them because you want to and after a while you will make them because it is just second nature.
2. Offer to bring something
Even if you don’t control the whole menu you can offer to bring a dish to share. Choose an item that you know can be tempting to you and make a healthier version. Replace mayo in a pasta salad with avocado or instead of cookies or brownies make a fruit salad or other healthy dessert. Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt in dips or instead of bringing a case of beer make a pitcher of fruit infused water to add to the bar. 
3. Hydrate!
Drink Drink Drink (and I don’t mean upside down from the keg tap…)
Water is your friend. The more you drink the happier your body, especially if you are out in the sun.
It fills you up therefore decreasing the chances that you are going to destroy your friends famous 7 layer dip single handedly and it helps replace the totally empty calories of a beer, glass of wine or slushy summer cocktail. So drink up , and if you are having some cocktails, make sure you drink at least 1 glass of water in between them.

4. All things in Moderation.
If you are going to splurge do it in small doses. Being healthy is a lifetime process. It’s made up of single decisions that are strung together to form a pattern of choices. If you choose to have that brownie with some ice cream today go for it. But do it smart. Have a small one and a little ice cream, bot a sundae the size of your head! And just because you ate one splurge item does not mean that you “ruined your day” so you might as well go ahead and make 10 more unhealthy choices. That is how you fail yourself on this path. Allow for treats but in moderation. One treat does not ruin anything as long as you don’t let it. It’s a mind game, that is “diet” mentality and it will not help you achieve long term goals.
So the moral of the story is party on people and enjoy your summer of social events but arm yourself with the mental strength to make good choices and do what you can to make those choices easy for yourself.
And also…As a veteran, daughter and granddaughter of veterans and wife to the most handsome and wonderful Naval officer in the world please take some time out of your long weekend and barbecue planning to remember those who have sacrificed everything they had to give so that we could enjoy the lifestyle we live. This is the land of the free because of the brave so take a minute and thank a Vet or a military member for all they do.
~eat healthy, be healthy, and have a great weekend!
Patty

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