Labor Day Weekend. The weekend that students dread as the summer completes itself. Labor day weekend signals our last “hoorah” enjoying pool parties, barbecues, days at the beach, and summer festivities until we start seeing school buses on our route to work once more.
Labor Day weekend can be considered a time of celebration or a time of mourning, giving the summer a bittersweet farewell until next year. These emotions may lead us to overindulge in foods that we normally would not choose to consume, reversing all of our hard work towards a healthy lifestyle.
Indulgences, when chosen in moderation, are a part of a healthy lifestyle. When we indulge in a food that we absolutely LOVE, we choose to nourish the body and the mind. However, when indulging in our favorite dessert spirals into mindlessly eating three burgers, two hot dogs, a few ice cream sandwiches, a couple of handfuls of chips, several smores, and numerous “adult” beverages, it is sometimes hard to wake up and continue with the normal routine the next day.
Awareness is the first step to making healthy choices in a high risk situation, such as holidays that are usually surrounded by copious amounts of food. However, we can help YOU help YOURSELF through these simple tips so you can enjoy the indulgence without putting a road block on your journey to health!
- Load up on veggies. Veggies provide that “crunch” that you seek, and are packed with fiber to help you feel full!
- Drink plenty of water! Stay hydrated in order prevent any heat related illnesses in these hot few summer days (especially if you are consuming alcohol). This will help you not go overboard on your indulgences!
- Choose to include lower calorie options in the day. Snacking on chips can EASILY lead to consuming over 300 calories in your day. Prepare with simple recipes, such as:
- Mix 6 oz plain fat free Greek yogurt with ¼ tsp vanilla extract and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Serve with 1 cup berries or fresh fruit (150 calories).
- Shrimp cocktail: Serve 7 medium shrimp with 1 Tbsp cocktail sauce (120 calories).
- Diet root beer float: Add ½ cup no sugar added low fat ice cream (Such as Enlightened Icecream) to 1 cup diet root beer (70 calories).
- Strawberries and cream: 1 cup sliced strawberries (8 medium berries) with 2 Tbsp low fat whipped topping (100 calories).
- Baked peaches: Cut a medium size peach in half and scoop a small circle in the middle. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. When cooled, fill middle with ¼ cup low fat cottage cheese (120 calories).
- Berry smoothie: mix ½ cup skim milk or fat free plain yogurt with 1 cup berries and ½ cup ice in a blender (120 calories).
- Caprese salad: Slice low fat mozzarella into thin slices (should look like a domino) and place them in between a tomato slice and a fresh basil leaf. Serving size is three pieces (130 calories).
- Eat every 3 hours. This will help your metabolism function optimally and keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day to ward off any unwanted cravings!
- Be sure to include physical activity. Keeping physical activity in not only our normal routine, but our holiday routine, will help us stay on track towards a healthy lifestyle! Remember, it’s not a diet, not a temporary fix, not a “I’ll be good until…” kind of life. It is a LIFESTYLE.
- Practice mindfulness. Choose a food you really love to enjoy and ENJOY it! Being mindful and present will help you get the most satisfaction from this indulgence, as well as paying attention to your hunger cues will. If you are talking, drinking, and snacking all day long, chances are you will eat far more than you wanted to.
Remember, health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life you gain. Let one of our dietitians at Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition help you gain the life back that you deserve! Call today to introduce yourself 609-738-3143
Michele Wroblewski, RDN
Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC
1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3
Allentown, NJ 08501