Fire up the grill and grab your party hat because summer is finally here and with it comes a full social calendar! Let the good times roll and feel zero guilt about your choices when you live a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Get-togethers can lead to mindless eating (a.k.a. not paying attention to what you’re eating and how much), but you can be a social butterfly AND stay healthy! Here are THREE tips to help you stay on track during the fun summer months:
1. Make a game plan and stick to it.
You could stay home forever to avoid the temptation of delicious party treats, but that’s no fun (and it would be super lonely). Sharing food is part of the human fabric that connects us with others. You can still network like a boss and stay on track with your health goals when you intentionally think about what you’re going to eat before you show up to the party. For some holidays and special occasions, you may want to have fun, celebrate, and not worry about your food and drink choices. Other times, you may want to enjoy the company of others while intentionally eating nutritious portions in moderation. Both are okay!
2. Practice Mindful Check-ins.
A helpful tool to use as you navigate through summer BBQs and pool parties is the 'Mindful Check-In.' Channel your inner meditation guru by taking a few deep breaths. Zone in on the movement of your inhales and exhales. Bring your attention to your body and notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging or labeling. Once you’re aware of how you are feeling at that moment, ask yourself if your eating choices or cravings for food bring you peace. You can use this practice before or during eating to check in with your hunger level throughout your meal.
3. Eat with presence.
A Zen proverb says: "When walking, walk. When eating, eat." Take that to heart and pay attention to the color, texture, aroma, and sounds of your foods as you eat. As you chew, try to identify all the ingredients and seasonings. Chew slowly and focus on any sensations happening in your body. Ask yourself how hungry or full you are and make choices based on enjoyment and nourishment. As with most things, this skill will develop with much practice until it becomes and feels natural.
Now that you’re a mindfulness master, click here for our Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad recipe that will launch you into social stardom. Prepare your friends’ and family’s taste buds now!
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