Labor Day the Healthy Way + RECIPES included
Getting ready to celebrate Labor Day? Wishing you a very happy, joyful and hopefully healthy holiday!
It is not uncommon that you will host or be invited to a party or bbq with family and friends. Spending quality time with our close ones is a key component to staying healthy. Here are some tips and reflections that I hope can be of benefit or interest to you.
I am also including some healthy recipes: My magic guacamole (in case you have not gotten it yet or cannot find it), a delicious carne asada salad that you can take to your party and an easy chia pudding that you can prepare in no time and have as a healthy alternative at your event.
To make the Guacamole magic, add a dash of all or any of the following spices: turmeric, celery salt, garlic powder. These ingredients add more power to the flavors and to the detox and anti-inflammatory properties of the guacamole.
REFLECTIONS AND TIPS
Labor Day is a time for reflection on what being free is all about. Being free is having the freedom to choose. Being free is not being a slave.
I think it is appropriate to think about why we let ourselves become slaves to unhealthy food that make us feel and look bad. Why can’t we be free to eat what is good for us and also makes us feel good in the moment and many hours later. Instead, we stay addicted to the food that makes us what I call, fat, sick and sad. It may give us some pleasure but it is so short-lived and the following bad feelings stay with us for a much longer time. The good news is that it is not your fault. You are not a bad person or are weak. Most of the unhealthy foods are very addictive (sugar and high carbs). The more you eat, the more you will crave them. Just like people who have gotten addicted to drugs, getting out of addictions is not as easy as just deciding I will stop. Getting free requires a focused effort and lots of support.
I know this because I have been addicted to all the unhealthy foods. I am now free from that addiction and I am glad I am. All the time I spent thinking about food and how I would eat it or hide from eating it, I can now spend to pursue my dreams. How did I get free? It was a gradual approach where I made incremental changes. The first step was reducing the toxic load my body had from all the years of neglecting my health and my body. Yes, the first few days were hard but it got easier after that. As I felt better, I felt motivated to continue and at some point, I was unable to stop my journey towards maximized health.
Going back to the upcoming parties for Labor Day, or any other ones you have.
It is my experience that at most parties or BBQ’s (except if you come to mine : )) most of the food available will not be that healthy. The tables will be loaded with high-carb foods, sugar, processed foods, starchy veggies (i.e. potatoes, corn), maybe some other veggies or salads that will be covered with heavy sauces or dressings with hidden sugar or maybe unhealthy fats. And of course there will be no shortage of alcohol and wine.
What will be missing or there will be very little of will be great sources of clean proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy veggies that are not loaded with sauces or dressings.
Unfortunately, if you don’t get proactive, you will wake up on July 5th not feeling your best, tired, grumpy and having a food hangover accompanied or not by a wine hangover, and for sure some bloating, inflammation and added weight. Not fun. I have been there.
Here are some quick tips to make your celebration healthier. You can prepare the 3 recipes that I provided. Here is the link again to Download the Recipes. Or follow the following tips.
- If you are the host, prepare some healthy choices. If you are a guest and it is appropriate, offer to bring a salad. This way you are sure you can have all you need to stay satisfied and nourish your body and brain. Use some fresh mixed greens (romaine, arugula, spinach) and a variety of non-starchy veggies in different colors. The variety of colors will make it look prettier and ensure a variety of nutrients. Some ideas: organic tomatoes, some shredded carrots, organic cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini. The vegetables can be raw or oven baked or sautéed. Your choice. Add healthy fats, maybe avocado and olive oil. Season with Lemon juice and sea salt.
- Add a healthy protein to the salad like organic chicken or turkey, or grass-fed organic beef. If you are vegetarian, then add nuts and seeds or bring nuts and seeds on the side. For nuts and seeds, I always measure them because it is easy to get carried away. A serving is 1/4 of a cup. You don’t to need more.
- Eat something healthy before the event. A good option can be a healthy protein shake or a snack that has protein/healthy fat. This way, you will arrive satisfied and full and not be as tempted by the unhealthy foods.
- If you are going to drink, try to drink wine instead of mixed drinks that have a lot more sugar. Keep it at 1-2 glasses if you can. Always eat some protein or fat when drinking. Fat and protein will reduce the impact that sugar and carbs can have on your blood sugar. High spikes in your blood sugar trigger the production of insulin, the hormone responsible for storing fat. Having insulin spikes too often can also make your cells less resistant to it and this leads to diabetes.
- Drink lots of filtered water while at the event. It is easy to forget. So keep it in mind.
- Eat and drink mindfully. Eat when hungry, not as a social interaction. Be aware of what you are eating. Drink mindfully too. Don’t just let people or yourself keep refilling the glass with no end. Decide before the party how much you are going to drink. What you do drink and eat, enjoy, be aware of the flavors.
- Have fun and be thankful that you are free and for the company that you will be having: friends, family or colleagues.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Labor Day,