The first day of fall is weeks away, yet to me Labor Day marks the end of summer for us. The last long weekend of Summer signifies back to school on Tuesday, the retirement of those white jeans and summer dresses until May, and for the lucky ones, a return from summering some place fabulous. It also signifies a day at the beach or a backyard BBQ, with the latter being on most of our agendas. Some of us just love a BBQ, but I know a few people who approach them with dread. But, no need to panic. Here are a few things to keep in mind at today’s Labor Day bash…
Make veggies your priority today, rather than the chips and dip. To ensure that you have an awesome selection to choose from volunteer to bring the tray yourself! Stock it with more exciting veggies than just baby carrots and broccoli. Add some purple cauliflower, sliced baby cucumbers, and mini red and yellow peppers.
At mealtime, make veggies the star of the plate. Fill up at least half of your plate with green salad or grilled vegetables.
Instead of processed meats, choose lean cuts of meat, such as top sirloin, and remove visible fat. Also, choose chicken without the skin (or at least remove it before eating), or choose grilled fish if that’s on the menu.
Going for the burger? Ditch the bun! Use a large lettuce leaf to wrap your burger with the usual condiments. I’ve also done this with pulled pork and barbequed shrimp. Add a few slices of cucumber or radish for some extra crunch.
Most of us with likely have a cocktail…or two. Sip a little smarter. Choosing the right drink will save you some extra empty calories. When it comes to beer, stouts usually have twice the calories as “lite” beer; sugary mixes, like margarita mixes or the like can add on as much as 200 calories to your drink. Choose zero calorie mixers, such as flavored seltzers. And, don’t get too heavy handed with the wine. A 3.5oz glass has around 85 calories, but we usually get served double that amount.
The most important part of today should be to have fun. Remember all the good times you had this summer, and relax. The excitement of Fall is here, and the craziness of the holidays are right around the corner. And, just because Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year (no joke! New Year’s Day is the biggest!) there is no need to freak out. I’m here to help you get started on those resolutions a little early…