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Are you cottaging this weekend?

If you’ve already had your time away, read this article on recovering from your crazy weekend!

May long weekend is coming up! The first long weekend that sets us up for an amazing summer.  A weekend of cottages and camping; gardening and opening the pool. But for those of us watching what we eat, any kind of outing can bring a bit of stress as we wonder what foods will be offered and available.

At LFLC, we have some simple ideas to help relieve stress so that you can enjoy your extra weekend time.


Focus on Quality over Quantity

Your favorite foods do not need to be completely forbidden.  Make an effort to enjoy them in smaller portions. Studies indicate that after the third bite, your taste buds don’t register the flavors as sharply.  So unless you’ve planned for these extra calories, just enjoy the 3 bites and move on. You’ll be amazed how one small taste can satisfy you. To help you eat reduced portions, choose a salad plate instead of a dinner plate and serve yourself.


Choose Healthy Foods First

Seems obvious but you know how tempting it can be to deviate from your plans when those around you are in “holiday mode”.  Make yourself some solid rules and enjoy the rest. For example, perhaps this weekend you’ll stay away from hot dogs and hamburgers.  Once the rule is set, head for the veggies or smoked salmon first. This will help reduce your intake of processed foods and you’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy options when you go for round two.


Don’t Drink your Calories

Calories in alcoholic beverages can add up.  A craft beer can start at a low 200 calories per serving and, depending on the size and alcohol content, can total over 350 calories per serving.  Those tasty frozen margaritas that are pretty refreshing can be up over 500 calories! To avoid unnecessary liquid calories, drink plenty of fruit-infused water. You may want to try this easy recipe: Ginger Lime Water and, alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water.


Plan Ahead

If you plan on attending an event where there will be food, offer to bring your own Low Fat Low Carb dish(es). That way you know there will be at least a couple of things you can eat there! Another option is to have a “food budget”.  Knowing how many calories you want to eat daily will give you more flexibility in planning your meals. If you know you’ll want to have dessert, make a point to leave a calorie allowance for dessert.  You can do this by cutting back on snack foods. You can stock up on salad and stick to a 1/4 cup of carbs. Just make sure you’re not leaving the meal feeling overstuffed. A general rule, you should be able to go for a brisk walk after you eat.  If you can’t, you’ve eaten too much.


Focus on Fun, not Food

Create fun outings that focus on activities rather than meals.  Sharing in activities help make memories that are cherished forever.  Smores on the campfire are much easier to forget. Hiking, canoeing or even family board games will take the emphasis off food and will even help you burn some calories.  Exercise is always a great way to help lessen the impact of weekend holiday foods.

We know, this can sound easier to say than do.  Here are 3 great meals that you can prepare and pack in advance to ensure that you keep health as your top priority while you spend quality time with friends and/or family over the long weekend.

 

GREEN MENU

Cauliflower Tabouli Recipe

Tabouleh is often a high carb choice as the main ingredient is couscous.  Here’s an easy twist to a classic recipe that makes it low carb AND gluten-free.

We love this recipe because you can prepare it in advance, eat it cold and it’ll keep for the weekend.  In fact, it tastes better as the days go on. Double the recipe to share with your friends.

 

BLUE

Veggie Rainbow Kebabs

Nothing says summer meals as much as the smell of something on the BBQ.  Here’s a great kebab recipe that your friends will envy. Maybe, if you feel like sharing, they’ll get to savour these awesome skewers too.  Great as a colourful side or main dish for vegetarians. Can be prepped in advance.

 

PINK

Salmon Sprout Salad

There is so much goodness in this salad that we don’t even know where to begin.  Kale is a great “prep-in-advance” salad. As the days pass, the kale absorbs it’s dressing, enhancing its flavor.  Top it with healthy salmon and cancer-fighting Brussels sprouts and you’ve got a win-win meal that your friends will want to try. This salad can easily be made in advance and will be good for up to 3 days in an air-tight container.

 

Most importantly, take the time to enjoy yourself.  Long weekends are made for relaxing and focusing on what you value most.  Whether that be time in your garden or away with your friends or family. Let your food choices be easy and your memories be joyful.


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