4 WAYS TO EAT HEALTHY AT A SUMMER BBQ OR PARTY
Summer is coming, along with BBQs, family outings, picnics and parties.
Are you wondering how you are going to attend those and not eat what is there?
Have you been to BBQ or a party where there were so many yummy, fatty and junky foods around and everyone seems to be enjoying them so much?
You try to resist but you are hungry. What do you do?
Are you afraid to bring your own food?
Are you afraid to say no to what is on the table because you don’t want to offend anyone?
Are you afraid to bring a big salad or something to share with the group, fearing the host will get offended?
I have been there. I have been bringing my own food to functions for years! The main reason is because I am highly sensitive to food additives and preservatives. Packaged foods, sauces, msg, food colorings etc. They just do me in. I get very sick.
Here are 4 suggestions to get through a Summer BBQ, Party or Family Gathering:
1. Bring your own food
2. Bring a large salad or a dish of something to share with everyone
3. Eat before you go so you are not starving
4. Eat the food you like and leave what you don’t, and don’t make a big deal out of it
I expand on these below:
Bring Your Own Food
Bring your own gluten free bread, bring your own veggie burger or fish, bring a salad (all greens, quinoa, rice noodle, beans, rice, etc). There are so many varieties.
I have done this and yes, it is a little awkward at first, but you have to get over that. People will actually envy you because usually what you bring is very appealing (ok, some guys will not but the women tend to wish you brought some to share) and I bet there are a lot of people who wish they could eat what you brought.
People actually view you as being well disciplined, healthy and in control (in a good way).
I have never had a bad reaction or experience when I have brought my own food.
Remember – your thoughts and the way you act will tell others how to treat you. Don’t feel you are doing something bad or wrong – they will pick up that vibe.
Do not feel “guilty” or continually apologize for bringing your own food. This can make people think you are doing something wrong.
Bring a Large Salad or a Dish to Share
I often do this. Yes, it is work and can be a bit of an expense, but it makes me feel good and I can tell you – people REALLY appreciate it. Especially the other women there who are also probably wanting something lighter and healthier. You may even find that your dish gets gobbled up by the others – so make sure you get some before others eat it all.
If you are doing this – make something that you feel most people would enjoy. Do not bring a huge dandelion salad – you get the point
Eat Before You Go
I often do this, even if I am bringing something.
When you get to a BBQ or party there is usually a wait before you eat and during that time they have a lot of appetizers and munchies around that are so tempting!
If there is a plate of cheddar cheese – I’m all over it.
Sure a couple pieces are fine but if you eat a lot of cheese, handfuls of potato chips, etc when you are not used to it – you will feel so crappy, as well as taking in a lot of “bad” calories
I eat just enough before I go so I am not real hungry when I get there.
Makes it easier to nibble on veggies or have just a bit of the “junk” food without overeating
You could also bring a smoothie to sip on which will help to fill you up.
You could bring a healthy appetizer to share, giving others a healthy alternative as well as you having something you can eat.
Eat the Food You Like and Leave the Rest
If you are invited somewhere for dinner and they do not know you, the best thing to do is to eat what you can and leave the rest. Do not make a big deal out of it. You don’t have to say anything.
This is what you would do if you are invited somewhere and they have said “do not bring anything”. I have been in this situation many times.
I may eat before I go also. When I get there, I don’t say anything. I just eat what I want to eat and leave the rest.
When and if the host asks why I am not eating some of the food, I reply that I don’t eat meat (if that is one ofthe things) or I have sensitivities to wheat and dairy (etc.).
They usually feel bad at first, but I thank them and ensure them that they didn’t know and I am totally fine and it was very nice for them to make this meal and invite me over.
If you are too embarrassed to:
- bring your own food,
- to eat before you go so you are not hungry while you are there,
- to bring something you can eat and share with everyone there then here is my BEST ADVICE
GET OVER IT!
You are worrying about what other people are going to think. You are putting words in their mouth. You do not know what they are thinking.
How would you feel or think if someone did any of those things?
Most likely it wouldn’t bother you that much. Same goes for them. They may not even give it a second thought.
I have been doing this for years and I have never had a host angry with me. Sometimes they are reluctant to invite me over because they don’t know what I can eat, but I tell them not to worry that I eat “real food” and I can also bring a dish, they are fine with it.
It is your attitude about it and your energy you put out about it that can make the situation comfortable or uncomfortable. Be honest, upfront, casual, confident and respectful and you will have no problem.
A salad I love and is great to bring to a BBQ, party, family gathering etc is a Quinoa Mexi Salad. Below are the ingredients:
- Quinoa (cooked)
- Beans (can be canned or soaked then cooked dry beans) – such as black beans, aduki beans, chick peas, navy beans, kidney beans or a bean mix
- Can of tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes (try to get diced tomatoes with no preservatives and no tomato juice)
- Chopped bell peppers
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped celery
- Chopped cucumber
- Chopped green onions
- Frozen peas (thawed in hot water)
- Chopped greens (such as kale, spinach, arugula – this is optional)
I know there are no measurements but you are going to eye-ball this one. Also, depends on how big of a salad you want. Also, don’t put in things you don’t like. Quantities of each depends on your taste.
- Extra virgin olive oil, lime juice (use real limes), garlic, chili powder, touch of sweetener (agave, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar), cumin, salt and pepper
To make dressing:
There are no measurements because I do not know how big your salad is. When making dressing – start small.
Maybe 3 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp lime (or lemon) juice.
If it tastes too oily add a BIT of lime juice. If taste too much lime add just a BIT more oil. You do that until it tastes good.
Then add the other spices – little by little – until you like the taste.
Seriously – learn to listen to your taste buds (you know what I mean)
Start by making a small batch and if you like it just add more, do it again or write down measurements for small batch and multiply it for larger batch. Then again…..taste! and adjust.