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How to stay healthy without avoiding the fun this long weekend

Deciding what to bring to a BBQ can be a stressful task. You want to bring something that is simple yet delicious whilst catering for everyone’s needs. You also don’t want all your healthy habits to go out the window. The key is to create a guilt-free mindset and bring healthy options. This is not to say you can’t indulge in that potato salad you have been eyeing off. However you can still eat your greens too!


Creating a guilt-free mindset

It’s common to feel guilty for eating foods you wouldn’t normally eat. Allowing yourself to enjoy in these guilty pleasures are just as much part of your healthy lifestyle as your daily green smoothie. When we detach the negative thoughts from our mind, we simply live in that moment, free of expectations and judgement. Sounds easy right?  But how do you go about it?

Take the time to appreciate what you are eating

Everyone responds to different strategies however one that has been shown to be effective is through mindful eating. Mindfulness can be done anywhere and most importantly it doesn’t cost a thing. Next time you are feeling anxious or notice negative thoughts popping in your head about the pavlova and cream you’re about to inhale, pause. Take a moment to focus on your breath, acknowledge these thoughts and then let them go. Ask yourself why you might feel like this. Remind yourself that it’s okay to eat foods you wouldn’t normally every now and then. Lastly, take the time to appreciate what you are eating. Use your senses to enhance this experience; notice how the food smells, feels, tastes. By unplugging from distractions, you are more likely to feel calm and less likely to overindulge.


Making healthy choices

If you know the healthy options may be limited, bring your own. Healthy doesn’t have to be hard and you can definitely have fun with it.

Here are some examples of healthy choices to bring to a BBQ:

Take home

  1. Fill your plate with veggies-   Fill up on the good stuff such as greens, veggies or salads and you are less likely to over indulge on the not so good stuff!
  2. Keep it simple –  our eyes tend to be a lot bigger than our stomachs. With all the options at a BBQ,  it can be tempting to jam everything on your plate. Fill your plate as you normally would at home. Practice mindful eating and take your time to finish your meal.
  3. Bring your own healthy options- If you are unsure whether there will be any healthy options, bring your own. This way you can be at peace knowing you have something just in case. Use the inspiration above as a guide.
  4. Don’t overthink it – Be kind to yourself. Breathe. Remember that it’s okay to indulge every now and then.
  5. Refresh tomorrow- one unhealthy meal amongst hundreds of healthy ones doesn’t make a difference. Your healthy habits will be waiting for you when you get home. Make sure your next meal is nourishing and start the following day as you normally would.

Hopefully you can use this as a guide for your next BBQ. This time of year is full of good company and even better food so take the time to check in with yourself.

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