Do you inwardly groan when a special event is scheduled that involves eating because there will be nothing on the menu that fits your plan? Do visions of shortening-iced cakes and lard-filled pastries leave you feeling like starvation is the only option you have? These awkward situations can actually be easily handled without much fuss. Try these simple suggestions:
- BYOG - Yes, bring your own Greens. This is easy for a potluck. Throw together a "Hugh Maughn Gus" salad and be sure to include a bottle of gourmet dressing from one of your favorite healthy recipes or retail outlets. (I suggest Sun Drenchers and Robyn Openshaw's recipes in Twelve Steps to Whole Foods.) If it's a restaurant, airline flight, road trip, or stay at a hotel that you're facing, bringing your own greens may mean packing little bags of dried greens that can be slipped into a drink. Companies offering ready-made packets include Isagenix and Sun Warrior. If you prefer to make your own, you can find instructions on my blog.
- Eat your veggies first! Even if you decide to try the BBQ ribs or the cheesecake, make sure you try them last! Fill up first on whatever produce you can find! Remember, fruits and vegetables are nutritionally dense, but not concentrated calorically. So the more you eat of them, the less room you have for other foods that will spike your cholesterol, your blood sugar and your calorie-count.
- Sprouting is always an option. If you are staying overnight somewhere, breakfast the next morning is a snap. Bring a sandwich bag of grains and seeds. Before you go to bed, put 1/4 c. of them in a cup of water and let them soak overnight. This begins the sprouting process. Even if tails are not visible, the seeds are considered live vegetable matter. Drain off the water in the morning and sprinkle these early sprouts over a fruit cup or dip a banana into them. You wouldn't believe how this multiplies the nutritional value of your meal!
- "It's not what you do once that will kill you; it's what you do everyday that will save you." Understand that your body is not going to explode from one dinner as a guest in someone else's home. Be gracious and grateful. Know that you will soon be back on track. Bodies are resilient. The way you treat yours before and after the big occasion will largely determine how well you maintain your health. Don't use the holiday as an excuse to binge, throw in the towel or otherwise be careless.
- Go with the flow. If you make a fuss about the food, people are sure to notice what you're NOT eating. Then they'll start insisting that you try this or that, putting you on the spot. Make your choices quietly, enjoy what you can, and keep a plate or glass in your hand to nibble or sip from. Focus on the individuals you are with and the occasion you have to celebrate, and be cheerful!
To your health and happiness,