Who ever said, “ You can’t have your cake and eat it too” was one somber individual who never grasped the concept of a harmonious balance.
We set guidelines for ourselves so we can try to obtain and maintain a balance within our lives. A constant adjusting of work/life, personal/social, diet/cheat, boundaries/adventure and so on and so on. If we were always yin or always yang, we would be in a constant struggle of unrest to try to rectify the balance.
At different points in our lives, we will naturally lean one way more then the other and vice versa. It’s life. Such is the philosophy of Yin Yang. We need both sides of the spectrum to find the harmonious balance for our true selves to strengthen and flourish.
As the 4th is approaching, we can devise a plan towards finding that harmonious balance without falling of the wagon completely in one solid direction–cause we all know that old song and dance. It’s not a fun song and it’s not a fun dance.
So let’s change that tune and make the Monday after the 4th not one of berate, guilt, juice cleansing (unless that’s part of your routine and not a radical concept), mirror judging and crash dieting.
My # 1 core belief in staying on track is; always be prepared!
I use this core belief daily, especially when it comes to; traveling, making lunch for work, going to unfamiliar restaurants, attending potlucks, having movie nights with girlfriends and definitely when attending 4th of July BBQ’s at another persons house.
If you are having your own BBQ festivities, here are some suggestions:
- Don’t neglect your guests because you are trying to keep yourself on track. Provide dishes that you know they will appreciate, along with providing some healthier alternatives. I always tend to make my Excel-lentil Salad, but also have a heartier dish like Field Roast hot dogs with the fix in’s, to balance it out. A healthier alternative doesn’t mean it has to lose any flavor or comfort. If you are cooking up burgers some alternative options are; whole-wheat buns, gluten-free breads, rice, romaine lettuce or even collard greens for wrap options.
- If you want chips how about Late July, Way Better Chips, Kale Chips, Beanitos, Trader Joes Tortilla Chips or even slicing up thin jicama chips. If you want some more alternative ideas, check out my Pinterest.
- If you are attending someone else’s BBQ, then go prepared. I myself am attending a friends’ BBQ. I know there will be an array of goodies and indulgences and that’s OK. You need to make amends with the fact that that food will be there and its OK. It will always be there, wherever you go. You have the power and control to make the right decisions for you and your health. I know for myself that I need to provide some options that will leave me feeling satiated, gratified and not left out. You can either go with dishes you prepared or pick up something from a restaurant or market on your “safe list”. One pick up option idea is something like an M Cafe Macro Burger with zucchini pesto pasta would do. This weekend only, they are currently selling all the individual components needed to make the macro burger including the patties for $2.50 each! That’s a pretty sweet deal.
Some friendly markets are Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Erewhon, Sprouts and the best option, Farmers Market. With whatever option you choose to go with, include a snack, a main and a small dessert, as you will likely be there for some time. Other people around you will undoubtedly be picking and you will be tempted to do so as well. You don’t want to be caught with only a main dish. What happens when the double chocolate cake comes out?
Rule #1 goes out the window. 4th of July is a festive time. Unless you are on a specific diet or training program, you can indulge in a safe dessert. Some options that will never leave you feeling left out are; dark chocolate over 75%, vegan chocolate mousse, Earth Café Raw Cheesecake, Hail Merry tarts and chocolate covered strawberries.
This is a nice segway into rule #2. Portion Control! I said portion control, not deprivation.
There is a big difference.
The latter will turn you into a craving fiend when not addressed correctly. Don’t sit in front of the snack table because that’s torturous and indeed a recipe for disaster. Have a snack, walk away and engage with others. Directing your attention away from the snacks and the bar will not only stop the temptation, but will help you engage socially with the people you came to see. Portion control doesn’t stop at food. Drinks contain calories, sweeteners, additives and mood altering properties. Set a limit for yourself ahead of time (like 1 or 2) and stick with it.
Be cautious of any extra additives or sweeteners in those drinks and possibly steer yourself in another direction. To me, soda is hands down one of the worst things you can put in your body. You have heard about Coca Cola being able to clean oil stains of a garage floor or that it can kill a slug and a snail because of the acid content? Yup, there are plenty of facts like that floating around. Now tell me, does that seem like something you want to put into your temple? Try this. Create your own soda with seltzer water, lemons and fruit. You want orange soda? No problem. Mix Perrier with fresh squeezed orange juice. Voila!
With keeping everything in mind, the one thing that will sabotage your progress and your harmonious balance the most is stress and self-berating. Be kind to yourself. Life is full of ebbs and flows. If you fall down, pick yourself back up and keep on moving. If you keep all this in mind, you will be less likely to over do and be more likely to want to work on finding that harmonious balance. Nobody wants to see you fail especially not your friends or your family. If you let them in, that’s even more support on your side.
This weekend you are your own decision maker towards finding your own harmonious balance. I have great faith in you so enjoy, have fun and above all, don’t stress.