Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer Kick Off

Technically it's not summer yet, but the season has officially begun. How did you feel Memorial Day Weekend? Were you bikini ready? Do you feel that you successfully navigated the weekend BBQ or did you leave feeling like your program was derailed? Did you manage to get in a workout and chose the more healthy food options?

If not, don’t let one weekend throw you off track for good. Re-commit to your workouts and plan your meals for the upcoming week. Strategy trumps willpower! And if you need some direction and a little boost check out my Red Carpet Ready program.

To help you prepare for the next summer BBQ, here are the 5 foods you must avoid and 5 you should choose.

1. Hot Dogs
2. Cheeseburger
3. Chips & Dip
4. Potato Salad
5. Beer

Hot dog with bun: If you actually read the ingredients in a hot dog it would be easier for you to pass. Add the bun (which is devoid of almost all nutritional value) and other fixings and you will realize this is a diet buster.

Cheeseburger: A 4 oz burger with American cheese comes in at a whopping 630 calories and 41 grams of fat. Eliminate the cheese and make sure the patty is from 95% lean, grass-fed beef, and you can put this back on the menu.

Chips & dip: A 1 ounce serving of Lay’s chips, which is about 17 chips, delivers 160 calories and 10 grams of fat. Add 2 tablespoons of Lay’s onion dip, you just added 60 calories and 5 grams of fat and you barely even noticed your snack. Chips are definitely something that is best to not even get started on. We all know how hard it is to just eat one.

Potato salad: The problem here is the mayo. If you can make it without mayo, using mustard instead, then you may enjoy a small portion.

Beer: Okay, technically this not a food, but they don’t call it a beer belly for nothing.

1. Grilled Chicken or Fish
2. Veggie Kabobs
3. Watermelon
4. Veggies with hummus
5. Red wine

Grilled Chicken or Fish: Fish in general and salmon in particular are excellent sources of Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are amazing because they have numerous benefits like protection from heart attack and stroke, and reduction of inflammation, to name a few. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, just be sure to remove the skin and read the label of any bottled BBQ sauce you may use. Avoid those with “high fructose corn syrup.” Plain grilled chicken or fish is best.

Veggie Kabobs: It’s really hard to eat too many vegetables. Fill up on these first and you will be able to enjoy your BBQ without sabotaging your diet.

Watermelon: One medium size hunk is only 46 calories and naturally sweet.

Veggies & Hummus: Hummus is a great source of dietary fiber and protein. And like avocado, Hummus contains heart-healthy fat.

Red Wine: Unlike other types of alcohol, red wine contains vital antioxidants which help repair damaged cells. In moderation, drinking red wine can improve heart health and circulation while also preventing cancer. The key word here is “moderation.”

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