How to Eat Healthy at Group Functions

I don’t know about your family, but mine is all about food! When we go on vacation we talk about where we are going to go for dinner while we are eating lunch. A few weeks ago we went to Napa for a celebratory feast to celebrate my gramma’s life (she passed away last June). What did we do before eating a 4-course family-style meal? We went to Oxbow Market to eat 3 dozen oysters, of course!

While I love food and enjoying it with my family and friend, if I am not careful I can go overboard before we are even done with appetizers. Today I am attending a potluck for our softball team and tomorrow we are heading to a family BBQ at my aunts house. Not knowing what will be available to eat always add an extra challenge to healthy eating. But there are always things you can do no matter what the situation is:

– Don’t go hungry. Make sure to eat a balanced breakfast if you attending an afternoon event, or a good lunch before a dinner. Whole grains, protein and some fat is the way to go. If your event is a few hours after your last meal, grab a snack with protein and fat in it to tide you over. I love a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.

– Exercise. Working out in the morning always sets me on the right path. I am less likely to throw caution to the wind if I worked hard and got sweaty in the morning.

– Bring something healthy. If you are going to a potluck, you can bet there will be lots of chips and other less-than-stellar food options. Ensure that you will have healthy options by bringing your own. At least you know you can fill up on that and have smaller portions of the other foods. I will be bringing bruschetta to the softball party. Fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. Perfect summer snack!

– Slim down childhood favorites. Some foods are a must at family events. In our family, Macaroni Salad is a staple at summer BBQs. I am in charge of the salad for the first time this weekend. To cut back on the mayo while adding flavor I will replace some of the mayo with low-sodium chicken broth.

– Try a little of the things you love. Don’t deprive yourself. Take a little bit of each of the things you love and skip the ones that don’t excite you.

What are your tips for surviving group functions while trying to eat healthy?

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