Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer. With the warmer air and sunny days, it’s easy to feel a little more laidback. While we could all benefit from chilling out, the one area we don’t want to get too relaxed in is with our diet. Yet for some reason, it’s common to attend a Memorial Day event and be inundated with unhealthy food options. The irony of these parties is that what’s intended to be a celebration of life can quickly spiral into an eating frenzy of junk food that leaves you feeling miserable. The last thing you want is to start your summer off feeling lousy. Instead of taking a few steps back this Memorial Day, make a concerted effort to use this holiday weekend to get on the right track for the season!

Here is my own version of “eat this, not that.”

As best you can, plan ahead so you have time to get your ingredients and make something at home to bring to your potluck or family celebration!

Naomi Whittel

New York Times Best Selling Author, Glow15

Eat This, Not That Memorial Day

Instead of

CRACKERS and CHIPS (stay away from rancid vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats)

Choose

Seed-based crackers.

Even Better

Raw veggie crudité or coconut chips.

 

Brand’s I Like

Simple Mills

Terrasoul Superfoods

 

Instead of

PASTA SALAD (remove refined grains)

Choose

Shirataki Noodles.

Even Better

Veggie “noodles” or veggie salad.

 

Brand’s I Like

Miracle Noodles

 

Instead of

POTATO SALAD (Use mayo made with avocado or olive oil)

Choose

1/2 cauliflower, 1/2 cold potato (provides resistant starch) and Avocado oil mayo.

Even Better

Avocado oil mayo

 

Brand’s I Like

Primal Kitchen

 

Instead of

BUNS and BREAD (Get more vegetable carbs — less junky carbs)

Choose

Coconut or nut-based alternatives.

Even Better

Lettuce wraps! Endive, collards or romaine

 

Brand’s I Like

Paleo Bread

NUCO Wraps

 

Instead of

COLESLAW (Use recipes made without added sugar)

Choose

Make it without added sugar and add broccoli or your favorite crucifer.

Even Better

Avocado oil mayo

 

Brand’s I Like

Sir Kensington

 

Instead of

CONDIMENTS (Avoid additives, food dyes, sweeteners, artificial flavors and fillers)

Choose

Coconut aminos

Even Better

Pesto Two Ways

 

Brand’s I Like

Coconut Secret

 

Instead of

GRILLING (Protect your meat from high heat)

Choose

Grill technique: Cook low, avoid slow (exposure to heat under 10 minutes is best)

Even Better

Add antioxidant-rich spices and polyphenols like turmeric, cumin, cayenne and top off with broccoli sprouts and cilantro to protect against oxidized fat

 

Brand’s I Like

Sprout House

 

Instead of

ICE CREAM (Avoid refined sugars, food dyes, chemicals, allergens, hormones, antibiotics, casein, etc.)

Choose

Ice cream made with coconut milk.

Even Better

Full fat whipped cream (grass-fed cream or coconut) with fresh berries.

Instead of

DRINKS (Avoid added sugars and too much alcohol).

Choose

Sugar-free, mold-free, low sulfite, no additive pure wine.

Even Better

Seltzer with fresh lemon, lime or bergamot extract.

Brand’s I like

Dry Farm Wines

While holidays are a time to be happy, I want you to think carefully about what brings you real lasting happiness. Sometimes it might be a bite of our favorite food from childhood, but most of the time it’s really not about the food. Happiness that’s not fleeting is derived from taking pleasure in the simple things in life — enjoying the people we are surrounded by, noticing the beauty of the natural world around us, being fully present in an activity we love, or slowing down and taking time to rest, feel still and find gratitude for our life just as it is in this very moment. Think about what makes you truly happy. This holiday weekend I want you to make more memories from the real things in your life that bring you joy, rather than the quick jolt of pleasure (or stress from overthinking or worrying!) about food. That said, definitely enjoy your food — just don’t get too focused on the feelings around it.
If you are following the program in my new bestselling book, Glow15, you might be on a Low Day for Memorial Day. My favorite way to enjoy a grill party or outdoor get together on a Low Day is to save my protein for the meal that I’ll be socializing at, usually later in the day. I’ll begin with some AutophaTea and AvocaGlow and then later in the day when I’m with friends and family, I’ll enjoy a plate that’s 75% vegetables with a lot of my favorite good fats and a serving of protein. I do my best to make the best choices I can base on what’s available.
While grilling isn’t the best way to enjoy protein, especially meat, once in a while living outside my normal routine feels good when the timing is right. Another example of navigating social events with food obstacles is, of course, dessert. I love enjoying a little sweet treat on holidays especially since I have four children! Because we don’t tolerate casein that well in our house, I usually offer to bring the ice cream. I love coconut-based ice creams for this reason. Not only do they not contain any antibiotics, hormones or casein but they tend to be lower in sugar and provide a much higher quality of fat than conventionally raised dairy does.

If you find yourself attending rather than hosting a get-together, think of something you can bring that will help make your gathering fun, yet something that also protects your health without sacrificing the integrity of your experience on Glow15. You’ve come so far, so keep up the great work!

Here’s to a beautiful, glowing summer!

Naomi

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