Summer Party Survival Guide: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy

Summer parties and picnics, including Fourth of July barbecues, are some of the greatest times you can have in these sunny months. But they can pose a real challenge when it comes to your health and wellness goals.

The food is hot off the grill and oh-so-good, the drinks flow—it’s tempting to just forgo your goals and hard work. You could give up going to these parties to stay on point with your healthy ways... But no one wants to do that. And you don’t have to! It’s possible to take part in them throughout the summer and remain true to your health goals. All you need to do is follow a few easy tips.

1. Bring health to the party.

You know there's going to be lots of hot dogs, burgers, ribs, chips, and dips. Offer to be of service: Bring something healthy that you can pile high on your plate—maybe a huge, beautiful salad with a lot of greens and some lemon and olive oil dressing. Or bring a bunch of good-for-you appetizers. Try fruit kabobs! Guacamole, for sure, and hummus—but accompanied by carrots, peppers, and celery to avoid munching down on chips.

2. Create healthy mocktails.

With cocktails come calories. Here’s a fun mocktail that’s unusual and has health-giving properties.

Watermelon-Ginger Summer Mocktail

Ingredients:
Half a cucumber (peeled and chopped into small pieces)
4–5 mint leaves
Juice from half a lemon (according to taste)
Four ¼-inch slices of fresh ginger
Liter fresh-pressed watermelon juice

Directions:

  1. Set watermelon juice aside, place remaining ingredients in a good-sized bowl.
  2. Muddle with something heavy to break up and release the flavors.
  3. Add a liter of fresh-pressed watermelon juice.
  4. Let sit for at least six hours on the counter.
  5. Strain and it’s ready to drink!
  6. Bonus: Feeling a bit mystical? Infuse your mocktail with a crystal!

3. Stay well hydrated.

Oftentimes people think they’re hungry, but actually it’s not really food they crave—it’s water. It’s easy to fall off the hydration train, especially in the summer months when the sun is high and you can unknowingly become dehydrated. Aim to drink two liters a day; keep a bottle near you at all times and sip regularly.

4. Limit portions.

Say you love barbecue and can’t pass up potato salad? That’s not a problem if you handle it this way: Fill up on the salad and veggies first, coating your tummy with the good stuff. Decide ahead of time what foods you really want but would normally shun and—key—imprint on your brain how much you’ll allow yourself. Some chips, a burger, etc. You are less likely to go for the less-healthy choices once you have filled up on the good-for-you options.

5. A snack before an event is always a good idea!

A snack beforehand will keep your blood sugar in check—which will prevent a faceplant into the cream cheese dip later. It doesn’t have to be much: a few vegetables, a handful of almonds, a piece of fruit. The idea is to take the edge off your hunger so you don’t arrive at the party famished, hangry, and eager to shove every morsel in view into your mouth. This practice will probably make you a better guest as well.

6. Be the host.

Now and then put yourself in charge of the party and the menu. Your challenge is to choose a healthy summer meal that to your friends is simply delicious. Instead of hot dogs, grill kabobs with marinated shrimp and veggies (or just plain veggies is one of my favorites). Make a salad with corn, black beans, red peppers, and onions finished off with coriander, olive oil, and lemon juice. For dessert? Watermelon, of course! I also love a good dark chocolate as a treat. Just make sure it's over 70 percent dark to reap the benefits.

7. Practice mindfulness and gratitude.

Instead of mindlessly feeding your face, slow down and pay attention to the luscious food before you. Give silent thanks for it. And on the celebration of Fourth of July, practice gratitude for the country we are blessed to live in. Even in these crazy times, it’s still the best ever.

How do you stay healthy at summer parties? Share your tips in the comments below.


Amy kurtz

Amy Kurtz is YOGANONYMOUS' resident health and wellness expert. Having had experienced a variety of chronic health issues from a young age, Amy realized that the only way she was going to recover was to become an active participant in her own well-being. Amy deeply believes in the power of self-care and it is her mission to teach people how to truly take care of themselves. A Health + Wellne...READ MORE