Mindful Memorial Day

Potato Salad

Mmmmm! Potato salad in a can.

As we gear up for a nice long Memorial Day weekend to commemorate those who have fallen in war it may signal time for some of us to fall off the wagon.  I rank this holiday in the top five of days where food and alcohol are the focus above all else.  I have two barbecues to look forward to this weekend and I already have the beer in the fridge that I am going to bring to both.  So, how do you have a great time while still maintaining the same standards that you have developed over the last several months?

You Need a Plan: Establish some parameters before you hit any of the parties to keep from drinking or eating to much.  Maybe you make it a point to stay away from the potato salad and stick to the fruits and vegetables.  Or, if you are going to drink decide on a number of alcoholic drinks up front decide on a low calorie alternative like flavored soda water.

Keep you Head in the Game: You don’t have to be obsessive to be mindful but you do have to maintain some level of focus.  Everyone has their trigger foods, things you just can’t control yourself around and social situations can be a cravings minefield.  An effective strategy for keeping the cookies at bay is to pile your plate with the good stuff leaving just enough room for a taste of the tempting treat.  If you feel that all this will do is open Pandora’s Box then it might be best to just switch to plan B and keep that desert table at arms length.

Just Say No!: Do you get that twinge in your stomach when the hostess walks up to you with a plate of atomic, double-mint, triple fudge brownies that she made just for you?  What do you say without hurting someone’s feelings or coming across as ungrateful?  In Judith Beck‘s book The Beck Diet Solution she makes the following point, “If you were a vegetarian would you eat meat just to please someone?”  People make lifestyle choices all the time that conflict with those of their friends and family.  In a social situation thanking the individual for thinking of you but turning down the offer might be a little disappointing but at most it will be fleeting.

These are just a couple of strategies that will help you keep on track over the holiday weekend and you should keep in mind that being healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  Even if you gorge chances are you won’t be the end of the world and you can make up for any transgressions in the week to follow.  Good luck and have fun!