28 June 2017

How To Stay Healthy & Hydrated On July 4th

With 4th Of July around the corner, make the best of your summer BBQ plans with these strategies on staying heathy and hydrated. Our Bumble Bee's® ...

Hi! It's Willow with C&J Nutrition, your Bumble Bee Foods Nutrition Blogger.

And this month, I thought I would share my personal strategies for feeling really amazing all day long on the 4th of July. I love the 4th of July, it's barbecues and really good weather and hanging out outside with friends all day long. That combination of being outside and having food around all day and the heat can sometimes lead to feeling not so great by the end of the day. So these are the strategies that I've developed for myself over the years to really end the day feeling as amazing as I started. So the first one is to start the day with a big glass of water because the temperatures are usually starting to rise pretty rapidly on the 4th of July, it's really important to stay hydrated. And part of staying hydrated is starting the day hydrated. So I just say start the day with a big glass of water. Keep the water going throughout the day. So starting with a big glass of water kind of sets the tone for the day too so you remember to drink more. The second tip is to eat breakfast so if your 4th of July BBQ or potluck or picnic is happening at lunchtime, have a solid breakfast. Your normal breakfast and don't resist the temptation to skip meals. If your BBQ or potluck or picnic is happening later in the day, then have breakfast and lunch. You don't want to arrive to your 4th of July event feeling kind of low energy or feeling overly hungry because it just isn't as enjoyable once you get there. And it's harder to navigate all the options and to choose what you really enjoy. My third tip is to volunteer to bring fruit or veggie or herb infused water. And this is always a really big hit and people really appreciate having fun water, flavored water at the ready because everybody's trying to stay a little bit more hydrated. And once the heat starts to rise that day, everybody will really appreciate that you did this. This one has cucumbers and a little bit of lime juice in it, but another one of my favorites is putting watermelon and fresh basil into the water. And if you're packing enough water for everybody, you can do this in just one of the really big water coolers. And then people can just sip from it all day. My next tip is probably one of my favorites because it also incorporates seasonal veggies. So I would say bring a

dish to the BBQ that uses some type of seasonal veggie because that way you know that there will be at least one dish there that's packed with veggies. And you can bring something to share with everybody that kind of highlights the flavors of the season. One of my favorites is this that I have here which is a grilled corn black bean tomato avocado dressing and I made a lime basil -- sorry, a salad with a lime basil dressing. Another one that I love is doing a simple simple tomato cucumber salad or you can do tomato cucumber and mozzarella. Another really great one is just grilled zucchini with pesto. That's always a big fan favorite too. And all of those highlight veggies that are in season so when they're in season they're tasting especially good too. My next tip is to balance your plate. So when it comes time to put your plate together with the meal; be sure that you have half of your plate veggies, a quarter of your plate protein, and a quarter of your plate carbohydrate. And a lot of the foods at BBQs kind of naturally combined carbohydrate and protein, like burger with burger bun or a hotdog with a hotdog bun. But the veggies are kind of hard to get in there so I would say make sure that when you're putting your plate together to maybe to start with the veggies and make sure that you have those anchored. And then get creative with the carbs - I mean - buns are great, whole grain buns are great if you can bring those too. But I also love potatoes or sweet potatoes as my carb choice with something like my chicken or sausage on my plate. Or if somebody else brings a quinoa salad or some type of whole-grain pilaf, even better. My next tip is to be strategic about snacking and snacking might happen before or after the meal depending on how long the barbecue goes throughout the day. There's nothing wrong with snacking. I love it. There's tons of snack foods at barbecues that I look forward to but I would say, be strategic in the sense that you don't want to get to the meal and not be hungry for some of your favorite foods off of the grill because you were kind of mindlessly eating corn chips that you weren't really enjoying. Or after you finish the meal later in the day, if you fill up too much on snacks and don't feel good when you go home. That's

a real bummer. So just be strategic about your snacking and make sure that it doesn't ruin your appetite for the main meal because the main meal is the best for off the grill. So when it comes to alcohol, my personal goal is usually sticking to about one drink and making it one that I just really really enjoy. Whether it's something like a delicious fresh margarita or just you know like a delicious beer. Whatever your personal alcohol goal for the day is, go in and sandwich each alcoholic drink with water. So have a glass of water before and after every single alcoholic drink you have each, all throughout the day. This helps you stay hydrated because alcohol can be dehydrating and it also keeps you mindful of how many alcoholic drink you've had throughout the day. Finally aim to end the day feeling satisfied but not stuffed. So this one's really key and I just love this so much. It's part of a hunger scale which I've talked about before and it's really just a matter of listening to your body and choosing the foods that sound the best to you. You don't have to choose the diet foods but just eating enough to leave yourself satisfied. But not pushing yourself over into full or uncomfortable territory. This helps to keep your energy level good throughout the day but it also helps you end the day feeling really good waking up the next morning, feeling really good. This is especially important when you're at a BBQ that spans throughout the day and there's just food all day long because really listening to your body is key. So I hope that these 4th of July's have helped you. And if you have any that you would like to add to my list, please leave them below. I would love to hear them and I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July. This is Willow with C&J Nutrition, your Bumble Bee Foods Nutrition Blogger. And I will see you next month. bye!