Guide: Tailgate Healthy

Tailgates, fundraisers, graduations…It’s summer, and if you’re like the crowd I hang with, you’re ready to get out and play.

However…those party pressures might bring up some issues. Like how to stay healthy, and remain at your goal weight when faced with foods you don’t normally eat.

What do you do at an afternoon party, that goes on for hours and features fried chicken, cheese plates and chips and dips? I just attended our local steeplechase race, and took notes…

Here’s how to stay healthy and not regret it the next day, without skipping out on the fun.

Grab these tips, there’s no party shame for you!

  • Bring Your Own De-LISH Dish: Unless you’re attending a catered event, ask if you can bring a dish. Most hosts will welcome having you contribute, especially if it’s a large, lingering party, like the tailgate I just attended on Saturday. And if your cooking is healthy, they’ll look forward to trying it. This Quinoa and Beans with Mango is a favorite of mine that suits all nutritional styles. And friend Dana James has a Quinoa with Shitake and Goat Cheese that I’ve been wanting to try, too.
  • Spritz it Up: The old-school “Spritzer” is a good way to stay hydrated without derailing the train altogether. Combine white or rose wine with a few ice cubes and sparkling mineral water. Tonic and club soda can cause you to bloat, so avoid those if you can. Garnish with fresh lemon or lime. Or go for a healthy Bloody Mary made with fresh tomato juice, and organic vodka.
  • Make it a Virgin: You can still have fun without booze. I like making Arnold Palmer’s with green tea instead of black, combined with sugar-free lemonade made with stevia or palm sugar. If you need a little kick, try this from Goop. Spicy Cilantro Lemonade. It’s a favorite of mine and the peppers will rev your metabolism. Win win!
  • Water First, and Often: If you decide to spring for the Mojito or full-on cocktail, drink a glass of water before and after each drink. This will keep your liver flushed and doing its job and help to prevent a hangover or headache. And it will keep your hunger in check. This trick is a good one for anytime you know you’ll be imbibing. Party on!

So.. now its your turn. Tell me what you do to stay healthy and still have a great time!


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