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Happy weekend, Friends!

This upcoming 4th of July weekend has inspired me to write about how I get through the summer and all the summer BBQ’s, etc.  Also reading Tina @ Carrots ‘N’ Cake also gave me a nudge with her post on it here 

Actually I guess I don’t have too many tips, but the past few times I’ve gone to my parents house for BBQ’s I’ve done the following:

1. I am not a huge burger person so I bring my own veggie burgers. I am a meat-eater, but I guess I have become partial to my veggie burgers! I think I also enjoy these because they help me stay on track with my food goals, too. I tend to have an “all or nothing” approach sometimes, and eating at a BBQ can be challenging, for sure. So eating veggie burgers help me and what works for me. I love Morningstar Farms as of late – their Mushroom Lovers burgers and the Spicy Black Bean. I can easily eat two at one sitting (two veggie burgers that is, not two boxes ;)). To be honest, I have only brought these with me a hand-full of times…if I don’t bring these I do the other following tips I write about below.

2. Load up on veggies first. Salads, grilled vegetables, etc. I make my plate by first loading it up with as many vegetables as possible, along with salad if it’s there. Vegetables are obviously very filling and you feel like you are eating a lot – thank you volumetric’s. I like feeling like I am eating a lot but not having ridiculous calorie bombs of meals. So this obviously leaves a little room for the “fun stuff”.

For salad dressing, I opt for either just plain balsamic vinegar or a light balsamic vinaigrette if that is all that is available.

3. Indulge in smaller portions of the “fun stuff” – for me that is pasta salad. I love my mom’s pasta salad, but nothing healthy about it. She puts in cheese and lots of oil (and I don’t even know what else) and definitely does not use whole wheat pasta (kind of don’t blame her; it’s not for everyone especially if they aren’t accustomed to it)…not that those things are bad by any means, and why I do still enjoy it. I just don’t let it take up my plate. If you load up on veggies first, you only have room for a little anyway 😉

4. Drink “skinny” versions of alcoholic drinks. Think Skinnygirl Margarita! I am entirely obsessed with Bethenny Frankel, too. Drink responsibly…(I need to take my own advice ;))

A huge skinnygirl margarita in Dewey Beach, Delaware

Nick 🙂

5. RELAX!! Plain and simple. Just relax and have a good time with good friends and family. A few fun pictures into my life:

Nick 🙂

Love this girl 🙂 Fenway park

My sisters 🙂 Newport 2011 Wine Fest