Monday, May 26, 2008

BBQ Season!

Appraising Your Success
The end of the week is a good time to review the past week of your SWEET Life and count up your accomplishments. Your goal is 5-6 times per week for each aspect of the SWEET Life: Sleep, Water, Eating, Exercise, and Tranquility. If you didn’t achieve some of your goals for the week, then next week, focus on those areas more and think about how to fulfill them more consistently.
How do you feel at the end of this week? Are you better rested? Do you feel relaxed? Are you more energetic? Do you feel generally healthier? Continue with the SWEET Life and you’ll experience all of these feelings!

Topic of the Week – BBQ Season!

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial beginning of the summer and barbeque season. That conjures up images of hot days, grilling meat, hanging out with friends, and drinking beer. Ironically, I don’t think meat and beer are great on a hot day because they are filling and heavy. I’d much rather have a cool salad and lemonade (with mango rum) on a hot day, but those aren’t the images we have when thinking: bbq. Because bbq’s generally involve lots of meat and beer, how can we enjoy ourselves at a bbq and still live the SWEET Life?

First, a little aside: always wear sunscreen. Apply it 30 min. before going out in the sun and reapply every couple hours.

Now, back to bbqs:

SLEEP: Hanging out in the sun, eating heavy foods, and drinking alcohol make us tired, so sleeping after a bbq is not a problem.

WATER: It’s very easy to get dehydrated at a bbq because you are outside in the sun, drinking alcohol. Try to alternate beer with a glass of water or drink a cup of water every hour you are there.

EATING: This is what a bbq is all about! I always try to bring either fruit or vegetables to a bbq because those are usually lacking. Some easy things to bring are a green salad, a fruit salad, veggies sticks & hummus dip, veggies to grill, or corn.

In order not to go overboard on eating at a bbq, especially at a potluck bbq, it’s important to have a game plan. You don’t want to feel deprived or “dieting”, but you don’t want to regret what you eat either. If it’s a simple bbq with 4-5 dishes, I’ll take a little scoop of each and enjoy my meal. On the other hand, if it’s a potluck and there are many delectable dishes to choose from, I have to set stricter limits because eating a scoop of 10-15 dishes is a huge amount of food!

1. I don’t limit fruits and vegetables, because no one got fat eating fruits and vegetables.

2. I limit myself to one serving of meat, which means I might have to select from a variety of them. What’s a serving? A serving of meat is the size of the palm of your hand. If it’s tough to decide which meat, I’ll eat one I haven’t eaten for a while. (I do that at restaurants, too.) I might take a half-serving of a couple meats instead.

3. I limit myself to a couple servings of grains, like one hamburger bun, a few slices of French bread, or a scoop of pasta salad.

4. I don’t really think of dairy and bbq, but I do like cheese on my burgers. Cubes of cheese or a cheese plate with French bread or crackers is common at some bbqs, but I remember that a one-inch cube of cheese is a 1 oz. serving and about 100 calories! I need to pay attention to how many of those I’m popping in my mouth!

5. All the unhealthy stuff: I’ll eat a couple bites of anything that looks really appealing. However, I don’t take a little of everything “just to be polite” and I don’t eat anything that doesn’t taste good on the first bite. It’s amazing how much we eat just because “it’s there.” Remember: you are not a garbage disposer!

EXERCISE: Bbqs don’t involve any exercise besides putting fork to mouth, and since they tend to be calorie-heavy meals, it’s a good idea to burn off some calories ahead of time. If you decide, instead, to burn off the calories after the bbq, with all that protein in your body, you are ready for a good strength-training workout.

TRANQUILITY: Bbqs are all about tranquility: hanging out with friends and being outside on a beautiful day are great ways to release stress and relax.

Welcome to bbq season! Enjoy!

Look for another topic next week, and keep living the SWEET Life!

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Copyright © 2008 Suzanne Fong. All rights reserved.

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