If you’re like me, you love the relaxed, carefree ambiance of spending long summer days with family and friends. Many of these gatherings take place around the grill with food. You want to enjoy yourself, of course, while still maintaining a healthy gut during these celebrations.
Perhaps you’re attending a family cookout, hanging out with your friends at the beach, or hosting your own picnic. Regardless, the occasion ideally includes delicious food that makes everyone happy and supports gut health.
Being gut healthy during summer gatherings doesn’t need to be complicated. If you’re hosting your own, add some of my favorite dishes (check out my Lime & Sweet Potato Fish Tacos recipe) that will earn raves. If the get-together happens at someone else’s place, bring your own dish!
I’ve found these six strategies help me and my clients navigate any summertime gathering with grace and pleasure.
This one can make or break any gathering. It can mean the difference between maintaining a Happy Gut or really slipping from your plan.
Whenever you head to a party or host one, you never know when you’ll get the chance to eat or if all the options will be right for you. The best thing to do is be prepared.
Have a snack with protein and fat before you go. This way you aren’t suffering from a low blood sugar attack once you arrive and pick the wrong choices loaded with sugar.
If you’re hosting, keep a bowl of raw mixed nuts nearby to keep your blood sugar stable and prevent overindulging.
With all the fun going on and spending time outdoors in the heat, it’s easy to forget to consume water or become dehydrated from the sun.
If you choose to have an adult beverage, dehydration will hit you a lot faster and you’ll probably be feeling the effects the next day. Be sure to sip on water throughout the celebrations.
Even better, skip the alcohol and try carbonated water or flavor a pitcher of water with fresh herbs and cucumber slices. This is a great alternative to juice and soda as an eye-catching fancy spin on a traditional drink!
Eat Colorful Foods
Summertime provides ample opportunity to get more plant foods into your diet. If you’re attending or hosting a party, bring a colorful green salad with plenty of vegetables or a fruit dish with berries. This way, you’re eating great and participating in the festivities.
Ditch the Sugar and Additives
Many colorful foods at summer parties are loaded with sugar, gluten, dyes, and artificial colors. During the moment, it seems fun and carefree. Sugar and gluten disrupt the balance of the microbiome, and food additives can toxic to your body.
Occasionally indulging is fine, but keep it within reason. A seasonal and organic berry salad is your best option. Plus the fruit is exceptional this time of year and you can usually support a local farm with your purchase.
Be Mindful with Portions
Yes, avoiding the endless main dishes and desserts can be a challenge. I totally get it! That’s why it’s important you stick to mindful eating habits even in big party settings like this.
When you fill your plate, try to eat slowly and savor the delicious and healthy options you have chosen. Eating slow and mindfully will improve your digestion as well.
Once you’re done, wait at least 20 minutes to see if you’re still hungry. It can be much more tempting to reach for a second plate when the buffet is nearby. Distract yourself and leave the area. The food will be there if you’re hungry later!
Most of us sit during the day staring at screens. Summer gatherings give you the chance to enjoy the outdoors and escape the office for the day!
Being in nature can do wonders for your stress levels, gut health, and improve happiness. In fact, stay active on the holiday. Bring a soccer ball or a volleyball to the party and get a fun game going. Put down your cell phone and be present!
I’m fond of picnics and hanging out by the beach. What’s your favorite type of summer gathering? Share yours below or on my Facebook page.