Bank Holiday in the UK; Memorial Day in the US and first long holiday weekend many places elsewhere – all of these mark the unofficial start to summer! Whether you’re home or away, feasting with family and friends or
playing things down and resting or recharging the batteries, we have some tips and ideas to help you through this seasonal weekend – all designed to help you navigate the bbq, picnic or garden/backyard meal without sacrificing your healthy pre- or post-op bariatric regime. We’ve got this covered ….
Eat Smart and Bariatric-Friendly!
Before You Go:
Eat a light meal or a hearty snack if you’re unsure what time food will be served. If you show up feeling ravenous then you’re likely to pick and you’ll just overdo it. Don’t be tempted to save all your allowance (if you have one) for the main event it’s bound to go pear-shaped unless you know what is being served and when.
Take along a drink or some flavoured water that you know you can indulge in. Sadly many hosts forget the water, the low-sugar and alcohol-free options or under cater these. A refillable water bottle (in your bag) can save the day when it looks like stocks are running low and can be a life-saver when drinks run-out.
Take a guilt-free/bariatric-friendly contribution to the buffet spread. Take along a great swap like a coleslaw that everyone will like rather than the high-fat creamy type; a light potato salad, some crudites instead of crisps/chips and a fabulous dip to go with them.
Fruit Kebabs/Skewers Crudites with Ranch Dip Virgin Mojito
Take along a plate of fruit skewers or vegetable crudités – you’ll be able to much on these before any meal, afterwards or basically when hunger and temptation hits!
Make a mocktail or faux alcoholic drink. Virgin mojito is a good one! A fruit punch made with low-sugar lemonade or ginger ale/beer is another – stir well to get rid of the bubbles.
Donate to the good cause. Bring along a box or a package of your favourite low-fat/high protein burgers or sausages – a better choice than standard burgers, hot dogs and sausages.
Opt to Eat and Choose to Avoid:
Fruit and Vegetables on the Grill Bunless Turkey Burgers with Raita Chicken and Vegetable Skewers
Make friends with the grill or deli fare – these are the places where your best options are likely to come from especially protein. Choose meat, fish, vegetable and fruit offerings; grilled/bbq chicken and fish; lean burgers and sausages; and a whole host of cold meats, olives, cheeses and deli salads.
Be frugal or forego the condiments – unless you know they are low-fat and low-sugar treat with the utmost respect and caution.
Go bunless – your burger doesn’t have to come in a bun – ditch the bread (or even part of it) likewise pick out the filling from a sandwich if you don’t want the carb overload or can’t tolerate what is on offer.
Remove what you can’t eat or tolerate – ditch the bread, the pickles, any chips/crisps and extras you can’t tolerate. Blot your burger or grill to get rid of excess fat and strip away the chicken skin for a leaner bit of chuck!
Mix and Match:
Start up a game – play football, rounders/baseball or cricket with the kids or start a volleyball tournament to get everyone moving.
Circulate – be the party social butterfly and move around. Hand out food like dips and snacks and encourage everyone to mix and mingle. Think of a way to get everyone chatting – what is your favourite food or meal, what’s on your bucket list? etc.
It’s party time, so don’t stress – it’s usually meant to be a relaxed and informal affair, so don’t beat yourself up about imperfections. If you eat more than you planned then just remember it’s one day and tomorrow is another (and the time to get back on track).
Our latest Bariatric Cookery Newsletter will also give you some great last-minute recipes and ideas – take a look here.