Staying Healthy During The Silly Season
Summer is coming. Now despite its promise of warmer weather, long beach days, and perhaps even some time off work, it still seems to strike fear into our hearts.
The summer months can be a really confronting time – a time of skirts and sandals, sleeveless dresses, shorts, and of course the dreaded bathing suits. A time when we worry that perhaps we were a little too zealous, a little too carefree, with our food choices throughout winter. We may be body positive, but do we feel it?
Trust me, it doesn’t have to be this way! Let’s think again…
Summer brings with it the most wonderful food choices and meals. Exercise and the outdoors are that much more enticing, and we often naturally find ourselves eating a little healthier and feeling a little lighter. If summer is a time for anything, then it’s a time for some sun and some socialising.
But, wait a minute, I see some red flags waiving! Socialising…it’s that one aspect of summer that has the potential to threaten all of our good work and undermine all of our best intentions… It’s party season.
Summer in the southern hemisphere is Silly Season. Parties can be a nightmare when you are committed to a particular diet regime. The food offered at parties? Often ‘gourmet’, regularly deep fried, and rarely meat and dairy free. And don’t get us started on the traditional Christmas lunch. Wholefood, plant-based, oil-free eating? Not so much.
“Oh my goodness! How can I continue to eat healthy when I’m averaging two parties per week?!” It’s a refrain I hear constantly, so here’s a plan of attack:
If it’s a friend hosting the party, try telling them what you require. Keep it simple. I usually tell friends that I have a strict diet regime due to a health challenge, and that I would be more than happy with a salad and a spud. Otherwise I ask whether it is acceptable for me to bring my own food, and just let them know what that food is likely to be. If you say it is for health reasons, no one feels threatened or put-out – and they’re your friend, they’ll understand!
Restaurants. Once again, ring ahead and tell them what you require. Are they able to accommodate your health requirements? All you need is a simple salad, steamed vegetables, potatoes, a lentil or rice dish. Trust me, they will appreciate the forewarning and happily cater for you – especially when you are accompanied by a large group of people – customer satisfaction is good business!
Eat before you go. This is a challenging one. It requires a little organisation and, I’m not going to lie, occasionally leaves you feeling rude or removed from the group. Just remember your priorities. It staves off temptation once you arrive, but also leaves you free to simply enjoy what vegetables and salads may be on offer.
Remember the commitment you have made to yourself to honour your health and healing journey. Personal growth, authenticity, and integrity are some of my key values, which makes sticking to my eating regime non-negotiable.
Enjoy the festive season for the people, not the food, and you’ll be surprised just how wonderful you feel about yourse