Ya'll... Cinco de Mayo AND The Kentucky Derby fall on the same day. I have to say, I love both of these festive occasions. I had the opportunity to attend the Derby in 2015 and it was quite an experience. It was what I had imagined - for a while - but, once things got going it turned a little wild. It's definitely one of those bucket list items - it was a fun experience, but I'm good to not go again! Unless, you want to hook me up with a private box. Then, I'll reconsider ;) And, who doesn't love a reason to celebrate with some chips and salsa and a margarita? Count me in! Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, but when you are taking care of a precious thing (ie: your body) you need to make adjustments to your celebrations.
It is crucial, just like every day, to stay mindful even during celebrations, holidays, birthdays... just because it's a special day doesn't mean all bets are off. This is how many of us have found ourselves in cycles of binging, withholding, and punishing ourselves over food. You must treat each day equally - enjoy in moderation and stay accountable.
So, how can you enjoy while staying accountable and mindful? Below are a few of my favorite tips!
Water is key. You should already be drinking at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces. Drinking alcohol? Drink even more. One glass of water to each drink. Which brings me to...
LIMIT THE ALCOHOL AND WATCH THE SNEAKY SUGAR!
Mint Juleps can easily be modified by skipping the simple syrup and using agave syrup or a little bit of Stevia instead or nixing the sugar altogether. Instead of going for a frozen margarita, choose a margarita on the rocks with fresh lime and skip the sugary mixes. Limit your drinking. Set a limit (2-3 max) and cut it off.
EAT OR KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
This is one of my biggest tips - when you are headed out to a festive gathering or celebration, eat at least 30 minutes BEFORE. Eat a large salad with lots of green veggies and protein. Drink plenty of water. This will curb your desire to snack and mindlessly eat, which is something we all tend to do when we gather together. If you are planning on going out to eat, look up the menu BEFORE you get to the restaurant. Scan your options and decide BEFORE you get there what you will order. Skip the bread and order a salad instead.
KEEP IT SMALL!
Another great way to keep yourself accountable is to use smaller plates. Enjoy a small sampling of your treats and when you are finished, be finished. No going back for seconds. Remember, it takes your brain at least 20-30 minutes to register if you are all. And, if you ate a healthy meal before you got to your gathering, a snack should be enough to satisfy.
CUT IT OFF!
If you're planning on being out late, set a time to cut off eating (just like drinking) and STICK TO IT! If that's 8pm, commit to 8pm and drink water the rest of the night. As the night wears on at parties and gatherings, we find ourselves mindlessly reaching for another snack, another plate of food, another drink... cut it off and stay mindful! Are you truly hungry or are you eating out of habit/stress/nervous energy? Find another way to channel those feelings - maybe taking a walk around the area, seeking out a new face, getting up and stretching... or maybe it's time to call it a night.
You are more powerful than any holiday, any occasion, any event that comes your way. Enjoy the fun moments with your loved ones while still loving and taking care of YOU.