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How I Stay Healthy at Summer Picnics

With Memorial Day right around the corner, I thought it was only fitting to include a post on staying healthy at picnics.  I have a few tried and true methods for not going crazy overboard with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and especially potato salad (my weakness) at picnics.

1.  Hang near the veggie tray.

Go crazy on that veggie tray.  Fill up on veggies!  However, skip the dip that usually comes with it.  I am usually the host of picnics, so I am able to put hummus out as a healthier alternative.  Veggies are full of fiber, which leave you feeling full.

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2.  Go for lean protein if you can!

Again, since I am usually the host of the picnic, I always make some turkey burgers along with regular burgers and hot dogs for everyone else.  Sometimes I’ll even grill chicken breasts.  If you’re at a picnic offering either of these, take advantage of the healthier options!

3.  Skip the bun!

Whether or not there is a healthier protein option than regular hamburgers and hot dogs, skip the bun.  If there is not any healthier protein options, have the burger, but just fork and knife it!

4.  Skip the potato, macaroni and pasta salads.

These are full of fattening ingredients – dressings and mayo galore!  But hey, let’s be real you’re at a picnic.  Maybe you only get this stuff at picnics.  If you want some, put a tiny taste on your plate.  I will literally put a spoonful that’s maybe one or two bites of pasta salad to get my fix.  Instead, load up on the leafy green salads if they’re an option.

5.  Allow yourself one indulgence.

Pick that one item you know you are really going to want and let yourself have it.  Healthy does not mean depriving yourself and having extremely strict food rules.  Like I said earlier, you’re at a picnic, with lots of yummy food around.  So decide..what is your weakness?  What is that one item you have to have?  Is it your aunt’s coconut cream pie?  Or maybe it’s a few alcoholic beverages.  Perhaps, it’s even a full serving of potato salad.

6.  Be an awesome guest and bring a dish!

The best way to ensure you’re going to have healthier options available to you at a picnic is to bring them yourself!  Below are some great recipes to try:

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Paleo Zucchini

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 Have a happy, healthy, and safe Memorial Weekend!!

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Honey Cinnamon Banana Overnight Oats Recipe

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond.

As soon as the weather hits 65 degrees or above, I am all about the overnight oats.  There’s something delightful about waking up on a warm sunny morning to cool creamy oats – just like there’s something delightful about waking up to a nice warm bowl of oats on a cold, winter morning.  Anytime I have to get up extra early in the morning to workout before I start my day, I always opt for overnight oats.  When I have to wake up that early, the last thing I want to do in the morning is spend time cooking my oats on the stovetop.  It’s nice to be able to wake up, go to the fridge, pull out breakfast, eat, get ready and go.

There are now TONS of overnight oat recipes out there infiltrating the blogosphere.  I have several on my blog already as well, such as the Berry Banana O.O., Blueberry Pecan O.O., and PB&J O.O.  Today I’m adding another one to the collection, and that’s Honey Cinnamon Banana Overnight Oats.

I started out by slicing one very small banana into a tupperware container.  If you’re using a big banana, you might only want to use half.

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Then I mashed the banana with a fork. image3Then I added about 2/3 cup of Almond Breeze Vanilla Hint of Honey, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 cup whole grain oats, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, stirred it all up and placed it in the fridge overnight.

image5And in the morning I just poured it into a bowl (although, this step is optional – totally okay to eat out of your tupperware container!), topped it with some chopped walnuts and dug in!

image12I loved the hint of honey almond milk in this.  This was the first time I used that milk.  I like that I didn’t have to add any extra honey, like I usually do.  It was the perfect amount of sweetness with the sweetness from the banana too.  Mmmm. So good.image9

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The Work It Out Foundation

Today I have to tell you guys about a new foundation I have a close connection with.  This foundation is innovative and one of a kind.  It is called The Work It Out Foundation.

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The mission of The Work It Out Foundation is to show the world how healthy eating, positive thinking, and active living as a means of healing.  Work It Out (WIO) aims to help individuals who are going through any kind of struggle by providing them with the resources to get moving, think positive thoughts, and eat healthy.

I am a huge proponent of this idea myself.  Taking care of oneself by exercising, thinking positive thoughts, and eating healthy, wholesome foods has outrageous impacts on one’s health.  I took a whole class on this concept in college, and the amount of scientific studies backing this idea is tremendous.

The reason this foundation is near and dear to my heart, other than the fact that their mission statement is pretty much my life motto, is that my best friend, Elyse, was the inspiration behind it.  Several years ago, Elyse was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and made a tough, but full recovery.  She began living a healthy lifestyle during this time and continued over the next couple of years.  Unfortunately this past January, despite doing everything right to stay healthy, the cancer came back.  She went through a series of more aggressive treatments this time, completely knocking her immune system out.  Currently, the cancer is gone, but she is still rebuilding her immune system and her strength.  Below is a video that was done after she was re-diagnosed.

I am sure if you are reading this, you are also supportive of this idea of healthy living for healing or dealing with any kind of struggle.  How many times have you had an awful day, or you got in a fight with a spouse or friend, and all you wanted to do was go to the gym, go for a run or walk, or take an exercise class to “work it out?”  I think we can all recall at least one instance like this.

Check out their site, spread the word, show support.  Help others realize that living a healthy lifestyle can make a world’s difference on one’s health.  It is the best kind of medicine.

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