Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cookout Survival Strategy

The Hubby's co-workers are having a cookout today.  The cookout location is on shorefront property, so there is a good possibility of kayaking happening in my near future. Of course, eating healthy at a potluck cookout can be hard to do, since you don't know what's in most of the food.

Here's my strategy:
  • Eat a healthy snack before I go.
  • Know what dishes tempt me and bring a healthier alternative to share (don't have to tell the crowd it's "healthy").
  • Stay hydrated to keep the munchies at bay.
  • Don't stress about what I'm eating, just make the healthiest choices I can.
Usually, the potluck foods that tempt me are drinks and desserts... navigating through the minefield of sodas and high fructose corn syrup laden beverages can be tricky.  And don't get me started on dessert... anything sweet has been my downfall for years.  Because I know my own weaknesses in these areas, and I do want to bring something the crowd will like (as well as items that will stay fresh and not melt in the heat) I am bringing Blueberry Peach Crisp for dessert and Half & Half (an iced tea/lemonade mix) to drink.

I know there will be hamburgers and hot dogs along with some typical side salads and LOTS of chips.  My strategy there?  Skip the hot dogs (almost all of them have nitrates and I'm 99.9% sure none of the Hubby's co-workers will be buying the more expensive nitrate-free variety) and have a burger - no bun, but piled high with lettuce, tomato, onion, and topped with mustard (of course - would you expect less from the mustard-lover?).  I'm looking to stick with some raw veggies and maybe a small scoop of side salad - hopefully a vinaigrette based one.  And, my Half & Half and crisp to round it out.

The reason for not getting a hamburger on a bun is that almost all store-bought buns have high fructose corn syrup in them.  Just last night I was at a grocery store (one that usually stocks a lot of healthy alternatives) looking for hot dog buns because I had a craving for hot dogs and I haven't conquered making my own yet.  While there, I looked at all the hamburger buns too.  I only found one type - out of all 15 varieties of hot dog buns - that did not contain high fructose corn syrup. And that one had soybean oil in it.  Fail.  But I compromised and figured that one falls under the 90/10 rule.  But back to the hamburger buns.  I didn't see any - of the 17 or so varieties - that did not contain high fructose corn syrup.  Sigh. No bun for me.

On the 90/10 rule... I feel that if I eat well 90% of the time, I shouldn't stress out about the 10% of the time that I'm eating out or at a potluck or someone's house.  In those circumstances, I will make an effort to choose from the healthiest options available and not stress about the rest.

Oooo---gotta run and get my stuff packed up so we can go.  Do you have a healthy eating strategy?  If so, I'd love to hear it!

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