It’s summer time and with it comes the Fourth of July (in the US), Canada Day, and a host of other fun outdoor occasions. A big issue for those who socialize, is knowing how to make wise, healthy food and beverage choices, and actually opting for those healthier options in the moment (so there is no blimping up after every stinkin’ party).

Here are some tips to help you in your quest to stay healthy, slim down (or to not gain more weight), and feel great, without having to forgo all of the fun!


Ha!! GOT YA. If you thought I was saying you should drink more alcohol, you were wrong. BUT the truth is, you won’t change your overall makeup in a single day. If you like to indulge in a few cocktails when socializing, there is a healthy way to do this, and of course there are many UNHEALTHY ways. The smartest thing you can do for yourself when at a party or gathering, is this:

Forget about trying not to drink alcohol (unless you’re sober, then stay sober, my friends). Instead,  set your mind to drinking LOTS OF WATER (with little or no ice) in addition to your cocktails.

I like to set a minimum of one full, tall glass of water between every cocktail or libation. But if you can increase that to two full glasses, you’ll be even better off (especially if your social calendar is full).

Make it a little game. Every glass of water is your gateway to having another drink. I’m not saying this, just so you can drink more. Trust me. If you’re drinking that much water, you will not be able to ingest much more alcohol. You’d be surprised how few cocktails you can actually manage. It’s a simple mathematical/biological issue. You will be very full, I promise! As long as you’re drinking at least a full, entire glass between every drink, that is. NO CHEATING. NO glasses with extra ice! Go without ice if you can!



POOR CHOICES: 1) go without water while cocktailing, 2) choose drinks filled with extra calories (sugars, fruit, syrups, liqueurs or non-diet sodas), 3) drink on an empty stomach, and 4) mix types of alcohol (vodka, wines, whiskey, mixed sugary drinks).


Sometimes you’re at a party and the main food choices aren’t going to do any favors in your quest to a healthy body, even if they do taste amazing. But most parties or gatherings have various options for the pre-meal. It’s hard to address every option you’ll be faced with, but I like to bring it back to the main food group basics.

If it’s a food in its natural state (fresh, raw or non-greasy), it’s probably the choice that is the lesser of two evils.

Here are some examples:

BETTER CHOICE: White cheese bites. (Generally there are options made of part skim mozzarella or are lower calorie white cheeses. Choose those as opposed to the regular cheddar bites).

POOR CHOICE: Cheese Quesadilla with Guacamole & Sour Cream.


BETTER CHOICE: Charcuterie options, cheese bites, salami slices, (but go easy), or  char-broiled or grilled chicken breast with some spicy mustard!

POOR CHOICE: Pizza drooling with cheese and greasy pepperoni.


BETTER CHOICE: Fruit Salad (if fresh fruit without sugar is an option, go for that!). If you’re feeling deprived, go for the whipped cream!

POOR CHOICE: Cookies, Pie, Cakes.


BETTER CHOICE: Jello mold with whipped cream and fruit cocktail (a good ole American BBQ standby).

POOR CHOICE: Puddings, pastries, decadent desserts.


BETTER CHOICE: Raw veggies dipped in Salsa or Vinegar based dressing. Or non-greasy popcorn (if the package is around, READ the fat content before eating!)

POOR CHOICE: Chips and Salsa, Chile Con Queso & Chips, Pretzels.


BETTER CHOICE: Leaner Meats. If offered a choice from the grille, go for the leaner meat (White meat Turkey or Chicken), and try to go with half a bun or even lettuce-wrapped. If it’s a hotdog option, you may have no choice, but if they have Turkey dogs, go for those over a beef burger, or other fatty choices. Also, if you’ve been snacking on cheese all day, and you’d like to have a full bun, go without cheese on your burger, or dog. And stay away from adding Texas style chile (ground meat) to the dog or burger! You don’t need it!

POOR CHOICE: Fatty Proteins and Cheeses. Pulled pork BBQ sliders, or prime rib may taste amazing, but you’ll pay for that choice for many days… long after the delicious flavor has worn off.

Choose Wisely - Healthy Food vs. Fatty Foods

Just remember: Stay fresh, basic, and non-greasy and you’ll be GOLDEN.

Simple Math Credit: