by Kris Pitcher
There will be potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw...chips, and crackers and layered dips - oh my! It's time for picnic panic! You can do this! You can go to the picnic or barbecue and handle yourself without plunging your face in the bowl of macaroni salad, or in the beautifully frosted cake with the sparklers poking out of the top!
Believe it or not, there are things at the party you can have. Your success begins before you go. Eat your meals on schedule through the day, and just before you go. Now you are ready to celebrate with control.
Once you're there, remember you are there to socialize and have a good time with friends and family. We usually forget that part as soon as we see the twelve layer dip. Or Aunt Sylvia who sends us straight to the cooler of adult beverages. Keep your cool. You are in control.
Look for healthy snacks. The veggie platter is your friend as long as you can skip the dip. Fruit in moderation, especially look for watermelon, wonderful choice. You know to stay away from all the processed carbs - chips, crackers, cookies, baked goods etc. These are full of sodium, fat, preservatives, processed sugar and flour. No brainer.
If there's a meal, eat some salad greens and protein. Remember you've eaten your meal before the party so this is celebration and participation. You're not going to waste away if there's nothing you want to eat. A hamburger patty without the bun - great! A piece of grilled chicken, nice choice. Barbecues are great for those of us watching what we eat...believe it or not!
Bring treats you can have. Sugar-free Popsicles, sugar-free jello, and diet soda are great items to bring to a party. You will know there are treats you can have. Having your plan in mind BEFORE you go to the picnic or barbecue will help you be successful once you are in that situation. Don't panic, you're in charge!