6 Tips to Survive Florida Festival Season – Eating Healthy at Taste of Bonita

It’s officially Festival Season in SW Florida.  Our Rotary club had our annual Taste of Bonita last weekend.  A full weekend of food, fun and music for all to enjoy.  I was there for nearly the entire event as I was “working” the event for our club.

The “problem” with an event of this type is that there is food to eat ALL weekend. The entire weekend is built around “eating” BUT, you can still make healthy choices and not sabotage all the good you’ve done all week.

When you are on your feet all weekend, that counts as exercise. 🙂  Here’s how I kept a healthy focus while surrounded by all the amazing attractions.

Saturday was the BBQ & Chili cook-off. I opted for a couple of chili options.  I asked the vendors how may veggies were in their chilis and how they were made.  I ate one beef chili, loaded with onions, peppers and tomatoes.  It was tasty, but my winner, and the people’s choice was Ted’s Montana Grill’s Bison Chili~!   WOW!  Great flavor, lots of veggies, AND… the meat was ground, grass fed bison – high in good omegas. (Beef that is good for your heart.)

Saturday night, I wasn’t as healthy, had to have a cheeseburger in paradise for the Caribbean Chiller’s concert. But the water and protein smoothee helped offset that.  I also threw away half the bun. (every small step counts)

Sunday, The BIG day. 25 local restaurants offering their wares.  I ate a Prime Rib slider from Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub/The Stage as my splurge, then opted for a fresh veggie salad (seen above) from the local farmer’s market stand and a fruit smoothee (sans agave) from Edible Arrangements. Veggies and fiber helped to fill me up.  I spent a lot of the day drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.

Here are your tips!

  • Eat a high protein breakfast before you head out. When you don’t sabotage yourself with an empty belly beforehand, its easier to make smart choices later.
  • Look at your options. Is there an option that would be just as tasty, or more, than the other options and provide more nutrition for your caloric intake?
  • Drink a LOT of water. This helps keep you filled up so you aren’t thinking you are hungry, AND keeps you hydrated on days that could be very warm in SW FL.
  • Check the menu before you head out.  Many events, like the Taste of Bonita, offer a menu of what is being served by most of the venues.  Scout out the menu for the healthy options.  I did this before hand, so I knew I wanted a whole fruit smoothee and the delicious and colorful salad and where to find them.
  • Dance! Many of these events have live entertainment, boogie down and burn a couple of extra calories.
  • Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you splurge.  Dance a bit more, enjoy yourself, and remember that next time you can choose to make a healthier choice. Have FUN!

Taste of Bonita1 edit

###-FREE does NOT == HEALTHY!

SUGAR-FREE, FAT-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, BANANA-FREE…

Banana-Free HealthyGreaseMonkey

Marketing experts have figured out that the typical American will purchase anything with the word “FREE” on it. And as consumers, most of us have proven them right.

Besides the fact that we are already programmed to pick up any package that says “NATURAL” on it and assume it is and it will be healthy… the marketers have turned other word combinations against us as well!

Sugar-Free

This leads us to believe a sweet utopian experience is on the horizon. Yet, our body is about to be assaulted if we consume such toxic poisons!

It is VERY well known, in many circles, that Aspartame, Saccharine, & Splenda can cause serious side effects. They are chemicals with side effects.

In fact, studies are showing that people who consume Diet Soda’s actually WEIGH MORE than those who drink regular sodas. (do NOT imply that I am condoning soda pop!) Smile 

Splenda-Side-Effects-Healthy-Grease-Monkey.jpg

 

In my book it is raw, organic sugar, honey, or fruit to sweeten whatever it is!

Fat-Free

“The problem is that sometimes “fat free” is also, well, taste free. And to make up for that lack of taste, food manufacturers tend to pour other ingredients — especially sugar, flour, thickeners and salt — into the products. That may boost the calorie content.

“Plus, if the foods aren’t that appealing, they may lead to overeating to make up for the lack of satisfaction.”  (WebMD)

INSTEAD: Think GOOD FATS and NOT fat free! Our brains actually NEED good fats to function properly…

Gluten-Free

Manufacturers have figured out that “Gluten-FREE” is the latest buzz word!  Heck, they are even labeling things that NEVER HAD GLUTEN… as gluten free!  Many people are jumping on the gluten free band wagon.  Many people DO have a gluten intolerance and eliminating it can eliminate symptoms and pain. 

Nowhere else in the world is there such a large percentage of people who are gluten intolerant.  Many other places in the world have outlawed the use of it. A study released this past month looks at the question of “Is it gluten or glyphosate?”

My main gripe about the whole gluten-free issue is that so many manufacturers are using the term “gluten-free” as a synonym to “healthy” and people are buying it. Sad smile 

Highly processed food is Highly processed food!  My rule of thumb is whole foods made in the home.  Ideally, foods that come from sources/people I know and use farming practices that match my desires.   We buy local and organic and I make all of our bread.

Banana-Free

Yeah, I just thought it sounded funny and would grab your attention!  Smile  Did it work?

Take it easy, have a GREAT week! Enjoy your life, your family, your food, and take time to INVEST in your health.

 

For more information or to schedule a personal coaching session, contact me!

Guest Speaker for Feel Good Fast February Support Group

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Chris Green will be the guest speaker at the February Support Group meeting to be held Thursday, February 21, 2013.

Biography_Dr_Green

I speak from experience when I say, Dr. Green is an excellent practitioner.  He works diligently to get you back on the road to recovery, moving pain free and loving life in the shortest time period possible. 

He too, wants us to Feel Good Fast!

We will also include tips to muscle relaxation, a healthy recipe, tips to Feel Good Fast and an Action item to work on for the next month.

Remember, that your support doesn’t end at this once a month meeting, but also includes the private Facebook support page as well.

We are here, as a TEAM to get you onto the road to better health and more life in your years!

Contact me for more information on the support group meeting OR the private support page on Facebook.