Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ladies, Pack Your Coolers!

We're off to the lakes! It's sweet summertime in the upper Midwest. Our precious lake season includes something like 13 or so weekends between the time school gets out in the spring and resumes in the fall. Most of us have every weekend planned out before we even see the first sign of summer--and almost all include traveling to the lakes (and if not, staying home for a wedding). We have to get it all in before the snow flies and we're hunkered down for the long winter.

Whether you're pitching a tent at the local KOA or headed to the Hamptons with Jill & the Countess (shameless Housewives plug #1), these weekends can be filled with lots of calorie-buring activities, such as biking, water-skiing, kayaking, etc. They can also be overloaded with calorie-laden BBQs,desserts, and cocktails. A lake weekend can quickly add a couple of unwanted pounds and if you multiply that by 13 weekends, your bikini abs might be sporting their winter layer before we've even hit fall! So, what's a girl (or guy) to do?

Packing food for the lakes is all about convenience for me. We don't have electricity or running water at our place, so everything I bring is either pre-cooked or can be easily grilled. Here's a look at what goes in my cooler (I pack a big one just for myself!):

Chicken breasts
Pre-pattied lean hamburgers
Pourable egg whites
Tuna packets
Green Beans
Ezekial Bread
Rice cakes
Raw almonds (seperated out into single servings in plastic baggies)
Flax seed oil (I love Barlean's)
Honey Mustard
Gallon jugs of water

You can see I almost need a U-haul just to bring my food, but my family is so used to it by now, they simply roll their eyes and keep their comments to themselves. Afterall, they're fighting a losing battle with this one (my sweet husband just texted me to say he's going to buy a 3rd cooler for the weekend!). I refuse to let summer fun mean that I lose sight of my overall goals for healthy living. There's no reason I can't have both! That said, holidays are the time for celebration and relaxation, so don't go driving your family & friends crazy with obsessing about every little nibble. Indulge a bit and make the healthiest choices when possible. Be prepared, but allow yourself to enjoy the occasion--everything in moderation! It's a great time to try one of those not-so-healthy "heatlhy" recipes that you may have been scoping say, a Skinny Girl Margarita (shameless Housewives plug #2--thanks, Bethenny!).

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