by Associate Clinician Victoria Fisher

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It’s that time of year when we’re all invited to picnics, graduation parties, and Fourth of July celebrations. And that means the all-American barbeque is right around the corner. And who wants to be left out or insult their gracious hosts by turning down their food? Here are some tips to help you enjoy the festivities while staying as Well-Approved as possible.

Offer to bring a dish
So many people drive themselves to exhaustion trying to prepare enough food to feed an army. Offer to lighten the load by bringing a dish you know you can enjoy. Bring marinated chicken kabobs, Applegate Farms hotdogs, quinoa salad, veggies and hummus, organic blue corn tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or a dessert from one of our fabulous cookbooks. Now you can help the host and feed your body life-giving food at the same time.

Choose the “lesser of the evils”
People are becoming more aware of healthy eating and the impact nutrition has on our bodies. In an attempt to get/stay healthy, picnic and party hosts try to offer at least a few dishes that are on the healthy side. If you have a choice between a salad with iceberg lettuce and generic Italian dressing or pasta salad, go for the lettuce! If there’s veggies with store-bought dip next to the potato salad, get the veggies. If they’re offering brownies and fruit salad, fruit is the way to go. Get the hotdog or hamburger without the bun. Maybe even bring your own Ezekial 4:9 rolls. Just because the food is there, it doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Eat ahead of time
There are just some occasions when you know you won’t be able to even look at some foods without getting blocked or throwing your digestive system for a loop. In this instance, eat ahead of time. Have a meal that will satisfy you and make your belly happy, then enjoy the festivities without worry. Picnics and parties don’t have to be all about the food. Cherish and enjoy the fellowship of friends and family.

Don’t be afraid to enjoy your summer picnics and parties. But be good to yourself while having fun!