10 Ways to Stay Healthy at the Cottage This Weekend

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Ever find that you leave for the cottage in such a good routine with diet and exercise and then come back feeling like you’ve eaten everything that you normally avoid, drank a few too many “somethings”, didn’t move more than walking from the cottage to the dock to the kitchen and back, and were not able to get enough zzzzz’s?

If your cottage weekends are anything like mine, there is always an abundance of food and snacks. Thanks to my brother-in-law, we are on a schedule at my cottage. Saturdays look like this: French toast at 9 am; snack at 11:30 am (a fruit and leftover chocolate twist); Bagels, lox and cream cheese at 1pm; white wine, chips and guacamole sharp at 330pm; wine and cheese at 7pm; dinner of BBQ, salads and sides at 8:30 pm and finishing off the night with snacks consisting of chips, an assortment of candy and Kawartha Dairy ice cream.

It ALL looks so good and likely tastes even better. So how are you going to make this long weekend different? Plan ahead. Stay on track (80% of the time) and leave the weekend having had a great time but not feeling like you need a detox.

Incorporate these 10 tips to stay healthy this long weekend:

1. Balance your meals to balance your blood sugar levels and to keep you satiated. This will prevent you from being ravished and overeating at happy hour. Meals should include protein, fat and complex carbs to keep you well fueled and your metabolism revved.
2. Build your plate so that 50% is vegetables, 25% is protein, 20% complex carbs and 5% healthy fats.
3. Have snacks that pair a protein or fat with a carbohydrate to balance your blood sugar levels and to keep you feeling full longer.
4. Make a big salad (or two) that can keep in the fridge over the weekend so that when you are looking for something quick, there is an easy and accessible option. A quinoa or bean salad are my go-tos as the flavour enhances with time, they don’t get soggy, they are high in fiber and they are filling.
5. Bake some healthier snacks for the cottage so that you don’t feel deprived and have alternatives. I like to bring black bean brownies, granola, gluten free muffins etc.
6. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your mind to register that you are full. Slow down during the meal: chew your food, put your fork down, enjoy the flavours in each bite and engage in conversation.
7. Stay hydrated – bring your water bottle and add lemon, lime, berries, orange, mint etc to keep your water interesting.
8. Tea is a great after dinner beverage that can often fill the sweet craving. I love David’s Tea as they have so many options depending on the flavours you are looking for.
9. Keep active – swim, walk, run, play sports with your kids. Re-connect with your surroundings. There is something so grounding about being outside, near the water and away from the chaos of everyday life. Let go of the stress of the week and just enjoy your time.
10. Follow the 80/20 rule. Don’t expect perfection. Allow yourself to be in the moment (20% of the time). Give yourself space for balance and moderation – this will lead to long-term sustainable healthy habits versus suffering restrictive, rigid dieting.

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