Tips for Navigating the Company Picnic

This weekend is my company’s annual picnic.  I’ve mentioned before that this day is like a holiday for my coworkers and I.  It’s pretty much a huge carnival with tents, rides, games, a pirate ship, a beer tent, and food galore.  Including free lobsters!  I’ve gone every year since I started working for my company in 2007, and it’s such a good time. 


However, with so many food options right at our disposal, it’s not always easy to make your way around the choices!  It’s definitely a day to splurge a little, but just like I blogged about earlier this week in regards to vacations, you don’t want one day (or one trip in that case) to completely set you back with your healthy living goals.  That being said, here are my tips for navigating the company picnic!  This post is definitely geared toward those F&F readers that work at my company, but I’m confident any reader could apply this advice to their own corporate events. 

Tips for Navigating the Company Picnic

Eat breakfast
Despite how much food will be available to me come picnic day, I always make sure to eat a filling breakfast before I leave.  If you arrive ravenous to the event, you will be more likely to eat whatever is in front of you without being mindful of the choices you are making.  You will also be more apt to scarf down your meal and head for seconds without taking a minute to realize whether you are full or not.  I recommend a small, heart healthy breakfast such as a whole grain English muffin with some almond butter, a plain yogurt with sliced banana, or some baked oatmeal casserole topped with blueberries.

Baked Oatmeal Casserole with Oikos Yogurt and Blueberries

Spread out your portions
Remember that when you arrive at the picnic, it will likely still be early in the day (I usually aim to get there around 11am).  You probably won’t need to load up your plate the second you arrive, especially if you ate breakfast.  If you ARE hungry when you get there, choose one or two small things to eat and keep your portions in check.  Remember, you can go back up for seconds… thirds… fourths… as many times as you want, so there’s no rush. 

Choose lighter options first
I recommend choosing lighter fare such as seafood, salad, or chicken before moving onto some of the splurges and treats.  I always try to stick to lobsters, oysters, steamers (with limited butter) first because to me those are treats, but they are also healthier than a lot of the fried options there.  The salad bar is a great place to go first too.  If you spend your calories on these healthier options first, you will feel more full and be less likely to spend your calories on those not so good for you options.


Go better with booze
When it comes to enjoying a couple of adult beverages, you could opt for the lighter options such as Bud Light over Budweiser.  Or maybe go for a glass of red wine instead of white (although I personally prefer white in the summer).  One tip that my friend Monique recommends is to alternate so that you have an alcoholic beverage, but then have water.

Make small adjustments
There are ways to “cut corners” with your favorite BBQ and grill options without feeling like you are depriving yourself.  My favorite way is to enjoy a burger, but enjoy it without the bun or open-faced.  You could do the same with a hot dog. 

Grilled Chicken Pesto Burgers

Be strategic with your treats
Of course the picnic wouldn’t be as fun if you didn’t treat yourself to SOMETHING not so great.  Everyone does deserve a splurge once in a while, and we’re all human after all!  However, when it comes to your treats, pick your favorites.  You don’t need to try every single treat there.  Maybe pick one or two, and save them for the end of the picnic, so they are more enjoyable.  Also, don’t waste your splurge on something that doesn’t thrill you!  For example, if you feel meh about ice cream, skip the sundae bar.  If you do want ice cream, limit to one scoop and maybe skip the candy toppings.  One other way to be strategic with your splurges is to share with a friend.  The fried dough at the picnic is HUGE!  I like to have one bite of fried dough every year, but that bite does it for me.  Sometimes just a taste of something is all you need.

Try not to stay seated in one place for the entirety of the picnic.  Get up, move around, talk to people!  The more you are talking, the less you will be eating.  And the more you are moving around outside of the food tent means the less likely you will be going back up for food.  Plus if you are walking around, playing games, etc. you are burning more calories than you would be if you were sitting the entire time.

Stock up for later
One thing that Tim and I and our friends love to do is stock up on lobster to bring home for later.  Once they announce that you can use your extra lobster tickets, we’re all in!  Stocking up on lobsters (yes we bring a cooler so they don’t go bad on the way home) is not only fun, but then you can make some yummy food with it later.  Like this recipe we made last year for a healthier lobster salad for lobster rolls. 


Lobster Rolls

Finally, I have one more tip for you guys…

Hit the Swings.
How could I forget?!  It’s sure to make you laugh, and laughing burns loads of calories.



What are your tips for eating healthy at a company picnic, outing, or event?

Happy almost picnic weekend, work friends!

8 Tips for Getting Back on Track After a Vacation

I think we can all agree that vacations are definitely a much-needed break from the daily grind.  However, when it comes to maintaining healthy living during a vacation week, I think that’s an area up for debate.  Should you try to stick to healthy meals and a workout schedule?  Or should you just relax, have fun, and “indulge” because you are on vacation and that’s what vacations are for?  I’ve had getaways where I’ve tried to stick to my normal lifestyle, but I also have had plenty of “I’m going to eat whatever the heck I want” kind of trips as well.

Lobsters after lobstering I think finding a nice balance is ideal, because if you are someone who has worked extremely hard to lose weight and get to where you are, you don’t want to throw it all away with one week of indulgence.  During this past week in Maine, I managed to get a couple of workouts in and walk a LOT, but it certainly wasn’t up to my usual standard.  And as far as food goes, I’ll post about all the delicious meals we ate in my Weekly Eats post this week, but I definitely did not get my usual amount of greens.  And I most certainly had my fair share of splurges.  Don’t get me wrong, splurging for me still doesn’t entail fried food (usually), tons of desserts every night, or even huge breakfasts and lunches; however I did indulge in some very cheesy/bready meals, ice cream, one late night quesadilla fest, and I had at least a few alcoholic bevvies every single day.


Needless to say, after six days of not cooking my own meals, being up later than usual, waking up later than usual, not getting my usual amount of workouts in, eating more sweets than usual, and drinking every day (phew!), my body is just OFF.  My sleep cycle is off so I feel like I have no energy.  I don’t feel as confident in my own skin as I normally do because I just feel bleh.  When we got home, I had zero desire to cook or do any type of Sunday food prep for the week.  However, I know if I don’t get back into the swing of things as soon as possible, I’ll just end up making excuses for myself and causing more damage.  I also don’t want my lack of motivation to turn into some unhealthy habits.

Cucumber Martini

That being said, I wanted to share with you guys 8 of my tips for getting back on track after an indulgent vacation!

Drink LOTS of water.  We got home on Saturday night, and I swear I spent all of Sunday and Monday chugging water.  I do not and will never try any other type of “detox” or “cleanse,” so water it is for me.  Being hydrated helps me feel as though my vacation toxins are exiting my system, and this is usually the first thing that helps me feel better.

Hitting the gym is probably the last thing you feel like doing, but again, you don’t want to build unhealthy habits by staying on the couch once you get home.  Instead of dwelling on how many workouts you didn’t do, visualize how AWESOME your workouts will be now that you’ve given your body some rest for a week.  Make a plan, and then do it.  Whether sweating for you means taking a group exercise class, going for a walk, lifting heavy… it doesn’t matter.  Just do it.  A good sweat (or a few) is sometimes all it takes for me to feel better.


Get to the Store
Like I said before, food prep was the last thing I wanted to do after getting home from Maine.  But I knew that if we didn’t plan our meals this week and get to the store on Sunday, then it would be more meals out (and more money spent!).  Once you are at the store, fill your cart with rainbow colors — lots of greens, reds, yellows, etc.  Incorporating lots of fruits and veggies into your first week back will just help you feel better!

Grocery Shopping

Get to Bed Early
This is so important for getting your sleep cycle back on track!  Even if it’s getting to bed 15 minutes earlier each night you are home until you are back to your normal bedtime, that will help.  Don’t forget making healthy choices and decisions is much easier when you are well rested and have the energy to think.

Eat at Home
Think about how easy it was to splurge when out to eat, and then decide not to do it (at least for a little while).  This week I told myself I’m not
going out to eat or to any bars until the weekend.  This weekend is also my company picnic, which is notorious for its crazy amount of food, so I’m going to try to be mindful of my intake there as well.  Until then, though?  Home cooked it is!

Get Inspired
Use your social media networks for motivation!  Doing a little blog reading and Instagram/Facebook/Twitter stalking helped inspire me to try a few new healthy recipes this week.  I’m always bound to find some type of new workout or motivational quote to get my butt back in gear!

Achieve Your Goals

Don’t Obsess
Don’t weigh yourself.  If you can feel that you’ve gained a few pounds, what is seeing the number on the scale going to do for you?   Maybe you are someone who needs to see that higher number to get motivated, but I certainly am not.  Don’t beat yourself up about making some bad choices.  I could sit here and regret every bite that I ate, but wasn’t the food part of my experience?  Focus on the future and move on.

Plan Your Next Trip
Finally, if you are feeling down about being home, start thinking about your next trip!  Give yourself a new goal to work toward.  Maybe it’s keeping up a bathing suit body for a winter getaway somewhere warm.  Sometimes just having that next vacation in the back of your mind can help as well. 

What do you guys think?  Do you try to keep up healthy living on the road or do you splurge during vacation?  What are your tips for getting back on track with a healthy lifestyle after you get home?

P.S.  Happy birthday to my bestie today!

Today You Can Find Me…

…guest blogging on my friend Monique’s blog, Burpees to Bubbly!

Britemix station

I hope you will pop on over to read my tips for healthy living in a hectic schedule.  Just click this link!

I’ll be back later with a fun new recipe to share with you guys.  Until then, friends!