(CARLSBAD, CA) – Summer picnics are a perfect time to de-stress with family and friends in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, fattening foods often reign supreme at these seasonal gatherings, packing on unwanted extra pounds.
It’s not a hopeless cause, however. By replacing a few picnic staples with healthier alternatives, you can enjoy your fun in the sun without all of the excess calories. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests these A to Z options for a healthy picnic this summer:
A – Add fiber and protein to your menu with bean or lentil salads.
B – Banish sugary sodas and high-calorie juice drinks.
- C - Choose whole-grain breads and buns.
- D – Dip your raw veggies in salsa or yogurt, in place of fattening sour-cream concoctions.
- E – Eliminate cakes, candies, and other high-calorie sweet treats.
- F – Freshen up your dessert menu with juicy watermelon or strawberries.
- G – Go “bun-less,” serving your meat on a stick.
- H – Hike around the park for twenty minutes before settling in for lunch.
- I – Investigate the local area with a family bike ride.
- J – Join friends and family together in a game of badminton or volleyball.
- K – Keep calories in check by using fresh meats instead of processed varieties.
- L – Lounging around in lawn chairs is passé; try tossing around a Frisbee instead.
- M – Munch on baked chips rather than fried ones.
- N – Never leave perishable foods out in the sun for more than one hour.
- O– Offer whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese.
- P – Pour two extra cans of water into lemonade to dilute the sweetness and calories.
- Q – Quench your thirst with ice water or unsweetened iced tea.
- R – Resist the urge to eat the leftovers on your kids’ plates.
- S – Score a few runs playing kickball.
- T – Try turkey burgers instead of old-fashioned beef hamburgers.
- U – Use extra greens in proportion to your grains and pasta when making salads.
- V – Veggies such as corn, eggplant and zucchini make for grilled favorites.
- W – Whip up a heart-healthy potato salad using canola or olive oil.
- X – “X” out any complaining to your newfound healthy ways by serving fun “treats,” such as frozen bananas or fruit juice Popsicles.
- Y – Young ones can participate in three-legged races and other relay events.
Z – Zero in on a healthy plan of action for your day, then stick to it!
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.