Dark photo but had to include Rosa Mexicana guac for an army from Taste of Upper West Side
Nothing says “hello summer” like a golf umbrella (or in my case yesterday a broken umbrella mid-typhoon) but weather aside Memorial Day weekend, for many, is the unofficial start to summer. Nutritionally each season has its liabilities. Summertime means cocktail calories and barbeques possibly mitigated by the presence fantastic produce and outside time.  This week, I’ve been prepping clients for summer snags. In a session earlier in the week a client said “I’m pretty good with my meals it’s just the appetizers and pre-dinner munching that trips me up.” She’s not alone; a cheese plate has derailed many healthy weekends.  Here are my tips for managing an app-attack.
Be mono-appous- despite what you’ve heard happy hour is not the time to play the field at least when calories are at stake. Is it going to be shrimp cocktail, crudité or cheese? Whenever possible, commit to one item and be faithful. This is similar to the presnacktual agreement I mentioned before. The more items you taste the more total food you’ll consume.
If food-loyalty is a virtue you’re still working on, I’ve got you covered. For pupu platter eaters sticking to one food takes work and can initially feel like dietary Alcatraz. In that case, just plate it. Take a bread and butter plate or if plateless a cocktail napkin will suffice and serve yourself a few items. The nice thing about plating is that you see what you’re consuming. This comes in handy if you’re keeping a food journal or just when donning a swimsuit for the first time in months. And it’s just one plate, no refills.
It’s easy to overdo it on hors d’oeuvres (a word I can never spell correctly), especially after a glass of wine. When you’re tempted to blow it…wait, wait, compensate. If you polished off the better part of a basket of chips- skip carbs at dinner. If you couldn’t resist mini meatballs or sliders, veg it up during mealtime.  Apps add up and the truth is if you went to town (it has happened to the best of us) you technically don’t need much after that. If that sounds a little Where the Wild Things Are I’m sorry but we’re all a lot older than Max and dinner skipping (after basically having dinner) isn’t the end of the world.
If you’re hosting, some favorite app ideas are
  • Olives- in NYC Citarella and Fresh Direct sell gigantic Cerignola olives that I adore.
  • Veggies and Interesting Dip- try Sweet Potato Hummus or a knock off on Canyon Ranches Peanut Butter Delight (1/4 cup any nut butter,  1 cup Greek Yogurt spice it up with cayenne or keep it sweet with cinnamon/vanilla or maple).
  • Nothing is better than guacamole but I serve it with shrimp instead of chips.
  • If you’re a regular reader you know my fondness for freshly popped popcorn and truffle salt (preferably together).
  • And if you’re feeling “cheesy” pair cubes of cheese with organic Hellfire Pepper Jelly– it’s spicy enough that it really satisfies you and spice helps with your metabolism.
What’s your appetizer strategy? Any of these tips sound worth trying? What are your favorite appetizers to eat or make?
Have a great weekend.

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