In all disciplines of life, there are examples of people who have made choices to not allow their present reality dictate future outcomes. These are the type of people who know the liberating power of a positive choice. With a little practice this can be YOU!

Every day we choose victory or defeat. We choose to live a lot or to die a little. We choose to hurt people or to help them. We choose to focus on the problem or be the problem solver. We choose to whine and complain or to praise and be thankful. We choose to be angry and carry grudges or to make peace and forgive. We choose to speak words of blessings or words of cursing. We choose to lie on the couch or to get up and exercise!

All the armies of the world cannot strip you of your free will of choice. It is ultimately your decision whether or not to overindulge in the beer, burger, chips and ice cream at the BBQ during the weekend fun or to make beneficial and nourishing selections.

Everyone loves a barbecue.  Unfortunately, big food spreads actually induce stress for those of us who choose to eat and lead a healthier lifestyle. Without letting the grazing get out of hand, you can enjoy the delicious spread with these simple rules for smart eating.

  • Contribute something that’s good for you. Bring a healthy dish. You know that you’ll be able to get something nutritious in no matter how decadent the other options are.
  • Pay attention to portions
  • A tennis ball = about 1 cup ~ aim for less than 1 cup of starchy side dishes.
  • Your palm = about 3 ounces meat ~ useful for steak, chicken and fish.
  • Your thumb = about 1 tablespoon ~ comes in handy when you’re estimating dressing or a spread. Choose a vinaigrette whenever available and save the calories.
  • Fill up on vegetables first. Eat loads of green salad, with a couple tablespoons dressing. Crunch on the veggies – go easy on the dips and chips.
  • Have a little lean protein. Gram for gram, lean proteins help you feel fuller than carbohydrates or fats. Enjoy a little bit of what’s grilling or have a protein bar before you leave for the BBQ and fill up on healthy fruits and vegetables.
  • “Prioritize” your favorite food. Save room for a small serving size of your preferred cuisine while you fill up on lean protein, grilled vegetables and a healthy side so you can indulge without feeling guilty.
  • When you’re finished, go play. Start tossing a ball with the kids or rally the adults for a game of horseshoes or some other outdoor game.

REMEMBER: Summertime activities are a time to socialize with friends. Choose to make this your priority and not how fast you can devour each cuisine.

It’s your choice whether or not to adopt an attitude of excellence instead of perfection. Stop comparing yourself to others and step into your beautiful self!