Tips to Survive Mardi Gras 2013

mardi 12 mars 20130 commentaires

Great food and good times are what we, the people of New Orleans, live for! We are constantly surrounded by holidays and festivals celebrating everything from music to our sports teams to every New Orleanians' favorite, a po' boy sandwich. Our most beloved season of all to celebrate is quickly approaching, Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras season officially begins on January 6th, also known as King's Day, and the celebration continues until Mardi Gras Day or "Fat Tuesday". During those few weeks, we head out to parades and gorge ourselves on king cake, alcohol, and greasy food; waking up the next day with a pounding headache and upset stomach. Sound familiar? You can take control this Mardi Gras season with a little planning and help from these tips.

Eat King Cake, like a Queen 

Is it king cake you live for? Do you count down the days until your first bite of that sweet, cinnamon-ny, icing-covered piece of heaven? I certainly do, and sometimes it is easy to cut myself a big slice and think, "it's OK because I can work it off after Mardi Gras." Did you know that an average slice of king cake contains anywhere from 10 to 13 grams of fat, and well over 300 calories? Yes it tastes good when you eat it, but your body will thank you later if you don't over indulge. Go ahead and have your piece of king cake, but take a considerably smaller slice than you usually would. It is OK to enjoy our guilty pleasures, but do so in moderation. Make sure you work out often during the Mardi Gras season, and throw in some extra cardio by parking far from the parade route and walking to your parade viewing spot.

Alcohol - Think Light and White 

When you think of heading out for Endymion and Bacchus, and making it an all day affair, you probably grab yourself a large Daiquiri and load up the ice chest with beer. Be careful because you are getting ready to consume over 1,000 calories in a 20 oz. daiquiri alone! That's more than half a day's worth of calories for the average person, and these are not filling calories, but could actually make you hungrier!

When it comes to all day festivities, make sure to buy light beer (think light) which generally contains about 100 calories per beer. If you prefer to drink hard liquor, stick to mixers with low calories such as club soda or diet sodas. Plan to hydrate frequently while you are enjoying the parades. Drink plenty of water (think white) before you start drinking any alcohol, and try alternating a glass of water with every alcoholic drink you consume. Your waistline (and head) will thank you the next morning! So this parade season, set yourself up for success with these simple tips: skip the daiquiris, fill up your cooler with light beer and bottled water, and limit yourself to the number of alcoholic beverages you consume. And to throw in some extra exercising, while waiting in line for the bathroom, do some squats!

Plan Your "Food Parade" Route 

When we think of parades, we all think of the same food staple that is a must... a box of Popeye's' fried chicken. Complete with sides of mashed potatoes, red beans, dirty rice and a mouth watering biscuit to top it off. Of course it doesn't stop there, as we are all guilty of tearing open bags of potato chips and other snacks that come along with enjoying the parades. Make smarter choices this year by planning ahead, that's right plan your "Food Parade" route. Prepare your own snacks of fresh fruit and veggies, and putting them in your ice chest to have when you are faced with parade route, high calorie temptations. Throw a Meal replacement bar, or some granola bars in your snack bag for a healthier choice and to keep you feeling full longer. If you would rather indulge in some of the higher calorie parade foods, try some of the following to lessen the caloric impact. If you crave fried chicken, take the skin off and only have one piece. Go ahead and enjoy those delicious side dishes but in smaller portions. If you do over-indulge in an all-day eating affair; make sure to follow with a day of lighter eating and a workout session!

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