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Best Memorial Day Foods for Weight Loss

May 21, 2024
Best Memorial Day Foods for Weight Loss

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In this article:

  • Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and a popular day for cookouts and picnics.
  • Include lower-calorie, higher-nutrient items to stay on track and feel better while you enjoy the day.
  • The following ideas are high in nutrients like fiber or protein, and low in saturated fat and added sugars. They’re also flavorful, easy to prepare, and are great for sharing.
  • Lark can help you manage weight with or without GLP-1s as you log food, get tips for eating healthier, and make small changes that can turn into healthy habits.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. It’s a great time to get together with friends and family and celebrate the warmer weather. Take a look at some ways to celebrate the holiday while staying on track with your goals.

A Filling Breakfast: Red, White, and Blueberry Egg Muffin Cups

Having a healthy and filling breakfast can keep you motivated to stay on track all day. Red, white, and blueberry eggs can get you into a festive mood early. Using egg whites instead of whole eggs can keep the color white while reducing cholesterol and saturated fat.

To make your eggs, slice strawberries and mix them with crumbled feta cheese or shredded Swiss cheese. Place them on the bottoms of sprayed muffin cups and pour beaten egg whites over them. Top your eggs with fresh or thawed frozen blueberries and bake them at 400 degrees until the muffins have set.

If you prefer a savory breakfast, add red from tomatoes or bell peppers and blue from purple cauliflower or cabbage. You can also season your eggs with chili powder and paprika, and add red pepper flakes for some heat.

Healthy Finger Food: Hummus Boats

You can make “boats” out of hollowed-out cucumber halves, mini bell pepper halves, or strips of bell pepper.

Turn your boats into healthy Mediterranean options by filling them with hummus. Purchase hummus, or make your own with chickpeas, olive oil or tahini, and seasonings like lemon juice and garlic.

Here are some ways to vary hummus if you’re making it yourself.

  • Blend it less so it’s still chunky instead of smooth
  • Add cooked beets to turn it a beautiful pink color
  • Experiment with fresh or dried herbs like mint, dill, and parsley
  • Use black beans or lentils instead of chickpeas
  • Blend in ripe avocado and reduce the amount of olive oil or tahini
  • Add roasted eggplant or bell pepper before pureeing

Best Snack Swap: Vegetable Chips and Salsa

Why have potato or tortilla chips when you can have baked vegetable chips instead? They’re delicious and easy to make. Serve them with yogurt sauce or your choice of store-bought or homemade salsa.

Here’s how to make veggie chips or strips:

  • Choose shredded kale, radish slices, baby carrots or carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, jicama sticks, or sliced daikon or Korean radish
  • Toss your vegetables in a small amount of olive oil, using about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per pound of vegetables
  • Add seasoning as desired, such as black pepper, sea salt, grated parmesan cheese, cumin, or red pepper flakes for heat
  • Bake your vegetables on a sprayed cookie sheet at 425 degrees for about 10-15 minutes

To make a creamy yogurt sauce, blend plain Greek yogurt with lemon or lime juice, minced garlic or garlic powder, and your choices of herbs and spices.

Here are a few ideas for combinations:

  • Tomato paste, Italian herbs, and chopped tomatoes
  • Cumin, adobo sauce, chili powder, and diced green onion
  • Dill, parsley, thyme, paprika, and onion powder

An Easy Crowd Pleaser: Watermelon

What better way to welcome summer than with a juicy watermelon? It takes only a few minutes to cut, and it can be one of the most popular items at the party. Watermelon is hydrating, low in calories, and a source of an antioxidant called lycopene.

If you want to add pizzazz, try making a watermelon salad with cubes of ripe watermelon. Sprinkle chopped mint, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice on it, and serve.

Best Potato Salad: Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Potato Salad

Potato salad can be a highlight of a Memorial Day celebration, and it can be healthy. Lighten up classic potato salad and add nutrients with a few swaps.

Here are some ideas.

  • Use a combination of roasted eggplant and sweet potatoes instead of russets or white potatoes
  • Swap something lighter for mayonnaise, such as a blend of pumpkin puree, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil
  • Add more flavor with ingredients like chopped chives, minced garlic, chopped parsley or dill, and paprika

Best Dish Swap: Chicken-Less Salad

Prepared salads may feel essential on Memorial Day, but mayo-laden salads can be food safety hazards at picnics, especially if they include chicken. Instead, consider a garbanzo bean or black bean salad made creamy with ripe avocado pureed with cooked cauliflower florets. Add diced vegetables like celery, red onion, and tomatoes. Season your salad with garlic, balsamic vinegar, and basil or other herbs. You can make your salad ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight as the flavors blend together.

No matter what you’re serving, remember that it’s always important to keep food safety in mind. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it’s only safe to keep prepared foods at room temperature for two hours. On hot days, limit the time you have foods out to a maximum of one hour.

Best Grilled Food: Red, White, and Blue Skewers

Attractive red, white, and blue skewers can be healthy, too! In a bowl, toss cherry tomatoes or bell peppers chunks, cauliflower florets or chunks of onions, and purple cauliflower florets or chunks of purple cabbage with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Place the items on skewers and grill them.

There are plenty of nutritious proteins to consider instead of classic beef patties and hot dogs. Consider serving your skewers with salmon, chicken, tilapia, veggie burgers, or meatless hot dogs.

Best Mocktail: Lemon Mint Spritzer

Here are some reasons to consider low-calorie, non-alcoholic beverages.

  • They’re better for weight loss and blood sugar than sugar-sweetened or alcoholic beverages
  • They’re more hydrating than alcoholic beverages
  • They’re safer since drinking alcohol can lead to accidents and incidents

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider a lemon mint spritzer to mix things up. To sparkling water, add ice, lemon juice, and mint. That’s it!

How Lark Can Help

Holidays are great opportunities to enjoy delicious, nutritious food, and Lark’s digital coach can keep you accountable and motivated to stay on track. Lark offers additional tools and support year-round. Your Lark coach is available 24/7 for nutrition and physical activity coaching and tracking. Lark can help you make healthy choices and establish habits that fit into your lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off with or without GLP-1 medications.

Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!

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Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.

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