We all know how it goes, it’s a beautiful sunny afternoon and you get a group text from the girls wanting to hit a patio for happy hour. In a perfect world, the happy hour menu would consist of lettuce wraps, veggie and dip, maybe even albacore tuna. BUT we all know that ‘happy hour’ is code for sliders, crispy taco’s and discount fries… not to mention the sugary sangria or frozen rose. Yes, I know I can stay home, make a buddah bowl and skip the festivities but after a long week of work, it’s nice to sit down with your people and unwind.
Here are some of the ways I try and make our girls nights a little more health conscious.
1. Pick the spot
If you can be the one initiating the plan, you generally have the opportunity to pick the location. I always suggest restaurants with a nice ambiance, great drinks and healthy options. Some of my favorite Vancouver go-to’s are Nuba – which has the absolute best baked cauliflower, Heirloom, which has amazing cocktails and a full vegan menu as well as their regular vegetarian menu and Tractor, which is a much more casual environment but has some great wine options.
2. Plan a picnic
This is my favorite of the healthy-night-hacks! Bring your own low-cal beverage, a comfortable beach blanket and an easy (nutritious) health conscious snack. My go to is Wendy’s Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad. The mango ALWAYS tastes ripe and fresh, and they top it off with honey roasted sunflower seeds. It’s seriously delicious. I love this option because it gives you the ease of fast food, and the clean ingredients of something homemade (it’s only 470 calories).
3.Suggest a Potluck
Potlucks work well for me because no matter what potentially unhealthy food my friends bring, I know that I’m bringing a nutritious dish. Toss together some salad rolls, or some veggies and hummus and you know that you have options that you (and your body) will feel good about. Plus, there’s something nice about the comfort of your best friends couches. That doesn’t mean you can’t snack on the crackers and brie, it’s all about moderation and balance.
Last but not least, don’t feel bad if you go for the fries and pina colada, we’re only human. If you make a choice you don’t feel good about, opt for walking to your next destination, or suggesting a sea-wall bike ride in lieu of a food focused hang.
And just in time for the long weekend, I’m giving away three $15 gift cards to Wendy’s to keep you on track while you’re on the go this summer! Comment with your favourite salad topper below. Contest ends Sunday, August 27th!
What are your summer stay-healthy hacks? Anything I’m missing?
Salad Photography by Janis Nicolay
Kitchen provided by Tomlenovich Design
Thank you to Wendy’s for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.