Bored with your meal routine? Sometimes all you need is a change of scene (literally). Take advantage of summer’s warm weather and enjoy a delicious al fresco meal at the park with family and friends. From crunchy vegetables and juicy fruits to reduced-fat cheeses, lean sandwich meats, summery salads, and whole-grain breads, a South Beach Diet-friendly picnic is easy to pack. It’s essential to keep perishable foods cold, so be sure to pack items like veggies, reduced-fat cheese or other dairy products, lean meats, and soups and salads at the bottom of the cooler, and the nonperishable foods like fruits, nuts, and crackers at the top. Here are some tips for assembling the perfect picnic:
a fruit salad. Skip the
ice cream truck and satisfy your sweet tooth with a refreshing fruit salad
(Phase 2) at the park. Combine nectarine and/or peach slices, chunks of
cantaloupe or honeydew, and your choice of berries. Store the fruit salad in
the fridge until you’re ready to pack in a resealable plastic bag in a cooler. Take
along some fresh mint or basil in a plastic bag for a last-minute garnish.
along lean deli meats.
Lean deli roll-ups will keep you feeling satisfied and energized during your
outdoor sojourn. To make one, roll a slice or two of low-fat reduced-sodium uncured
ham, turkey or chicken breast with a slice of reduced-fat cheese in a Bibb lettuce
leaf. Wrap well and keep chilled. On Phase 2, enjoy the cold cuts and cheese as
a sandwich on whole-grain sandwich bread or pita and layer on romaine lettuce
leaves and tomato slices. If you’re not a meat-eater, make a nut-butter
refreshing soups and salads.
Summery first-course soups and salads can be packed in reusable plastic
containers with tight-fitting lids and served in disposable bowls once you get
to the picnic site. Try a chilled gazpacho soup or a big garden salad made with
crisp romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet onions. Pack a
South Beach Diet-friendly dressing and toss the salad just before serving. On
Phase 2, you can also take along a sweet potato salad or a whole-wheat macaroni
salad made with a Dijon vinaigrette or a little pesto instead of mayonnaise.
help keep you energized and ward off hunger and cravings, be sure to pack some
healthy snacks. On Phase 1, you can enjoy raw veggies with hummus or another
South Beach Diet-friendly dip; have a reduced-fat cheese stick; or snack on a
container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with some nuts sprinkled on top. On Phase 2,
you can have any of these or perhaps a whole-wheat cracker sandwich: Simply
spread a cracker with some reduced-fat spreadable cheese or natural peanut butter and
top with another cracker. If you don’t have time to prepare snacks, our South
Beach Diet Sweet Delights — either dark-chocolate-covered sunflower
seeds or soynuts — will fulfill your chocolate cravings at just 100
calories. Our creamy, cooling 100-Calorie Snack Smoothies, which come in three
tropical flavors, Strawberry Banana, Wild Berry, and Perfectly Peach, are
another good take-along choice. Be sure to keep the smoothies in the cooler
until ready to serve.