Healthy Cinco de Mayo Celebrations: Spice Up Your Fiesta with Nutritious Choices!

by | May 2, 2024 | Articles, Uncategorized

I LOVE Cinco de Mayo!   I look forward to this vibrant celebration of Mexican culture, filled with delicious food, music, and festivities every year.  I must admit, it’s probably because my birthday is the Siete de Mayo, which makes it an early birthday celebration for me.    While traditional Cinco de Mayo dishes are often indulgent and high in calories, it’s possible to enjoy the festivities without compromising your health goals. In this blog, we’ll explore how to add a nutritious twist to your Cinco de Mayo celebrations by incorporating healthier options that are just as flavorful and satisfying.   I am here to help you celebrate and to enjoy Cinco de Mayo in a healthier way. 

  1. Choose Fresh, Flavorful Ingredients:
  • Opt for fresh, whole ingredients whenever possible. Use ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, colorful bell peppers, and fresh herbs to add vibrant flavors and textures to your dishes.
  • Experiment with a variety of spices and seasonings like cumin, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro to add depth and complexity to your recipes without relying on excess salt or fat.

2. Build a Balanced Plate: “The Three Food Group”

    • Aim to create balanced meals that include a mix of protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and healthy fats. For example, pair lean protein sources like grilled chicken, shrimp, or beans with whole grains like brown rice or quinoa and plenty of vegetables.
    • Incorporate healthy fats from sources like avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil to provide satiety and enhance the flavor of your dishes.

    3. Lighten Up Traditional Favorites:

    • Make healthier versions of classic Cinco de Mayo dishes by using lighter cooking methods like grilling, baking, or steaming instead of frying. Try making baked tortilla chips or grilling fajita vegetables for a lighter twist on traditional favorites.
    • Use low-fat or Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in recipes. It offers the same creamy texture and tangy flavor but with fewer calories and more protein.

    4. Choose Smart Beverage Options:

    • Instead of sugary cocktails or margarita mixes, opt for lighter beverage options like fresh fruit-infused water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with a splash of lime juice.
    • If you’re craving a margarita, consider making a lighter version using fresh lime juice, tequila, and a splash of agave nectar or orange liqueur. Skip the sugary syrups and pre-made mixes.

    5. Focus on Mindful Eating:

    • Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Enjoy your food slowly, savoring each bite, and stopping when you feel satisfied.
    • Be mindful of portion sizes, especially when indulging in higher-calorie foods. Use smaller plates and serving utensils to help control portion sizes and prevent overeating.

    This Cinco de Mayo, celebrate the vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine while making healthier choices that support your health and well-being. By choosing fresh, flavorful ingredients, building balanced meals, and making smart beverage choices, you can enjoy a festive fiesta without compromising your nutrition goals.  I would like to remind you, some of the most popular, great-tasting, healthy Mexican options on the menu.

    Salsa, it’s a free food!

    Salsa is loaded with non-starchy tomatoes, a free food.  What’s a free food? It’s a food that has less than 20 calories per serving. it’s described as a free food.  Tomatoes are chock-full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant. You can smother everything in salsa and not gain weight. And the spicier the better! Spicy foods are a terrific way to kill sugar cravings. That’s good to hear…right?

    Fresh Guacamole is Sexy

    Guacamole is basically just mashed avocado. Eating the healthy fats in avocados can help to reduce belly fat. Considered to be a superfood, avocado also consists of proteins and amino acids, cartenoids, and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, plus it’s fiber rich too!

    Veggie Chips, a good alternative to tortilla chips

    You want to skip the starchy chips for your guacamole and salsa. Use sliced cucumber rounds, baby bell peppers or jicama spears instead. Veggie chips are less starchy than the tortilla chips, so less carbs.

    Ceviche, it’s light & lean

    If you’ve never tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing! Ceviche is a citrus-marinated seafood dish typically served with raw veggies such as bell pepper, onion, and parsley. Crazy good, packed with fat-burning protein, and good FOR you!

    Carne Asada, it’s a good fix!

    Very popular in Mexican culture, this is basically a grilled steak smothered with Mexican spices, usually served with grilled veggies and salsa. Try it with a salsa verde– yum! Keep in mind that chicken can be used instead of beef so if you’re not into red meat, you can still enjoy this south-of-the-border favorite.

    Fajitas for the entree

    You can load up on this lean dish. Not only is it tasty, it’s healthy, too! Eat the meat with savory sides like sauteed bell peppers and onions, salsa, guacamole, and cheese and you can enjoy this awesome little dish without a side of guilt. As long as you don’t wrap ’em up with tortillas, you don’t have to fret about getting fat.

    Go with the Skinny Margarita!

    And remember…avoiding alcohol altogether is best. But if you got to have a Marg for Cinco de Mayo, keep in mind, a skinny margarita is the better option. The typical frozen, sugary mixture type of margarita can have as much as 600 calories with the sugar content of a glass of gummy bears.  A skinny margarita on the other hand has about 170 calories.  You can also ask for the agave nectar on the side, so you can adjust the sugar content yourself.  You can also make your own Skinny Marg at home, too! 

    Here’s a recipe: Start with Tequila, add fresh lime, fresh orange juice, Just a Tbsp of Agave Nectar, Kosher Salt and extra Lime for garnish. Enjoy the Cinco de Mayo festivities, I can’t wait!

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