This may be a little late in the game for those who celebrated over the weekend, but since today is actually May 5, I thought I'd share a few quick tips on making healthy choices on Cinco de Mayo.
1. Drink Responsibly
I don't just mean in moderation (though that is helpful for your waistline and overall health). Choose a light Mexican-style beer, sip on straight tequila, or choose a skinny margarita. Many restaurants will offer a lighter version as a regular menu option, or you can just ask for lime juice instead of the mix. Add a little sweetener yourself, to prevent it from being overdone.
2. Spice it Up
Enjoy the fresh flavors of Mexican foods - lime, cilantro, chiles. These all add great flavor without added fat or salt. The bonus of spicy food is that kick can prevent you from over-indulging.
3. Be Mindful of the Fat
Sour cream, cheese, fried chips - it all adds up pretty quickly. Sometimes, even before your meal arrives! Ask for fresh tortillas instead of chips. Consider vegetable sticks as a way to enjoy salsa or guacamole (it's heart-healthy fat!). Mexican food capitalizes on beans, chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, peppers, corn, citrus and avocado - all foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Take advantage!
4. Have it Your Way
Most restaurants are willing to make modifications for you. Ask for those indulgent ingredients to be left off, or brought on the side. Look for key words like asada (grilled), salsa verde (green chili sauce) and Veracruz-style (tomato sauce). Ask for the taco salad on a plate instead of the tortilla shell.
5. Enjoy the Best, Forget the Rest
Like my post on only choosing the best ingredients, choose only your favorite splurges. You can enjoy the holiday, and not be a victim to circumstances. It actually IS possible to not eat chips before your meal, or at least to not eat the whole basket ;) Pick what you really love, and stay there.