Recipe Roundup for your Memorial Day Bash

We’re looking back on some of our favorite recipes and dishing up our top tips to give your holiday celebration a healthy boost.


Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff to summer. Bring on the warm weather, patio dining, and all-around more laid back vibes. Whether you’re staying in town or hitting the road for a 3-day getaway, we’re revisiting some of our favorite recipes from the blog that will surely please a crowd at any cookout or gathering. We’re also sharing some smart strategies on how to celebrate mindfully, so you can start your summer off on the right track.

We all want to have fun and relax on holidays, but overdoing it can lead to feeling like a slug (not so fun).  We encourage you to indulge, it’s good for the soul and life should be pleasurable, but more doesn’t always mean better. Choose how you want to splurge—that burger at the BBQ, a few ice-cold beers, strawberry pie—and let yourself enjoy those items you love most, without going all out on everything.

To help you navigate your MDW without going overboard, we’ve outlined our top tips:

*Plan – What’s the agenda? Think about what you’ll be doing, where, how long and what actions could help support healthy choices. If you’re hitting up a BBQ or potluck, bring a dish of your own so you know there will be a healthy option available to complement other food. If you’re going out of town for several days, think about what you can bring with you or where to shop so you don’t have to eat out at every meal. For more travel tips, check out our post, Healthy Eating On The Go.

*Eat breakfast – Start your day off with an energizing meal that includes some protein, good fat, and fiber. For a quick fix, try breakfast tacos or a brain booster smoothie.

*Don’t go hungry – Eating a healthy snack before the party will help you better manage temptations and more selectively indulge. Try hummus with veggies, yogurt with chia seeds, or fruit with nut butter.

*Hydrate – If you’ll be consuming alcohol, make sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and ward off an unwanted hangover. Drink a couple glasses of water before you go out, and remember to rotate in some water or sparkling water in between drinks. This can be hard to remember when the booze is flowing, so loop in a friend and hold each other accountable to reach for H20.

*Chew your food – We often gobble down food so quickly without taking the time to appreciate the flavor, especially when multitasking or in social settings. Not only does this lead us to eating more, it can negatively impact our digestion causing discomfort or bloat. No, it’s not necessary to go to extremes and chew each bite of food 100 times—but do attempt to be mindful, slow your pace, and take pleasure in the food you’re eating.

*Stick to your routine – A regular routine of healthy eating and physical activity allows room for indulgences without the guilt. At Ascend, we’re big fans of an 80/20 philosophy; where the majority of your diet is clean but you don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats. Should you happen to overdo it however, don’t stress. One day (or weekend) won’t greatly impact your health; just try to refocus the following week. Scheduling your workouts in advance is a great way to ensure you’ll get back on track (sans excuses).

Time to fire up the grill! Consider adding some of these recipes to your holiday spread:



Party Time Bites: create a colorful crudités platter with a mix of vibrant veggies and a dip such as beet hummus (if short on time, add a few unique veggies to a pre-made platter and pick up a hummus or yogurt-based dip).


Side dishes/salads


Sweet treats


Holiday celebrations offer time to relax and unwind with friends and family, while presenting opportunities to exercise our moderation muscles as we navigate temptations. The key is to find a healthy balance that works for you. Cheers to a rejuvenating weekend!