Cinco de Mayo Survival Guide

4 05 2012

First of all, may the fourth be with you (for all you Star Wars Day observers, like me).

This also means that tomorrow, everyone becomes of Latin origin (much like everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day), as it’s Cinco de Mayo!

Fiesta Time!

Of course, like most holidays, this can be chock full of pitfalls and it’s my job, as the Nerdy Gym Rat, to do the proper research and give you pointers on how to do as much damage control as humanly possible (humanly being the operative term: moderation is a beautiful thing).

#1 – The Pre-Party Workout

I know I know, the last thing you want to do on such a great holiday is work out, but think of it like creating a caloric deficit.  Mentally, you’ll feel better about that taco or extra Corona if you can say to yourself “Well, I did run a couple miles today…”

CrossFit: ALWAYS a good decision!

Personally, I plan on doing at least one body weight WOD (Workout of the Day, for those who aren’t up on the CrossFit lingo).  Reading through the .PDF I have, I’m thinking about the Angie and/or the Chelsea (both on Page 1 of the document).  The beauty of these WODs is that it builds up muscular strength and endurance, so your metabolism will be working overtime long after you’re done, as opposed to 30 minutes of static cardio on a treadmill.  The dirty secret behind static cardio is that the moment you hit “stop”, so does the calorie burn.  Think about that…

#2 – The Food

If you end up at ANY Tex-Mex place in your city, you will be getting loads of complimentary chips and salsa.  I remember a pseudo-pub crawl friends of mine put together back in college.  By the end of the day, we were so sick of everyone’s special homemade pico de gallo.

Yeah, THIS won’t get old quick…

Remember that it’s not the salsa that’s the trap (in fact, it’s one of the healthiest condiments you can find, as long as it’s not full of salt).  It’s the fried chips that will not be your friend!  If you can control yourself to 10-15 chips and load them with salsa (or guacamole, as long as it’s homemade and not pre-made), you’re in great shape!

Tacos, burritos and main dishes are also tough things to get around.  If at all possible, try to avoid sour creams, cheeses and pick lean meats (chicken or steak) as your fillings.  Also, while taco shells at most restaurants are flour-based and not corn, burritos usually have the option of a whole wheat tortilla (and option I know places like Tijuana Flats has).  Another thing to consider when you’re placing your order:  if it goes into a deep fryer (i.e. chimichangas), if does NOT go into your body.

#3 – The Libations (That’s right…the booze!)

What Cinco de Mayo would be complete without tons of drinking??? Yours!

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer something light if I’m going to indulge.  Most likely, Dos Equis and Corona will be the beers on special.  Lucky for you both have light options (and with a lime, you won’t notice a difference in taste).

Then there’s the always-delicious margarita.  Unless you plan on making your own mix, you should stick to a “one-and-done” mentality to save yourself the sugar spike (Example:  A Red Lobster “Lobsterita” will set you back 890 calories and 183 grams of carbohydrates – not to mention the loads of sugar from the mix).  If you’re going to have more than one, the phrase “on the rocks” will soften the blow, as they are usually less liquid and more ice (bartenders are not going to heavy pour you, as opposed to a machine).  If your restaurant or bar of choice has a “skinny” option (I know Chili’s does), go that route!

Another thing to note: a shot of Patron Silver tequila is 69 calories of hangover juice.  Keep those to a minimum not only because of the lack of nutritional value, but to keep yourself from making some bad decisions (you don’t want a “coyote ugly” situation on your hands).

These steps shouldn’t keep you from having a good time, though!  Remember, you’re out there to spend time with friends, make some new ones that you’ll be Facebook friends with by the end of the night (not to mention the awful mariachi music at every turn).  Keep these steps in mind and you’ll have a blast without the guilt the following morning!

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