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How to make the most of your holiday weekend

Happy almost-Summer! Memorial Day is around the corner and this glorious 3-day weekend marks the beginning of summer on our calendar at NAKOA. That means more outdoor gatherings with friends and family and an abundance of delicious food and drink.

We all love a good barbecue: good vibes, good friends, and of course, good eats. But we’ve all been there: you’ve been working hard to eat healthy and stay fit but the tables laden with tasty treats are hard to resist.

Stay on track with your fitness & nutrition by committing to choices that support your goals while allowing the good times to roll.

At NAKOA, here are the 3 simple rules we abide by at any event where we might be tempted to overindulge:

  1. Hydrate! You’ve heard it before – but it’s never a bad reminder. Weather you’re knocking back cold ones or slowly sipping wine, big glasses of water in between will keep you satisfied and feeling great all afternoon, and tomorrow too. Sparkling water is a wonderful, hydrating alternative to alcoholic beverages as well.
  2. Eat fresh. Stick to lots of fresh vegetable and fruits. Find the veggie tray, salads, and the lean proteins! Fill up on things that make you feel good before you turn to the dessert table. Watch out for sugar-laden sauces and over-processed dressings.
  3. Set goals. Get clear. Know what is important to you and stick to it! Having a great time? What will you regret? Drinking 4 beers and eating 3 portions of the sheet cake? Commit to your goals before you attend any event.

The trick to guaranteeing you will have something healthy and satisfying to eat: bring it yourself. These 2 veggie-heavy ideas are something you’ll be proud to share with guests and happy to munch on all day if everyone else shows up with pizza & potato salad.

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Always a hit, colorful, festive, and goes great with any barbecue spread. Bonus: it’s easy to prepare and lasts a few days in the fridge!

  • 2 cans black beans (rinse & drain)
  • 2 c fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 6 green onions, sliced


  • fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes
  • ½ c olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • salt & pepper to taste


Serve with corn tortilla chips. Or get extra healthy and serve with a side of lettuce leaves for wraps!

Simple Veggies with Dips

A gorgeous veggie tray is always a little extra work, but so worth the effort compared to the prepared versions sold in stores. Especially when you throw some unique offerings that will get guests talking – jicama spears anyone?! Pick your favorite veggies and slice them into finger foods. Some of our favorites:

  • rainbow carrots from your farmers market
  • organic bell peppers
  • cauliflower
  • cucumbers
  • jicama spears

The secret is in the sauce. Hummus is a no brainer, but you can mix it up too. San Diego has some great local companies that offer a great healthy twist on dip.

  • Bitchin’ Sauce (watch out for the Heat flavor – they are NOT messing around)
  • Majestic Garlic (if you don’t mind garlic breath, this stuff is yummy and great for your immune system)


Have a happy & healthy Memorial Day weekend!

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