It’s my honor to introduce fellow dietitian Ginger Hultin as the first guest to post on Whole Green Wellness! As important as colorful nutrition, regular exercise and mindfulness are for health and well-being, so is letting loose and having fun! Ginger’s “Champagne” way of life is proof that you can have fun and live healthfully!

 


 

Taylor of Whole Green Wellness and I like to go out and about together—we live in Chicago after all! Both of us are passionate veggies and dietitians, so we know that we can go out and have fun and still eat healthfully. I am Ginger of Champagne Nutrition and I know that when you live in a city, there is an abundance of opportunities to dine at the most amazing restaurants all the time – every night if you want. Believe it or not, there is a way to enjoy these perks and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Read on to learn how to live a Champagne lifestyle.

The first rule of having a fun social life is to reach out to friends and make ‘dates’. Try never to cancel, especially last minute. If you are new to a city, joining meet-ups or clubs with like-minded people is a good place to start. For example, in Chicago I’m in several nutrition-related professional groups, a Chicago blogger group, and I hang out with people from my gym as well. My calendar is stacked and I also make sure that I leave time for myself, my writing, and for fitness.

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Veg dietitians at our holiday potluck – the wine was flowing!

The second rule of having a fun and healthy social life is to make smart choices when you’re out. Pick a restaurant that suits your needs and review the menu ahead of time. Taylor and I like to try vegetarian restaurants in Chicago including The Chicago Diner or Karyn’s Cooked where we get fresh, healthy food. Wherever you are, be sure to choose options that include whole grains, plant-based proteins, healthy fat like avocado, and lots of fresh veggies. Drinking champagne or red wine fit into my diet, definitely. But alcohol has a lot of calories and I find that it can also lead to a decline in working out if you have too much. Have a blast, enjoy a drink here or there, and keep your values and goals in mind as you do.

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One of our veg dietitian dinner dates – Chicago Diner Soul Bowl and cabernet

Finally, going out doesn’t have to be just about sitting down at a restaurant! One of my favorite things to do in the summer in Chicago is meet friends at the local farmers market. I’ll also meet a friend for a walk instead of going straight to sitting down. Try taking your coffee ‘to-go’ or meet up for an event instead of another dinner. I’m attending an event next week in Chicago with a fellow dietitian where we’re going to try out SoulCycle for the first time. By including fitness and activity into your social routine, you get to have fun and you get to stay fit as well.

If going out a lot or living a fast, urban lifestyle is getting you down and hurting your health, know that with a few changes, you can turn things around! Make awesome, healthy choices for each meal that will make you feel good (and not just in the moment), get creative with your social schedule, work in events that are active, and make time for yourself and your own fitness goals.


 

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Ginger Hultin, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, is a Chicago-based writer and dietitian at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care specializing in integrative health and whole food-based nutrition. She serves as Chair-Elect for the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and Immediate- Past President for the Chicago Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Read Ginger’s blog, Champagne Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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