Every year, on January 26, we’re encouraged to celebrate what’s great about Australia. This year is no different, except that we get an additional day off and therefore a long weekend. All the more reason to celebrate!

When we think about what’s great about Australia, food is often the first thing that comes to mind. No doubt you associate Australia Day with lamb chops, snags on the barbie, cold beer and lamingtons, right? (Actually, we hope you do. Otherwise someone’s marketing budget is up for revision).

Yet, before you start nibbling on those chops and guzzling beer then snoozing through your weekend workout, check out these six tips on how to celebrate Australia Day, the healthy way.

6  tips to celebrate Australia Day, the healthy way

1)    Focus on the fun not the food
There are other things apart food that are great about Australia. The great outdoors of course! So take the celebrations outside and head to the park or the beach. Have you ever tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)? It’s easy, fun and a great workout.

2)    Fire up the BBQ
Swap the heavy classics for something lighter. Out with the greasy sausages and in with the seafood! Tuna, salmon and prawns are all well suited for the BBQ and excellent sources of protein that will keep you full for longer.
For dessert, why not try these “healthy” lamingtons from Teresa Cutter (The Healthy Chef). See the recipe here.
They are gluten free and coated with dark chocolate. Yum!

3)    Failing to plan is a plan to fail
It’s a long weekend and you just want to relax and not plan your meals as you would on a normal weekday. But with all the extra temptations happening this long weekend, you can easily undo a whole week of healthy habits. So, ensure you stock your fridge with fresh groceries ahead of time and you won’t have to choose between what’s healthy and what’s just convenient.

4)    Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
We know you’ve heard it all before, but heading out for a party on an empty stomach is sure to leave you hanging around the chips and dips for way too long. If you plan to have a few drinks, it’s always better to have food in your belly to help stabilise the blood sugar.

5)    Balance your bevs, coffee, tea, and cocktails, with a glass of water.
For every drink, have a glass of water. Your liver and skin will thank you for it and if you don’t, you’ll be begging your body for forgiveness the next day.

6)    Be sun smart!
If you’re heading outside this Australia Day don’t forget to Slip, Slop, Slap. Slip on the sun-protective clothing, slop on the sunscreen and slap on a hat. Spend midday in the shade and remember to wear your sunnies.

Happy Australia Day from team VIVA!