Memorial Day and diet survival? Can you thrive in the summer with your plant-based weight loss efforts and/or your transition from “mostly” plant-based? Absolutely! This holiday doesn’t have to mean unwanted pounds or unwanted allergens like gluten or dairy leaving you miserable…or for that matter, the toxic remarks at barbecues, picnics and other get togethers of those who “mean well.”

Perhaps the New Year’s weight loss resolution gave way to the look good in a bikini by Memorial Day weekend…helped along by the bombardment of marketing to that effect. It is all too easy to get awash — and frankly overwhelmed — with the glut of weight loss “tips” preying upon our anxieties.

Here’s a comprehensive compendium of diet resources for summer barbecue and grilling season; for anyone avoiding dairy and/or gluten as well as for those who are eating some of the conventional and traditional foods and want to do the least amount of harm, whether it is the barbecue sauce or the vegan meat alternative or a search the leaner, less processed meats…what are the best choices for entrees, side dishes and, yes, even desserts. A transitional phase is sometimes necessary as you learn and adjust to healthy eating that can make a difference in your quality of life, not just your clothing size.

Check out your survival guide at Go Dairy Free.

So this time you are not at the backyard barbecue but rather the drive-through fast food window. Have you blown your diet? Will you soon have a bag with 2,500 calories and 100+ grams of saturated fat? To help you minimize the damage is none other than Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition trainer Chris Powell. In a video segment — and an accompanying article he shows you how to keep the calories and fat and sugar content down…yes, as low as 300 calories for a sandwich instead of the sadly standard 700 to 2000 calories or even more that supersizing has left us with. Granted it’s not going to be what you would eat every day but it doesn’t have to be the fast food dietary assault. Click here for the tips.

Transitional phase? We have all been there. As with anything in life our results are equal to our commitment. A long-time unemployed person isn’t looking for a transition but rater results — wages, salary and other compensation pouring in…like right now! Given such gratifying results it’s probably a lot easier to switch from job hunting stresses to witnessing your efforts equal financial reward again. So it is with making the permanent lifestyle changes. I know it works as I was able to smash a two-month long weight loss plateau and get rid of cravings and addiction to high fat foods — mainly nuts and peanut butter which were both binge foods for me once I quit other less healthy high-fat deep fried foods. I found success with one of the notable low fat whole food plant-based diets, the McDougall Plan. The pioneering Dr. John McDougall has a new book out, just in time for summer, The Starch Solution
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We are all bombarded with food marketing messages and at some point we probably got hooked somewhere on one or more highly addictive processed food…. Bestselling author Neal Barnard, M.D. speaks and writes at length — notably in 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart
— on food addiction and the science behind the literal — not figurative — addiction of our brains on fat, sugar and salt.

Once you are out of your transitional phase and you need real-world solutions here are some more tips….

Daunted by low fat and oil free cuisine? From the T. Colin Campbell Foundation (The China Study co-author, recently seen in the outstanding, live-changing documentary Forks Over Knives) here’s a guide to oil free cooking.

Plant-based eating on a schedule? Think eating healthy has to take too much time and isn’t portable for your summertime activities? Fortunately Rip Esselstyn, Engine 2 Diet creator gives some options. Check out a very appetizing gathering of foods — breakfast tacos, hummus among them — that can help you in your journey to wellness at his blog…Daily Beet.

Plant-strong fitness expert Lani Muelrath has some excellent tips on managing your daily diet, she gives us a glimpse of the diet that works for her…it is high in nutrients, satiating and there’s plenty to eat and not feel deprived; that’s the beauty of it, how much food you can eat when you go for the lower density foods! See what she has to say at Lanimuelrath.com

Skinny Bliss readers let us know what Memorial Day and summer diet tips, strategies and swaps have most helped you! How are your plant-based diet and weight loss going?

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