While navigating the busy social season, whether it’s a graduation party,  wedding or just dinner with friends, it can be hard to keep up with your health goals while enjoying the social scene.

As a registered dietician and prominent fixture on the social scene, Alina De Almeida has us covered. Exclusively for PALMER, she shares tips for celebrating any occasion in the healthiest way possible.


Many of us rush through the day and when it’s time for a bite, we mindlessly gobble down pretty much anything. Try to be mindful, and at dinner, be sure to slow down. Chew your food slowly and take small bites. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to send the signal of fullness to your brain. Therefore, if you’re eating too fast, you’ll likely be eating too much.

Hydrate Before Meals

Before arriving for any dinner, I always start off by drinking 16 fluid ounces of natural spring water to curb the hunger pangs. Pure spring water is the healthiest water you can drink. It’s clean and contains all the essential minerals your body needs. Spring water has a higher pH than tap and helps bring your body back to its normal balanced pH level.  By hydrating before meals, you’ll also curb your hunger and wind up eating less.

Eat Less Salt

Most of us are consuming double the recommended amount of sodium on a daily basis. That’s because salt is found in everything from pasta sauce to bread. Excess sodium is the number one cause of heart disease and it can be avoided.

Here are some tips for keeping the sodium intake low: When dining out, be sure to ask for any dressing or sauce that goes with your dish to be left out, used sparingly or placed on the side. Dressing and sauces are the culprit for adding excess sodium to our meals. If the food is fresh, it will taste better without the need for added sauce.

A perfect example occurred over the course of a divine French meal at Le Bilboquet. On the menu that evening was a La Salade Bilboquet to start, and I opted for their signature lemon dressing on the side over the heavy roquefort. It was fresh, light and delicious.  A little dressing goes a long way.

The other night at Sant Ambroeus I ordered the dover sole.  I requested it be cooked with oil, not butter, and for any sauces to be placed on the side. The butter and sauce only add excess calories and fat and mask the authentic flavor of the dish. All I can say is my sole was delicious and full of flavor. And I didn’t have to use any sauce at all.

Get in a Workout

Fancy dinner or not, getting physical first thing in the morning will help you feel better for the rest of the day. In addition, exercising promotes feel-good endorphins, burns excess calories and lowers blood sugar.

Personally, I find the hardest part is getting started. Finding the motivation to get out there can be daunting. What gets me going? Slipping into my favorite workout gear. Secondly, I keep it light and fun. A walk on the lake trail, an online yoga or Pilates class, a brisk walk along the beach, or laps swimming in the pool. There’s no question: Do some exercise in the morning and you WILL have a great day.