Summertime is a time to relax, let loose and take advantage of the beautiful weather. Those of us who are determined to maintain a healthy way of eating may find ourselves in difficult situations. Social gatherings, parties, big family reunions or the beach may become a challenge. Try and take a few moments before going to any of these events. Preparation is the key. Never attend any summer event on an empty stomach. Contrary to what some people feel, starving oneself can only lead to over eating when you are finally part of the festivities. You may be asked to contribute a dish. In that case bring an interesting vegetable either prepared or for roasting on the grill. Melons, mangoes and cherries are just some of the fruits that are in season. If you decide to make a cold salad use olive oil and vinegar instead of mayonnaise. It is both healthier and safer and has less chance of spoilage. Taste everything that looks appealing, take a break, give it time to register and then decide if you want a little more of something. Drink water. Dehydration from heat and alcohol can lead to over consumption of sugar. Bring an activity. Badminton, volleyball, chess, checkers can allow for a pleasant break instead of sitting around eating. Prepare when you are going to be attending an outdoor concert. Bring along your own snacks (trail mix, protein bar). Finally if you overdo it, learn from your experience. Get up the next day and get back on track. Summertime is always too short and should be full of fun. It is a chance to restore your vitamin D levels and stimulate your mental health by seeing and socializing with all those whose company you find enjoyable. Have a great time!