Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthy Eating Tips for Your Summer BBQ

We all know the summer months bring parties, barbecues and an overabundance of high calorie foods - burgers, ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, rich desserts and alcoholic beverages.  As the popularity in outdoor activities increases, consuming excessive calories may become an issue for many - leading to lack of energy and or unwanted weight-gain.  The following simple tips can help you to indulge in your favorite foods while saving you the calories - helping you to achieve that swimsuit body you have always wanted!    

  1. Broaden Your Grilling Horizons
    • Grilling does not have to be limited to hotdogs, hamburgers and bratwursts.  Fruits and vegetables are additional foods that taste great when grilled and provide many nutrients the body needs for daily functions!  Brush with a small amount of olive oil and throw right onto the grill.  Try grilling romaine lettuce, summer squash, eggplant, red peppers, peaches, and nectarines at your next barbecue!
  2. Reinvent Old Favorites
    • Most barbecue side dishes tend to be saturated with full-fat mayonnaise. Swap out half the mayo with non-fat Greek yogurt and use light mayo in place of regular!  It tastes just as good without the excess calories.
  3. Sip Smart
    • Warm weather brings fruity calorically dense cocktails.  Stay festive this summer by choosing seasonal sippers such as unsweetened iced tea with lemon and mint or seltzer with a hint of juice!  Fruit infused water is another great choice!  Soak your fruit of choice in water overnight and it will be ready to enjoy the next day.  Cucumbers and or citrus fruits always work great!
  4. Don't Arrive Starved
    • We all know that all bets are off when arriving to a party or meal starved.  Choosing healthful choices becomes challenging when you are starving.  Before heading to your next summer cookout, reach for a protein and a fiber rich snack to keep you full and sane.  Such foods include but are not limited to hummus, string cheese, a handful of almonds and fruits. 
  5. Pick Your Indulgence
    • Never restrict yourself from your favorite dishes.  Instead, control your portion sizes.  Head to the party with a plan and decide ahead of time what your indulgence will be.  Keep the portion size small and eat slowly!  Eating slowly will help you to really enjoy it.  Fill up the rest of your plate with healthful eats and your cookout will be a success! 

Here are a few ideas for your next cookout! 
  • Baked Carrots & Zucchini Fries
  • Fat Free Mayonnaise Substitute
  • Strawberry Watermelon Mint Infused Water
    • 10 large strawberries
    • 1/2 cup sliced watermelon
    • 1/4 cup mint leaves
    • 6 cups water
    • Ice
    • Directions:
      • Fill the bottom of a pitcher with ice cubes and top it with strawberries, watermelon and mint leaves.  Fill the rest of the way with filtered water and let it cool. 
  • Peanut Butter Cup Fudgesicles