Barbecue Like a Pro The Healthy Way

Barbecues are a staple this time of year and a great way to get out, get social and enjoy the season. Barbecues can also be a pit fall for your health goals. To ensure you get the most out the season without sacrificing wellness, try some quick and easy BBQ Hacks.

For starters, be a thoughtful guest and show up with a dish. In other words, share the health. Bringing a platter of a more nutritious option ensures that you will have a lighter option if the fare is geared more towards hotdogs and macaroni salad. Bring a fruit salad, greens and bacon, or a tin of grilled chicken and be a star guest. 

Can’t resist the bowls of chips and pretzels? Try snacking on a high fiber and  protein meal an hour or two beforehand to reduce cravings. Nosh on an apple and nuts to keep yourself in check. 

Now for the meal; a few simple tricks could save you a whole lot of calories. For one, watch your condiments and choose mustard over mayonnaise. Just 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise nears 100 calories! Mustard has about 10 calories for every tablespoon. Hot sauce is another great condiment option if you want some added flavor-but watch out for additives and artificial ingredients. Next, make your plate colorful by filling it up with vegetables. Squashes are in season and taste great simply grilled. 

Additionally, don’t be tricked by supposed health foods like vegetable burgers. If you want a meatless alternative, that replicates the real thing, choose wisely-or better yet, make your own. Share your meatless ways and show up to the party with a tray of vegetarian friendly options for you and your friends to enjoy. 

If you are a meat eater, choose meats without the processing and stay clear of sausages, hotdogs and the like. Remember, all meat has an environmental impact, but some, less than others. Review the planetary health diet recipes for info.

If fruity drinks are your downfall, try some refreshing alternatives. Using a dash of lime, lemon or grapefruit juice can freshen up a drink without all of the calories and sugar that a juice-concentrate can add. Another great trick is making sure to down a glass of water for every drink you have. This will not only save you calories, but also a headache the next morning. 

One more thing, enjoy your time with family and friends.  Often, we forget the importance of social bonds for our health.  Take this time to relax, and appreciate the day.