Outsmart Your Next BBQ
Summertime, and the living is easy... but not always. Get-togethers and gatherings can make healthy living more of a pastime. Fear not - you can have your cake and eat it too (as long as you balance it out with some fruit & vegetables!)
1. Start out smart
One of the biggest challenges when going to a get-together can arise when you arrive hungry. Instead, have a small snack (a handful of almonds or cheese-stick with fruit) before arriving, so you can focus on conversing with the guests.
2. Build your plate
One of the easiest ways to cut down on calories is to fill 50% of your plate with vegetables. This can be veggie skewers, salad, crudite - whatever's available, fill up your plate. Then add a small portion of protein, and a small portion of whole grains if available. Stick to one plate and you'll be all set.
3. Drink it right
Making sure you stay hydrated is crucial to a successful BBQ. Focus on drinking lots of water, and if you're going to include alcohol, have 1 glass of water between each adult beverage. This will keep you hydrated AND slow down the number of calories you're drinking.
4. End it Right
Dessert is OK on occasion - just watch your portion sizes and frequency. When in doubt, choose fruit.
Every food can fit into a healthy eating routine as long as you portion it properly. But sometimes there are healthier options that will still satisfy the sweet or salty craving you are having. Here are some healthier alternatives to some favorite barbecue foods:
Instead Of This → Choose This
Coleslaw → Salad
Beef Kabob → Veggie Skewer
Beef Hot dog → Chicken Sausage
Burger & Bun → Turkey Burger wrapped in lettuce
Chips & Dip → Veggie Crudite + Hummus
Macaroni Salad → Baked Beans
Ice Cream → Watermelon
Pulled Pork → Grilled Shrimp
You can make these kabobs with any protein you choose - or stick to the veggies. The longer the kabobs marinate the more flavor you infuse into your meal.
Calories per serving: 275
Total Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Sodium: 237 mg
Potassium: 551 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 10 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 24 g
Vitamin A: 23%
Vitamin C: 232%
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary
1 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
3 tbsp parsley
salt & pepper
1 red & 1 yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 1-inch rounds
1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed
Serve with quinoa, brown rice, or riced cauliflower
Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs together in a large Ziploc bag. Place the vegetables and chicken, already cut into 1-inch pieces, in the marinade and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
While the food is marinating, soak skewers in water.
Thread chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.
Cook on a medium-high grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
You can also bake this in the oven without the skewers at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Think your diet is sub-par and you may be missing needed nutrients? Our registered dietitian has over 20 years of experience helping patients make healthy food choices! We invite you to schedule an appointment with our nutritionist by calling us at 703.349.5100 or clicking here to request an appointment. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our monthly newsletter for even more information sent straight to your inbox!