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Navigating the Summer BBQ

June 21, 2014


By Brown & Medina Nutrition


Nothing says summer quite like a backyard barbeque with family and friends. And nothing says barbeque quite like perfectly grilled burgers, cold potato salads, and refreshing frozen drinks. There’s no reason to miss out on these get-togethers simply because you are following a plan to maintain your weight or shrink your waistline. With some careful planning, these summer barbeques can be delicious and healthy. Here are some tips to stay on track at your next summer barbeque:

As a host:

  • For an appetizer, make a large vegetable platter with dips like hummus and salsa. This will help fill you up with nutritious vitamins and minerals without weighing you down.
  • Choose lean proteins such as chicken, fish, shrimp, turkey burgers, lean tenderloin pork chops, lean cuts of beef such as sirloin, and lean ground beef for your burgers (at least 93% lean).
  • Use spice rubs to flavor your meat, fish, and poultry. Marinate meats in some citrus juice (such as lime, lemon, or orange juice) and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce. Citrus fruit juice has acids that help break down tissue in meat, so they act as a tenderizer while also adding flavor. Marinate for an hour for best results- longer than that and the acid from the fruit juice may break down the meat too much.
  • Skewer veggies and fruit such as zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, pineapple and peaches and throw on the grill. Add chicken or shrimp, or eat alone as a side dish.
  • Instead of using mayo in your potato salad or coleslaw, try using low-fat Greek yogurt. Add some dill and Dijon mustard for some more flavor. Ever try sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes? Nutrition bonus!
  • If you’re going to drink, be mindful. Drink plenty of water between drinks. If you like beer, try a light beer. Use soda or a light juice as a mixer with other types of alcohol. Instead of buying pre-made cocktail mixers, make your own frozen drinks with light juices and fresh fruit to avoid unnecessary calories and sugar.

As a guest:

  • Eat before you go. Not eating in order to “save calories” for the barbeque is never a good idea. You’ll be ravenous by the time the food is ready, and you may end up eating more to compensate.
  • Bring your own healthy dish that you know you will eat. Vegetable or fruit platters, a big summer salad, shrimp cocktail, or give a traditional dish a healthy recipe makeover.
  • No control over what’s being served? Choose the healthiest options available, and practice portion control. A cheeseburger and some potato salad will not “ruin” your healthy eating plan. In fact, all foods fit. Choose sensible portions balance out the rest of your day with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.

For more great nutrition tips by Brown & Medina Nutrition contact them at info@brownmedinanutrition.com or call 212-759-699 ext. 100. Also check out their website at brownmedinanutrition.com