Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to go outdoors, light up the grill and FINALLY share a meal with family and friends. However, navigating a BBQ while you’re eating healthy can be tricky. Don’t let not-so-healthy foods get in the way of your summer fun. There’s no reason to avoid a backyard get-together, especially when you can follow these tips for a healthier summer BBQ.
1. Have More Plants, Less Animals
Instead of having half your plate covered with animal protein, reserve the majority of your plate for veggies and plant-based foods.
Here’s an example: Instead of a huge serving of grilled chicken, add 1-2 ounces of grilled chicken on top of a tangy Southwest Quinoa Salad with a side of grilled veggies. You’ll get plenty of protein from both animal and plant-based sources.
You could also enjoy more meatless meals by loading up on plant-based proteins like quinoa and beans. Add some veggies and healthy fats on the side and you’ve got a delicious and well-balanced meal.
2. Go for Grass-Fed Meat
If you do choose to serve animal protein at your summer BBQ, remember that quality matters. Grass-fed meat is higher in CLA and omega-3’s, two types of fat that are important for brain and heart health. As a bonus, grass-fed meat isn’t full of added hormones and antibiotics.
Also, keep your portion sizes in mind. You don’t have to eat an oversized burger to get enough protein. Opt for smaller patties of about 3 to 4 ounces. If you’re not in charge of making burgers, eat half of a burger and load up on plant-based foods on the side.
3. Make Your Salads Colorful
There’s so much more to a backyard BBQ than mayo-drenched potato and pasta salads. Summer is full of fresh, colorful fruits and veggies ready to be sliced and diced into a salad of your choice.
Check out these tasty recipes to get you started:
- Southwestern Rice & Pinto Bean Salad
- Shaved Zucchini-Fennel Salad
- Broccoli Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing
4. Grill Your Summer Fruits & Veggies
Take advantage of the hot grill by searing some fresh fruits and vegetables. Here's a few options we are serving up this summer:
- Sesame-Ginger Pork Patty with Grilled Pineapple
- Grilled Chicken & Nectarine Chopped Salad
- Grilled Summer Squash with Feta and Mint
Looking for more ideas of what to throw on the grill? Click here for some inspiration!