I’m on vacation today and was inspired to send out a blog post! We’re enjoying the sand and surf, and are getting ready to fire up the grill – all things that make my world feel complete! We are serving a variety of options this evening, some healthful, while others are not. I thought it might be helpful to share some tips for having your burger and eating it too at your next BBQ party!
Be intentional. If you are at a party and there is a whole spread of appetizers, as well as the main entrée(s) coming off the grill, take time to peruse your options. If you really want to enjoy a high fat meat entrée (ribs, steak, burger), go easy on the heavy appetizers and sides. Choose fruit or veggie based appetizers or sides versus those that are creamy, cheesy, or fried. A plate of ribs with a baked potato and green salad is a nice balance. A grilled burger topped with lettuce, tomato, and mustard served with a side of watermelon is another example of healthful and flavorful balance.
Bring a healthy option to throw on the grill or to share as an appetizer or side. Lean meats, such as chicken, pork tenderloin, fish/shellfish, lean ground meat, or veggie patties are delicious when grilled. Increase your fruit and veggie intake by throwing some on the grill next to the protein. Skewers of vegetables, slices of pineapple or peaches, or corn on the cob are just a few ideas to get you going. A fruit or green salad is a delicious, and fresh addition to the treats coming off the grill. I challenge you to grill some fresh peach halves to throw onto an arugula/green salad, tossed with vinaigrette, and a little goat cheese. Delicious!
Avoid the trap of restricting all day so you’re ready for the party. If you show up too hungry, you are much more likely to eat too much and make poor nutritional choices. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, even if you feel there is nothing healthy to eat. One meal will not make or break your health or nutrition. It is your habits over time that matter. Get small portions and enjoy every delicious, summer-filled bite. Pay attention to your body’s fullness cues. Give yourself permission to stop eating when you are feeling just right instead of when you are stuffed (even though you may want to keep eating because it tastes so good). You will leave the party feeling satisfied and energized.