Have a Better BBQ this Fourth of July!

With the Fourth of July being tomorrow, we've been searching for healthier ways to stay on track at whichever social gathering you might attend tomorrow. Check out this article from Lifetime Wellness -  
Better Barbecues from LifeTime Weightloss
With summer in full swing, the invitations come flooding in for all kinds of outdoor festivities revolving around food. While these get-togethers can be fun, exciting, and entertaining, they sometimes aren’t so in line with your healthy eating goals. Still, none of us like to be ‘that guest’ who won’t eat what’s being provided. Before you turn down those invitations, think of how you can prepare yourself for the extravaganza and enjoy yourself (and the food!) while you’re there….guilt free, of course.
Think back to the last backyard gathering you attended.  Remember the spread of calorie-laden foods that were laid out in front of you to enjoy for hours on end. BBQ’s, picnics, and potlucks are centered around this never-ending buffet line of tummy-enlarging dishes. Most of us join in on the social eating frenzy and consume far more calories than we typically would on a Saturday afternoon.  Others simply choose the wrong foods, which leave them hungry again in a short amount of time and unsatisfied. There’s a better way!

BYOHS: Bring Your Own Healthy Snack

You can easily come to the next outdoor event armed with your own healthy addition to that backyard spread. Think of dishes that will keep you full, provide you with the best nutrients, and stay edible in the warm summer heat. (There are also great picnic containers available that also house ice trays to keep foods within a safe temperature zone.) The truth is, most of us don’t know what to bring or what will appeal to other guests. As health and popular a choice as veggie trays or salads are, they’re not your only choice. You can be more ambitious than that—and give yourself enough filling options that you can comfortably steer clear of less healthy buffet items. Remember, you’re looking for here is protein, healthy fats, and fiber.  All of these nutrients keep you full, stabilize your blood sugar, reduce cravings, and increase satiety. Forget the plain hot dogs and hamburgers, and blow your friends away with any of these amazing alternatives.    

Better Barbecue Choices

Grilled Organic Beef, Bison, or Turkey Burgers on Lettuce Buns
Cherry Tomatoes on Toothpicks
Layered Salad with Veggies, and a Light Dressing
Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs 
Cocktail Shrimp and Waldens Farms Cocktail Sauce
Wild-caught Salmon Burgers on a bed of Lettuce with Bell Peppers and Mushrooms
Rainbow Colored Bell Pepper Platter
Grilled Turkey Tenderloins Brussels Sprouts
Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Slices 
Grilled Tilapia Loins with Zucchini
Grilled Chicken Breast with Red Peppers and Vegetables 
Stuffed Mushrooms with Ham and Spinach  
Grilled Peppered Flank Steak and Charred Bell Peppers 
Mini Zucchini Pizzas (grilled zucchini slices topped with tomato sauce and veggies)
Cold Roasted Vegetable Salad with Olive Oil
Grilled Pepper-Crusted Salmon Filets with Garlic Broccoli
Grilled tilapia filets with grilled portabello mushroom caps brushed with olive oil
These are just a few of the many options you can bring to the summer holiday (or everyday) table. Remember, choose dishes that not only look and taste amazing but that provide you with long-lasting energy and nutrition. You’ll have more energy, feel better about your choices, and have less anxiety about the next backyard bash you’re invited to!
Written by Melissa Stoner, Registered Dietitian and Weight Loss Coach