6 Tips to Keep BBQ Fare from becoming a Dieter’s Nightmare

6 Tips to Keep BBQ Fare from becoming a Dieter's Nightmare | Tipsaholic.com #healthy #eating #summer #bbq #diet

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This summer, don’t let the BBQ become your diet downfall. Even the healthiest of eaters can be overwhelmed by the array of dips and fixings at a typical summer bash. Here are six simple ways to combat the BBQ bulge!

1. Skip the chips

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Salty, crispy, grab-able snacks such as chips, pretzels and snack mixes are everywhere at summer social gatherings. To counter the temptations, fill up the buffet tables with healthier foods with a crunch like salty kale chips or strips of bell peppers to dip in spicy hummus, guacamole, or sour cream. Produce such as broccoli florets, carrots, jicama, cherry tomatoes and baby cucumbers also make great snacks.

2. H2O isn’t just for the pool

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Juice, sodas and sweetened teas are often made with high-fructose corn syrup and may contain brominated vegetable oil, which can wreak havoc on our bodies. Instead, pack coolers with sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, or offer a water cooler filled with chilled cucumber – mint or berry/citrus-infused water.

3. Banish the bun

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Despite the fact that bread products raise blood sugar as quickly and as much as eating two tablespoons of pure sugar, we still seem to fill these picnic staples with anything we can throw on the grill. Try going bun-less by eating with a fork and knife to slow down your eating. Use a lettuce-wrap approach to put some color into your meal or toss your grilled goods on top of a plate of hearty salad greens.

4. Eat your hot dog naked

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Most condiments are packed with unsavory additives to enhance flavor, shelf life, texture, or appearance. Season with fresh or dried herbs and seasonings and try dry rubs for chicken and ribs, pack some fresh herbs and spices into your grass-fed burger patties, or marinate your poultry or seafood with olive oil, citrus, and herbs before searing them on the grill. Fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or hearty mustard are great toppings for your bun-less burger, chicken, or brats.

5. Make faux salads a faux pas

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Potato salads, macaroni salad and pasta salad do not offer our bodies any true nourishment. Replacing these sides with some roasted vegetable salads or crisp, lightly-dressed coleslaw or use Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise or sour cream when making your own side dishes.

6. Don’t chase the ice cream man

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Popular summer desserts such as gelatin and colorful ice pops include artificial coloring agents that could just as easily dye our hair, clothing, or crafts. Instead, choose to naturally sweeten up your party with fruit kabobs, frozen berries with heavy cream, or homemade real-fruit popsicles.

 

Special thanks to Life Time Fitness and registered dietician Laura Burbank for submitting these helpful tips.

Featured image courtesy of She Knows.

 

Five Tips for Eating with the Seasons

 

Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to eat healthy while also maintaining a reasonable budget and cooking meals our families enjoy. An important first step in changing the way we eat is to eat with the seasons. Eating with the seasons means buying fruits and vegetables during the months in which they’re typically harvested. Not only is choosing to eat mostly in-season produce less expensive for you as a consumer, it’s also more environmentally friendly.

 

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Five Tips for Eating with the Seasons

Ready to reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest? Here are five useful tips to help you start eating with the seasons.

 

1. Know the Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

The first step in eating seasonably is finding out which fruits and vegetables are available per season. Not only is in-season produce fresher, it’s also less expensive. Erika at Style Me Green has compiled a great, comprehensive list of produce to buy based on each of the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Want to look up a specific fruit or vegetable? Check out this Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables from About.com.

2. Buy Produce at the Local Farmers Market

Eating seasonally is more fun, cost effective, and environmentally friendly when you buy from your local farmers market. Choose a new recipe that incorporates a family-favorite seasonal fruit or vegetable and be sure to pick up the ingredients while you’re out. Not sure where to go in your area? Visit www.localharvest.org for a list of local farmers markets across the nation.

3. Learn How to Can

There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the sweet taste of peaches or twang of dill pickles during the barren winter months. Canning is the answer! Never canned before? No problem. Follow this step-by-step guide from Better Homes and Gardens. Already a canning artisan? Browse these creative canning recipes for some fresh inspiration.

4. Plant an Herb Garden

No matter your living situation—tiny apartment or spacious bungalow—planting an herb garden is a great way to live green and make sure you always have the necessary ingredients on hand to spice up your seasonal dishes. Andy and Kerry at Burritos & Bubbly created a cute, simple kitchen herb garden in less than a day. They chose to plant basil, cilantro, peppermint, rosemary, thyme and chives. View their finished project here.

5. Share the Bounty

Making a conscious effort to eat seasonally provides wonderful opportunities to practice the farm-to-table approach. Invite your family and friends over for a dinner party where you share your favorite seasonal recipes. Set the table outside if the weather permits and give canned jellies or preserves to your guests as gifts when they leave. Jump start your planning with this lovely post: How to Host a Farm to Table Dinner from Abby Larson at Style Me Pretty.

More great tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

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Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.