Summer hits us hard in the Southwest. The scorching temperatures make us take cover indoors with the shades pulled and AC turned down. Many of my clients ask me how they can stay motivated to exercise during the summer because the heat not only limits their motivation but some of their exercise options as well. Instead of pushing my clients to work harder despite the heat, I often remind them that summer is a great time to focus on cleaning up “bad” eating habits. We all have some eating habits that we know we need to work on, and the summer months provide us with a brief, yet perfect opportunity to focus on these challenges. School is out, vacations are on, and pool time is a regular weekend event to beat the heat. All of these situations allow for a little more time and focus on your healthy eating habits. Therefore, I encourage you to cook it up a little healthier this summer at your backyard barbeques and pool parties!
HEALTHY THAT TASTE GOOD
Many people equate the term “healthy” with tasteless and they certainly don’t associate the term with barbeque. If you believe the words “healthy” and “barbeque” should never be together in the same sentence, I would like to reassure you this blog merely suggests some healthy modifications to summer classics that everyone will enjoy. I often hear from my clients that they struggle to eat well at summer gatherings because their friends and family do not care for the taste of healthy foods. Therefore, the substitutes I suggest in this blog blend and mix well with traditional summer barbeque foods so everyone can enjoy! It’s my hope that you and your family will come together this summer to enjoy your barbeque favorites and try these subtle, yet healthier alternatives.
HEALTHY BBQ ALTERNATIVES
Greek Yogurt! Greek yogurt is different from traditional yogurts because it’s strained multiple times to remove any excess liquid. This process produces a firm and creamy texture with a mild tangy taste that some people find very sour by itself. But, this high protein dairy product is perfect for mixing and blending with other foods for a healthier alternative everyone will love!
Try this! Substitute non-fat greek yogurt for mayonnaise in your potato and egg salads this summer. 6oz of non-fat greek yogurt only has 100cal and 0g of fat! Click here for a great recipe!
Quinoa Noodles! Quinoa is a grain that is native to South America and it’s full of nutrients like protein, minerals, and fiber! The American Diabetes Association (ADA) affirms that quinoa is an excellent grain choice to help reduce blood glucose spikes and energy crashes. Most people cannot taste the difference between regular enriched flour noodles and quinoa noodles.
Try this! Substitute quinoa noodles for regular noodles in your summer pasta or macaroni salads. This super grain has 4g of protein and 4g of fiber per serving! Click here for a great recipe!
Grilled Veggies! Grilled vegetables are often forgotten at barbeques! It seems all the traditional meat favorites take first priority on the grill. However, grilling vegetables gives them a delicious flavor that compliments all entrées. Popular and easy veggies to grill that everyone loves include red potatoes, asparagus, onions, cherry tomatoes, squash, and peppers.
Try this! Make veggie kabobs to roast on the grill while you cook your meats. These can then be tossed on top of salads, enjoyed as a side, or added to your main entrée like a burger or hot dog. Cooked or raw, vegetables are good for everyone! Click here for a great recipe!
I know it’s a challenge to please everyone when you’re trying to cook more nutritious. Try these three tasty variations this year and know that you’re doing friends, family, and yourself a little healthy favor- even if they don’t know it! You can find more recipes options on my facebook. Have a great summer!