It seems like at every social BBQ I have a wonderful time but I always end the day feeling queasy and dehydrated. The only reason for this is all the foods I have consumed. As soon as I get to the party, either a beer or a sweet sour margarita is handed to me. Everyone is gathered around the table of appetizers which typically consists of greasy chips & onion dip, tortilla chips & queso. How do I refrain from totally diving into the dip like an Olympic athlete? I don’t. At BBQs I feel entitled to join the fun, the booze, bikinis, the binging and bustin’ eachothers’ balls.
Inevitably, once the fun and games are over, heading home I feel like the blown up killer whale floating in the pool. On top of that, most BBQs are on Sunday, so Monday I’m still in recovery at work.
While we can’t adjust the menu of our friends’ BBQs, we can spruce up our own.
Healthy Ideas for the Summer BBQ
For starters: instead of greasy chips and cream based dips, try baked tortilla chips and salsa.
For drinks: set up a nice cold cooler of water with chunks of your choice of fruit. This will encourage your guests to hydrate. Instead of your typical soda bottles, a pitcher of fresh green tea can offer a kick of caffeine. Regarding booze, stick to light beers, and for sweet poolside mixed drinks, try some silver tequila (I like Hornitos) with G2 lemon-lime Gatorade. Not only does it taste like a refreshing margarita, you’re lowering the sugar content and adding electrolytes.
For sides: Use light mayo for your pasta/potato salads. The difference is minimal. Replace your grains like rice and pastas with brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Baked beans are scrumptious, low in fat and high in fiber.
For the main dish: Trying grilling some fish or shrimp and vegetable kabobs. Put back those fatty Bubba burgers (I’m not in college anymore!) and take out some veggie burgers, black bean burgers or soy burgers. Also provide good lean ground beef and/or chicken breast for a BBQ chicken sandwich. Place them on a whole wheat bun; skip the cheese.
For desserts: The best & most refreshing dessert is a beautiful platter of fruit. For a more traditional dessert style, try frozen yogurt, strawberries, chocolate syrup, cool whip and angel food cake! It’s gorgeous and delicious!
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