It seems hard to believe but Memorial Day Weekend is here! No doubt many of us will be attending BBQ’s over the weekend. Summer BBQ’s and parties always present a challenge to us when we are trying to eat in a mindful manner. Never fear…you can absolutely attend a BBQ and still save your waistline! All it takes is a little BBQ menu navigation know-how. As usual…I have done the research and I am going to share it with you!
BEST BBQ/COOK-OUT FOOD CHOICES:
- Veggies with Hummus or Taziki- Veggies are not only great for your health, but they are also fibrous and therefore filling. Hummus is higher in protein and lower in fat than many other dip options. Taziki is another great dipping option.
- Baked Tortilla Chips with Salsa- Baked chips have come a long way in terms of flavor over the years; no longer do they taste like their cardboard forerunners. Salsa is a flavorful and fat-free companion to your chips.
- Pretzels- Although high in carbs, pretzels are still a lower-fat option than most chips.
- Guacamole- Okay, so guacamole is a bit fattening; however, I will defend it to the end! The entire dip is composed of fresh ingredients (do NOT buy jarred/processed/crappy guacamole). Although high in fat, avacados are LOADED with nutrients. Take a healthy scoop of guacamole and munch away…it is great with veggies or baked tortilla chips; it is also delicious spread over hot corn on the cob!
***If you are dying for a deviled egg, don’t deny yourself…have 1 or 2 (instead of 4 or 5) and load up on the more optimal choices.
The Main Event:
- Grilled Chicken or Tofu- By choosing grilled chicken or tofu over hotdogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers you will save yourself a lot of calories and fat.
- Veggie Burger- Veggie burgers provide another great option for those seeking lower-calorie fare.
***Love your hotdogs and burgers? Choose your favorite of these options and then have ONE!
- Baked Beans
- Tossed Salad (with a light dressing on the side)
- Grilled Veggies- Many veggies are delicious when grilled…you can drizzle them with a little high-quality balsamic vinegar to enhance their flavor. Personally I am OBSESSED with Balsamic Vinegar from O & Co.; it is pricey ($35.00/bottle) but it is AMAZING!
- Corn on the Cob- Always a good choice, corn on the cob is also delicious when spread with guacamole vs. butter.
***These are all better options than higher calorie selections such as pasta or potato salads.
- Fruit with Light Whipped Cream
- Angelfood Cake- Light, low-fat and delicious. Layer with strawberries and light whipped cream to make a lower-fat version of Strawberry Shortcake.
- Snow Cone/Italian Ice
- Biscotti- Biscotti are hard and take a while to eat; eating ONE is a better option than many other cakes and pies.
- Brownie- ONE brownie is a better option than many other cakes and pies.
***Based upon my research, pie is the Anti-Christ to the waistline. If you cannot be satisfied with anything else, choose your favorite variety and have a sliver.
It is very easy to forget than drinks can be PACKED with calories and sugar. By choosing from the multitude of lower-calorie options out there you can avoid this serious pitfall.
- Unsweetened Iced Tea
- Diet Soda- While diet soda is hardly a healthy option for everyday consumption, having a few Diet Cokes at a party probably will not hurt.
- SkinnyGirl Margaritas/Cocktails– At just about 35 calories per serving, SkinnyGirl Margaritas are a summer (okay, year-round) staple in my home.
- Light Beer- When watching your waistline, opting for a light beer over a heavier brew is always a better option.
***For a breakdown of all of your best bets for cocktails read my “Keep Happy Hour Happy: A Survival Guide” post!
Don’t forget that you needn’t be stuck eating only what your host serves. If you are concerned about what options will be available to you, then by all means offer to bring a dish along with you to the party. Not only will you look like a gracious and courteous guest, but you will also insure that there will be at least one healthy option there for you to enjoy!
Now that you are armed with the know-how to make all of your best BBQ choices you are ready to party while you stay looking FABULOUS! Enjoy!