4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day… they all mean summer BBQs! Barbecues are SO fun but… you’re often standing around for hours and hours eating and drinking. This is especially tough when we’re egged on to eat & drink more by our well meaning friends.
How to Navigate Barbecues: 5 Steps
Here are 5 easy ways to stay on track with your health goals this holiday!
1. Bring Veggies
Instead of chips, desserts, or booze, bring a platter of vegetables and salsa. A lot of times, people want the “fun” excuse to make an unhealthy choice, but they are actually happier if healthy options are available.
Salsa is my favorite dip option because it’s pretty much just cut-up veggies (so you’re dipping veggies… in veggies!). Grab a bag of baby carrots and 2 bunches of celery, chop the ends off the celery and then cut the stalks in half again, and voila! Nothing more simple or more appreciated. Pro-tip: Keep the salsa in its jar on the platter so you don’t have to keep refilling a bowl.
2. And/ Or Bring Seltzer!
Like we said – standing around for hours is tough. Having something already in your hands can be helpful – having cold, refreshing seltzers available is a great option. What are your favorite flavors? I love grapefruit or lemon of most brands.
3. Choose Your Favorite Starch
You guys know I’m on the low-carb train – as I think the research is strongest that it’s the healthiest food lifestyle. One of my rules of thumb is sticking with 1 starch per day. Here is a full list of starch servings and what counts as a starch, but with respect to BBQs specifically, here’s a guide:
1 small burger or hot dog bun
1/2 cup pasta salad
1 corn on the cob ear
1 serving chips (will depend on the specific chip)
So think ahead of time about what you’re most looking forward to, and choose that! You should always enjoy every single meal you eat.
4. Leave with Dessert
A friend taught me this in high school which I thought was so smart! Instead of resisting the urge to eat one, and then two, and then twelve cookies, pick out the best dessert (survey the scene) and then leave with it, so there’s no opportunity for seconds.
5. About Alcohol
I have a whole article on this topic which I highly suggest you read! Here it is (it’s for those older than 21 years). But ahead of time, choose how many drinks you’ll have – and then alternate with 1-2 glasses of water or seltzer in between your alcoholic drinks to keep you hydrated and slow you down.