Summer Healthy BBQ Guide
Tip 1: Bring something to the party!
One of our favorite tips (and, likely the simplest) is to bring something to the party! Offer to bring a tasty side dish such as: a summer salad, grilled vegetables, cherry tomato and mozza skewers, or a fresh fruit platter. Often, summer parties are missing vegetables and slow carbs. Therefore, we recommend bringing a side dish or appetizer that has one (or both) of those categories. We’ve listed a few recipes you may like to bring to your next party…
Tip 2: Use a “plate method” rather than specific marcos.
When you’re not cooking your own food, it can be challenging to calculate exact ratios. In these instances, you may find it most supportive to aim for filling your plate with the following “visual” ratios
- ½ plate vegetables (non-starchy)
- ¼ plate protein-based dish
- ¼ plate carbohydrate-based dish (perhaps an appetizer or side dish you brought OR fresh fruit for dessert)
- Healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, nut butters, cream, avocado, etc.)
Using this method will allow you to build a relatively balanced meal, without calculating specific ratios.
Tip 3: Determine if there are “off-plan” foods you choose try, and enjoy them – mindfully.
You may find you really want to try a piece of cheesecake because it’s your favorite dessert. Or, perhaps you’d love to have a slice of homemade sourdough bread. It’s OKAY to have these foods – mindfully.
Choose a healthy pairing for your “off-plan” food – and enjoy every bite with intention. Perhaps have cheesecake with a side of berries and fresh whipped cream. Or, top your sourdough bread with hummus or mashed avocado. Fuel what you want AND nourish with what your body needs by adding the healthy foods to your “off-plan” dish. This strategy may also help keep the portion size of your treat in-check.
Summer events always come with a side of unexpected foods – and that’s okay. Come prepared and plan for “off-plan” events. As always, go back to rule #1: Be gentle on yourself and others – and remember you can always get back on track with the next meal.
What are your favorite strategies to use during summer gatherings and special events?