Every time summer rolls around, people want to know: How can I stay healthy with all the delicious food and drink surrounding me? It may not be easy, but all it requires is a little bit of balance and planning ahead.
Navigating a summer BBQ is the perfect example. It’s a time to fire up the grill and hang with friends, which can sometimes completely derail your plans to eat healthy. Luckily, there are tricks for staying on course without completely abandoning any signs of enjoyment—read on for P.volve’s favorite healthy summer hacks.
The beauty of a casual BBQ is that you can bring all your own ingredients to the host’s house. That means packing a cooler full of grass-fed, hormone-free steak, chicken, or other lean protein of choice to ensure you’re eating the best quality ingredients without any harmful additives. Opt for organic or pesticide-free fruits and vegetables if possible, too.
Speaking of vegetables, use them in place of bread, buns, and other processed carbs. Collard greens, for instance, make for great wrap substitutions or sliced, grilled sweet potatoes can be used as hamburger buns. Get creative with it!
Drink in moderation
If you’re going to be outside celebrating all day, pay attention to how many drinks you’re throwing back. Drinking 7-8 margaritas can quickly add up and erase whatever healthy eating you’re doing. Instead, make mixed drinks with plain seltzer and lime, or stick with only 1-2 of your favorite cocktails. As always, be sure to stay hydrated with water before, during, and after consuming alcohol—especially when out in the hot sun.
Take advantage of the farmer’s market
Summer means access to fresh, crisp vegetables that can easily be grilled for a crowd. Or, for a better snacking sitch, use them to make a platter alongside your favorite dip and in place of potato chips.
Ditch the condiments
Spreads and condiments are often the culprit at a BBQ for adding loads of sugar, sodium, and extra calories to a meal. Instead of reaching for them for flavor, try marinating your meats with herbs and spices or simply savor the taste of the grill. It is, after all, the only time of year for it!
Most importantly, be sure to enjoy yourself at BBQs and gatherings with friends. Summer is a time to celebrate in the (hopefully sunny!) weather, and if you can feel good while doing it, you’ll have all the more fun.
Be sure to check out our P.volve Youtube channel for more tips & tricks from P's kitchen.