July 13, 2021
BBQ Season Survival Guide
Written By Cedric M • 5 min read
It’s officially summer- that means it’s the season of BBQs, cookouts, long summer days, hot summer nights, beach days, bloated beer bellies, and hangovers… wait, what? Just kidding, sort of… We all know how much fun BBQ season can be, but we also know how easy it is to get carried away with all of the festivities. This is our BBQ Season Survival Guide… we hope our tips and tricks help you to navigate this BBQ season successfully!
- BBQ Season Survival Guide Tip #1: Get active!
BBQs are well known for their lazy games, but why not switch it up?! There are games you can play anywhere- volleyball, football, soccer, frisbee… the possibilities are endless. If you don’t have a large space to play in you could always schedule a game of touch football at the park, and then host the BBQ at your house afterward, or just stay at the park the whole time! Running around and playing some games is only going to boost your endorphins and keep your metabolism burning- perfect for a day of a little indulgence!
- BBQ Season Survival Guide Tip #2: Choose your food.
The less processed, the better! Meat is traditionally the main course of any BBQ, so if your hosting you could choose to only supply healthier meat options like chicken, turkey burgers, and steak rather than “mystery meat” hot dogs. If you don’t eat meat, you can always prepare or bring your own veggie burger- get creative!
If you are able to supply organic, grass-fed, non-GMO meat all the better- but that can be expensive when supplying meat for lots of people. Sticking to less processed meats will save you money and still be lightyears better for you than any hot dog. If you’re attending a BBQ and have the option to bring your own meat to grill up, do your thang! Spoil yourself and enjoy your high-quality and delicious protein source.
- Salad or “Salad”?
So many “salads” these days… potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, taco salad, fruit salad… fruit salad is pretty much the only healthy option out of that “salad” list. Why not make a real, healthy, natural, and delicious salad…. no, it doesn’t have to be your typical, although delicious, garden salad- you could make something really tasty, something everyone isn’t used to and bored of. Maybe an organic roasted chickpea and kale salad with a superfood dressing, an organic spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese, and walnuts with an easy homemade balsamic dressing?! The options are endless.
- Snacks and finger foods
- Instead of the traditional potato chips and dip, opt to have some different, healthy options. You can have sweet potato chips, red beet chips, yucca root chips… any type of vegetable chip you want! They’re super easy to make, but you can purchase a ton of certified organic, Non-GMO, vegan, and even gluten-free vegetable chips. You could even offer fresh veggies and hummus, organic and nitrate-free bacon-wrapped asparagus or other vegetables, or even the traditional “ants on a log”… they might seem childish but who doesn’t love reminiscing about childhood snacks? Some organic celery, almond or peanut butter, and cranberries or raisins… they’re delicious, fun, and won’t push your waistline past the point of no return!
- BBQ Season Survival Guide Tip #3: Be smart about alcohol.
Did you know that your body doesn’t know how to treat calories from alcohol…. so they get turned into sugars and carbs and are stored as fat?! Drinking too much too often can definitely add inches to the waistline, not to mention keep your body inflamed and puffy… but what about on these BBQ days where you’re ready to indulge a bit? Be smart about it… you can set a limit for how many drinks you can have, like maybe you only allow yourself one beer every hour. Or you can alternate one alcoholic beverage with one large glass of water to help keep yourself hydrated and not get too tipsy. If you focus on only eating the healthier options at the BBQ then you won’t have to worry so much about all of the unhealthy calories in your beverages. Drink at your own discretion- just remember how indulgent drinking can make you feel, stay smart and responsible, and always be sure to have a designated driver or a transportation app handy so you can stay safe and let yourself enjoy one beer too many if that was your plan all along.
- BBQ Season Survival Guide Tip #4: Don’t sweat the sweets.
DESSERT! We all know sweets are… well… sweet and delicious! With this busy season of BBQs and indulging all around us, it’s easy to get caught up and lose track of how much we’re actually allowing ourselves to indulge. Just remember- there is no rule that says you have to eat dessert. You’re not going to hurt anyone’s feelings if you deny eating a cookie, and there will always be more cookies in the future… dessert is not a “now or never” type of situation.
Handy trick: If you stuff yourself so full of other hearty, delicious foods before the desserts roll out you probably won’t have an appetite for them anyway! Sticking to fruit is always a good option, too. Have some of that fruit salad for dessert, and if you’re drinking, consider your beverage your indulgent dessert! If you know you can’t deny yourself a sweet treat offer to make or bring a dessert dish- that way you can control what goes into it, and you can contribute by bringing a healthier dish that tastes just as good as any other. Or- just eat some dang dessert, and enjoy it! Keep in mind what a proper portion size is, and remember to keep everything you love in moderation. Allow yourself some fun, just don’t get carried away!
- BBQ Season Survival Guide Tip #5: It’s not your BBQ and there are no healthy options… how do you survive?!
- How in the world can you survive BBQ Season if you’re sabotaged by an unhealthy BBQ?! Well… if you know there won’t be any healthy options in advance you can always eat before you get there. That way you can focus on enjoying the people and games rather than worrying about what to eat. If you’re caught off guard and are surrounded by foods that aren’t your normal, healthier options, you can either choose to not eat… which sucks… or just do the best with what you have. One bad day is not going to make you gain a ton of weight- it’s what you do most of the time that matters. One day of indulging isn’t going to ruin your lifestyle… it’s when you let that one part of the day turn into a week that turns into a month where you lose your progress. Go ahead and indulge, then get right back on track with your healthy lifestyle as soon as you get home!