Fit & Fresh

Bring on the Grill!

Grill with glowing charcoal briquettes

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and for many, summer means time to grill! Cooking indoors during the hot summer months can be miserable, so head out to the patio and fire up that grill! Whether it’s a backyard BBQ’s, or a quick family night meal, these grill tips can help you stay slim and boost the flavor of traditional grilling eats.

1. Mix up the Protein – Sausages, hot dogs, and hamburgers are the more traditional flavors of the grill. However, they’re also loaded with sodium, unusual ingredients, and lots of unhealthy fats. Instead try one of these healthier protein options:

  • Boneless, skinless, chicken breast
  • 96% lean ground beef or turkey, flank steak, or pork tenderloin
  • Any type of fish (flakier fish should be placed in grilling basket)
  • Tofu
  • Veggie burgers

2. Savor the Flavor… and save on calories –  Instead of drowning your meat in oil, or covering it with a sugary sauce, go for the dry rubs! You can make your own spice packet, or purchase one from the store. Simply rub on your meat and place on the grill. Adding flavor couldn’t get any simpler.

3. Fill up with vegetables – The dietary guidelines state we should be filling half of our plate with fruits and veggies. Why not grill the vegetables for a fun twist?! Brush your favorite vegetables with a small amount of olive oil, then place on a grill rack or basket. Here are a few of my favorite veggies to toss on the grill:

  • Mushroom caps
  • Peppers
  • Onion
  • Potato wedges
  • Corn on the cob
  • Asparagus
  • Squash

4. Enjoy your dessert -Even if you’re trying to lose weight, or just have a sweet tooth, nature’s candy is still the way to go! Read my blog on sugar if you haven’t already! Place peaches, nectarines, plums, or even pineapple wedges on a grill basket and allow to get slightly warm. The sweet and savory flavor will have your family wanting more! Plus, each are loaded with fiber and lots of nutrients that your family needs to power through those long beach days.

5. Don’t be afraid of creativity – When you’re trying to slim down, or just trying to stay healthy, most people tend to stick to the same foods. We actually need to have variety in our diet to maintain an efficiently running metabolism. Throw on your chefs hat and become a grill master! Getting creative with grilling will add variety to your diet and make eating healthy more fun!

One of my favorite summer foods is grilled pizza. What’s your favorite summer grilling dish? If you have one you’d like to share with readers, please comment below!

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