Tips to Stay Healthy this Barbecue Season

Sara K. Larsen - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holidays are for celebrating and meant to be enjoyed, but you don't have to sacrifice your health. Whether you have plans to stay home and grill, go to a party or go to the lake this Memorial Day weekend, you can still make healthy choices. Here are some tips to keep you on track:

 - Exercise! Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. Take the dog for a walk, play catch with the kids, or go for a run or bike ride, rent a paddle board or kayak for the afternoon, throw a Frisbee, just keep moving!

 - Eat a snack 30-60 minutes before the party. Arriving on an empty stomach will make it more difficult to avoid mindless eating or overindulging. 

- Limit alcohol to 1 to 2 servings and alternate with water.

- Stay away from the serving table. Once you get your food, go into another room so you don’t have to constantly look and smell the food. When the food is out of sight, you’re less likely to eat mindlessly.

- Fill your plate with lower calorie, nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.

- Be mindful and eat slowly. It’s easy to get caught up in the energy of the party, but remember that summer barbeques are a time to relax. So sit down and take time to chew and enjoy the food. 

- Choose food items you really enjoy and pass on overly processed foods you can get at the grocery store any time. 

Remember, this weekend is supposed to be a time to relax, spending time with family and friends, enjoying each other’s company! It's not all about the food. 

Here’s one of my favorite barbecue recipes:

Grilled Yellow Squash

Makes 6 Servings

  • 2 pounds yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. garlic pepper 
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients to coat evenly.
  2. Place squash onto a BBQ pan and grill until soft.
  3. Cook squash for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom is golden.
  4. Remove, top with Parmesan and serve.

Nutritional Info (for 1/6 of recipe):
Calories: 62
Fat: 3g
Carbs: 9g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar 1g
Protein 2g

Have a great holiday weekend!