Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Barbecue Season

Summer time can be a tough time to watch what we're eating. With all the bbq's, deliciouscocktails, parties, you name it, it's hard to watch what you're eating. Especially when you're a guest at someone else's house. Here's a few tips to take into consideration.

1. Ask your host/hostess what they are serving and how you can help, or what you can bring. They may tell you they are all set and you don't need to bring anything. Next, they rattle off the typical bbq list of hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, macaroni salad potato salad, etc. Even if they tell you that you don't need to bring anything, at least bring a nice big, healthy salad mixed with lots of different veggies so get always prepare your saladrecipes. And even bring some turkey burgers. If they ask, politely say you appreciate the invitation and are looking forward to the fun day, but you're watching your health.

2. Instead of hamburgers, try making turkey burgers. But watch the label. Some ground turkey has more fat than hamburger.

3. Stick to boneless, skinless breasts of chicken. I love grilling it and then putting it on a nice, big salad. Keep food light, you don't want to be full and uncomfortable.

4. Skip the mayonnaise laden salads. Try expanding your menu and instead, include whole grains in your diet. I love making quinoa salad, or brown rice salad. Plus, think about how much everyone will enjoy the variety. We all know most bbqs offer the same fare, so mix it up.

5. Veggies, veggies, veggies. This time of year, they are abundant. Take advantage while you can. Instead of the heavy potato and pasta salads, why not make some grilled veggies? Or a nice cucumber salad. There's always the delicious tomato salad with fresh mozzarella, sliced red onions garlic, fresh basil with a little balsamic vinegar and a good olive oil. Keep it light.

6. As far as drinks? That can really kill the waist line. Here's a tip. Freeze some fresh fruit then put it in a blender, add a touch of Stevia or Xyletol and some water to get it the consistency you like. If you want to add alcohol, stick with the clears. And alternate one with alcohol, one without. Remember, it's very easy to get carried away in the sun and pool and you can easily become dehydrated. Always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

7. Stay hydrated! If you're not much of a water drinker, try adding sliced fruit; lemons, limes, oranges. You can even freeze some fruit in ice cubes so it will flavor your water. I've never tried it but I know some of my friends like sliced cucumber or basil or mint in their water. Mix it up. If that gets boring, try making some sun tea. I love making the green tea and I add slices of lemons. Be daring, try one new thing every day. You'll never know what you like. Our taste buds change all the time. Live life.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy life. Let me know if you try any of my tips. And I'd love to hear some of your tips. Post them below. Thanks and have a great one.

P.S. A friend of mine made this and I just had to have the recipe. It's one of my favorites and it's definitely always a hit! Enjoy and let me know if you try it.

Brown Rice Salad
2 cups water 
1 cup brown rice 
1/4 cup diced red onion 
1/2 cup diced celery 
diced peppers... I use red, green and yellow, but up to you what color and how much (peppers were not actually in original recipe but I like them) 
1 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing 
1 TBSP. sugar

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45-60 min. or until done. Transfer rice to serving bowl and stir in all ingredients. Refrigerate and serve cold.

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