Welcome back to PorrazzaNutrition! Things are getting really exciting over here since I am gearing up to launch my first virtual weight management support group! I hear a lot of clients talk about how they “fall off their diet” during the Summer months. My goal with the virtual support group is to focus on living healthier all year round with accountability and motivation from others (and yours truly, the Dietitian).
With that in mind, I wanted to talk about grilling healthier this Summer. Instead of loading up on the meats and refined carbohydrates think about ways you can incorporate some balance! Balance could mean skipping the white bun altogether and putting your lean protein on top of a spinach salad. Or, you could even skip the bread and opt for a Romaine leaf wrap with a side of fruit! Check out the tips below for more ways to balance out your Summer grilling days.
3 Tips for Healthier Grilling
1 – Swap It Out
BBQs tend to be very protein or meat heavy so try swapping in a veggie burger for less cholesterol and saturated fats. If you wanted to stick to your regular burger, try decreasing your portion size and bumping up the vegetables. Vegetables are naturally high in fiber and low in calories. Grilled veggies also don’t contain carcinogens like meat does.
Grilling can also mean more refined carbohydrates (like white breads). While carbohydrates are not the enemy, being mindful of your meal balance can keep you fuller for longer. If you plan to have a burger bun, opt for a non-starchy side like a tossed salad, fresh tomatoes, or grilled broccoli or asparagus.
2 – Grill Fruit as a Dessert
Have you ever tried grilling fruit for a dessert? This is a perfect way to incorporate some fiber, natural sugar, antioxidants, and vitamins! Some great fruits to grill include peaches, pineapples, or mangoes! Peaches can be grilled and used as a salad topper. They are also really tasty topped with low sugar granola, cinnamon, and a splash of maple syrup! Pineapples are a sweet addition to a veggie burger; just remember to cut horizontally for an easy-to-stack circular piece.
3 – Season Smart
Think beyond your store-bought marinades, which can be loaded in sodium, sugar, and additives. Try grilling your vegetables with a homemade marinade instead! All you need as a base is some olive oil and non-salt seasonings (like onion and garlic). Even a simple squeeze of lemon or lime or a splash of balsamic vinegar can give you some great flavor!
Remember to also be food safe when you grill. Keep raw meats separate from vegetables and other foods that are already cooked or being served raw. Also, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meats.
Your action goal for this week is to try grilling some new vegetables or even a fruit to add some health and balance to your BBQ! Post what you plan to try in the comments below for some accountability!