Although the weather might say otherwise, BBQ season is in full swing and with the bank holiday weekend looming I thought I’d put together some ideas on how to keep your festivities semi-healthy.
Our barbecue days of yore involved us power eating through as many burgers as we could while washing it down with gallons of wine. Although this is still a tempting way to while away the summer days there are a few changes we’ve made recently that stops us feeling full of meat sweats and regrets.
To most people BBQs mean burgers, hot dogs and maybe the odd corn on the cob thrown in for good measure, but there are so many ideas of tasty veg to grill on the barbie that it leaves your bog standard burger looking a bit below par. I recently went on a hen do that had some amazing halloumi and pepper skewers that were polished off quicker than the meat. For more amazing ideas check out this buzzfeed post on how to rock a vegan BBQ.
Think outside the bread bin
I read an interview with Gizzie Erskine that says you should eat around 60g of carbs per meal and that’s only one slice of bread, so by knocking back a couple of burgers and hotdogs in buns you’ll be well over that. Get inventive and think of ways to sandwich your meat; Portobello mushrooms, lettuce leafs, aubergine or at least leave the lid off and make it an open burger.
Most BBQ hosts would be happy if you turned up with an addition so use that to your advantage to make a big salad that you can pile your plate high with. I used to panic when Jacob’s Join emails started buzzing around work wondering what I would eat before I realised as long as I made a big quinoa salad I’d be happy tucking into that and could dive in and out of the unhealthy stuff as I wanted. Even if you end up eating all the unhealthy stuff too at least you’ve got all your nutrients ticked off the list.
Even though BBQs are usually a break from the usual diet there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use the opportunity to get the protein in. Try experimenting with the veggie burgers (Honestly Healthy has a good sesame burger recipe here), get fishy with tuna or sea bass foil baked in chillies, try cajun spiced chicken breasts or make your own turkey burgers instead of ready made burgers and sausages.
I’ve taken this idea from our friend and fellow healthy eater Jade. She snapchatted some pictures of peaches and pineapple on a BBQ last week that looked amazing and you can’t beat a baked banana.
Slice up your life
This sounds boring and I rarely actually do this, but Ali gave me a great idea for keeping track of how many drinks you’ve drunk. Every time you fill your glass up (this works better with spirits) keep the slice of lemon or lime in so you can count them up to see how many you’ve had. It might not be the most fun drinking game (I still prefer a good old fashioned round of ‘I’ve never…’) but if you’re intent on keeping track of your drinks it’s a really easy way to do it.
Step away from the snacks
Again, yawn, but if you’re anything like us, once you pop you really can’t stop. It seems simple but it’s much easier said than done. We’ve all told ourselves we’d just have one handful of crisps, then three multi-packs later we wished we hadn’t started in the first place. Sit well away from the snack table and don’t even give yourself the option.
Remember: it’s one meal
Unless you’re training for an eating competition I’m guessing your average meal doesn’t consist of 3 burgers and 2 hotdogs, but suddenly when you’re at a BBQ all reasonable eating habits go out the window. Try to remember it’s only one meal and fill your plate accordingly.
Any tips on staying healthy at a BBQ or recipes we should try?
All images taken from Pinterest