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Enticing & Healthy July 4th BBQ Tips & Recipes

Here’s to a Healthy July 4th BBQ and celebrating 243 years of this nation’s Day of Independence!
Because this is a Federal holiday, most of us WILL NOT be working.  We WILL be spending time with friends and family BBQ-ing the day away.

Yes, a typical July 4th BBQ is filled with forbidden foods. So I’m offering you healthy & enticing July 4th BBQ food options. They are easy and tasty July 4th eats for blood sugar control and all around good eating for everyone to enjoy. 

Traditional July 4th BBQ Fare

Traditionally BBQ foods are laden with excess fat and sugar. A typical July 4th BBQ menu might look like this:

  • Beverages: Drinks will set you back 100 calories or more from pure sugar: Alcoholic drinks, lemonade, fruit punch, juice and soda
  • Hamburgers and hot dogs on rolls with ketchup (Rolls seem harmless until you read the ingredients; high fructose, corn syrup, dextrose, sugar; if you use these try buying brands with the smallest ingredient list)
  • Coleslaw and potato salad (lots of mayo and sugar)
  • Baked beans (canned is filled with sugar, brown sugar and corn starch)
  • Potato chips (salt and fat)
  • Watermelon
  • Red, white and blue cake (fat and sugar)

Healthy July 4th BBQ Choices

Make July 4th BBQ food and beverage choices that you really want. Pass on those items that are not as important. Without much thought, the sugar, carbs, fat and calories can add up very easily.

  1. If you choose to indulge, try to only eat very small portions. Maybe a bite or two.
  2. Identify which foods are worth the cost of going off your plan.  Half a cup of Bush’s Best baked beans is approximately 130 calories,  29 g of carbs and 12 g sugar. When compared with 1/2 cup of strawberries which is 48 calories 6 grams of carbs and 3.5 grams of sugar. It is your choice.
  3. Eating well includes eating with color and minimizing excess sugar and fat. Aside from the cake (strawberries, white frosting, blueberries), you’ll notice there isn’t much color in traditional BBQ fare. There is a lot of white: mayo, white bread, chips, and meat. At the same time, you see very little green, red or orange.
  4. Think ahead. Visualize the July 4th BBQ foods offered and in advance determine what you will eat and drink.

Pick Your July 4th BBQ Poison Carefully 

Now think about food like fireworks. Create an exciting unforgettable meal with a little bang this holiday, but maintain control. Attend your July 4th BBQ with a strategy and accountability. If you wish to indulge, these 5 tips will help you from falling completely off the wagon. If you:

  1. feel like relaxing with an alcoholic beverage, have one. Then say no to the potato salad and coleslaw. Make another sacrifice, if you want more than one drink.
  2. know the BBQ menu isn’t colorful, offer to bring a green vegetable salad with oil and vinegar or lemon juice.
  3. eat your hot dog on a bun with ketchup, don’t add more carbs and fat by chomping down on chips. Or just eat the food naked (no bun) and then dress it with lettuce and tomato.
  4. dip into lower calorie foods like vegetables or salad it will offset foods and drinks containing excess calories, sugar, fat, and carbs.
  5. avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks and select calorie-free iced tea or water, and save yourself 150 calories each serving.

Of course, you do not have to use any of these tips. However, you should have your own July 4th BBQ eating plan. And then, take it another step farther by using the strategies as part of your daily eating regimen.

Enticing July 4th BBQ Fare

A few ideas to jazz up your July 4th celebrations while sticking to your healthy lifestyle:

  • Strawberry infused water, a low-calorie beer or alcohol (flavor infused vodka 69 calories) with seltzer
  • Fresh crudite; veggies (sliced cucumber, celery, broccoli)
  • Blue cheese and cherry tomato salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Burgers & hot dogs (no bun allows you to taste all the meat), steak or chicken
  • Grilled veggies: Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, peppers, onions, eggplant or string beans
  • Red, white and blue fruit salad (blueberries & strawberries topped with whipped cream).

You may also be interested in trying some of these healthy BBQ and beverage recipes.

Jazzed Up  July 4th BBQ Foods Wrap Up

Traditional July 4th BBQ foods are boring. Create a bang with your own healthy July 4th BBQ ideas. Small changes,  without giving up taste is the goal for your July 4th BBQ. It’s your choice.  Control the combination of excess fats, sugar, and salt. Fresh menu items, controlled beverage consumption, and a practical plan will help you stay on the healthy fast track.

Eat up and eat well. Have fun this Independence Day! Take pleasure in new and improved healthy foods that will jazz up your July 4th BBQ.

Please share your July 4th BBQ recipes and strategies with us; Happy July 4th!

 

#Eating To Fuel Health #July 4th BBQ #Healthy Food Choices

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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