5 Tips for Eating Clean This Summer

By Melanie Beasley, RD, LD
June 23, 2020

healthy-bbq.jpgWhile this summer is sure to be a bit different from years past, one thing remains the same – sunny weather and eating outside. Whether you’re at a socially distanced gathering or simply in the backyard with your family, BBQ’s are sure to happen.

After months of isolation these gatherings are a welcome sight. But what happens when that barbecue or potluck table is laden with ice cream, sugary drinks or bags of chips?

Here are 5 tips we share with nutrition counseling clients that you might find helpful too.

  • Make sure to have healthy balanced meals prior to the event so it is easier to avoid all the chips, cookies, bars and buns that are often a part of a barbeque. Too often people think they’ll “save room” for a gathering, but really that’s setting them up to crave all the wrong things at the BBQ. Instead, eat a normal balanced breakfast and lunch (a protein, good fat and carb) and you'll arrive satisfied with balanced blood sugar which will help keep cravings at bay. 
  • Avoid high-sugar drinks by bringing your own. Flavored sparkling waters are a great, refreshing drink on hot days. Nowadays you can find super unique flavors like limoncello, hibiscus and more. Bonus, staying hydrated will help curb cravings.  
  • broccoli-salad.jpgBring a balanced dish to share; Too often BBQ tables are laden with foods that are either high sugar (desserts,  even most ketchups are loaded with sugar) or will turn into sugar (chips, buns, etc.) in your bloodstream.(If you are concerned about your blood sugar, be careful of watermelon because that is high in sugar. Cantaloupe would be a better choice.) What does sugar lead to … craving more sugar, making those brownies even harder to resist. Skip that cycle entirely, by bringing a dish you know is loaded with quality ingredients. Our Crunchy Broccoli Salad or our Jicama Salad would be a  great option. Pair that with a hamburger patty (skip the bun entirely, or serve it over lettuce or greens), and you’ll have a healthy balance of protein/fat/carb.  
  • Another option to bring to a barbeque would be a veggie tray with a hard-to-resist dip. Our super Simple Ranch Dressing is a great option, as is our Lil’ Dipper Veggie Dip. An even easier option is to buy a prepared tray! However, make sure to ditch the veggie dip that often comes with premade trays. Those dips are full of damaged oils (soybean, canola oil, etc.), which aren’t good for our health because they promote inflammation, may increase cholesterol numbers, and slow our metabolism.
  • Need more ideas and support to help you get through the summer of cookouts, family gatherings and/or kids home all day?  Meeting with one of our nutritionists is a great resource for your goals, whether you want to conquer cravings or manage a chronic illness. We are here to help you thrive during these challenging times. Schedule a counseling session with our nutritionists to get the support you need to make lasting changes to your health, well beyond the end of BBQ season. If you buy before June 30, our Wellness Package includes an initial consultation (2-hours) plus two follow-up consultations (1-hour each) for just $350 … regularly $485.

About the author

Melanie is a licensed dietitian at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. In 2005, two weeks after having invasive back surgery, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then just eight months later she was diagnosed with multiple food allergies that included dairy, gluten, wheat, chocolate and Brazil nuts. After changing her diet to remove her allergy triggers and more, Melanie was able to stop taking three prescription medications and feel better than she had in years. As a nutritionist, she finds true joy from sharing that knowledge with others. Melanie has a Bachelors in Science of Food and Nutrition from the dietetics program at the University of Missouri Columbia.

View all posts by Melanie Beasley, RD, LD

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