Summertime is almost over but one of the best times to enjoy the great outdoor barbecue is Labor Day weekend! It usually signals the end of serious playtime and the frequent opportunities to grill outdoors. Soon the weather will be changing.
Try to think of it as a time to still indulge in your favorite summer fruits and vegetables and fresh healthful fare while the produce is currently in season. Spice up the nutritious foods we enjoy eating all year long but give it a kick by cooking it on the grill. Try adding different recipes or new spices to the old stand-byes.
A fresh variety of produce is currently available and summer’s end provides a great opportunity to improve our diets.
The end of the warmer months are a terrific time to lose weight by adjusting our menus to include fresh foods that are locally grown. Summer’s end is an ideal time to make healthy lifestyle changes. Start small and work them in during the rest of the fall season and by the holidays you are sure to see some physical changes.
Healthy End of Summer Food Tips:
- Lean meats: Choose only the leanest cuts of loin and round beef, and trim all the excess fat. You may decide to choose a veggie burger or bison meat. Look for meat with the least amount of saturated fat. Enjoy chicken burgers, turkey burgers or plain chicken breasts. Think about salmon grilled, tuna steaks or just plain vegetable kebabs.
- Less Fat: Use low fat plain yogurt, Greek yogurt or mustard to replace regular mayonnaise in potato or macaroni salads. Try low fat mayo or mayo made with olive oil if you really miss the taste.
- Keep hydrating: Flavored calorie free seltzer waters or water pitchers filled with fruit can replace empty calorie alcoholic beverages. You will save plenty of calories by blending frozen berries and Greek yogurt for a fast smoothie. Cool low fat or skim milk can add calcium without a lot of fat.
- Colorful vegetables: Make veggies the main focus on the meal plate. Use steamed, sautéed or grilled vegetables seasoned with lemon, balsamic vinegar, shredded light cheese, fresh herbs or light dressings in moderation. Starch and protein portions should be smaller, when you indulge in the seasonal vegetables.
- Keep the grill going: Grilling reduces fat and calories while adding flavor. What a great way to enjoy heart healthy eating! Fat drips off meats during the grilling process, lowering fat intake. Acidic juice marinades will increase flavors while tenderizing meats. Wrap fish and chicken with seasonings and vegetables in foil and cook on the grill.
- Joy of the end of the meal: Need some natural energy? Try antioxidant rich fresh berries or sweet melons. You will satisfy your sweet tooth with delicious and exotic summer fruits. They are naturally fat free, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals!