Warm weather, delicious barbecue, a day off from work, and company of friends and family all come to mind with the thought of Memorial Day. It is an exciting day that kicks off the summer season, which is certainly reason to celebrate. Food and drink is usually a critical part of any celebration, and Memorial Day should be no different. However, eating delicious food does not mean that you have to be packing on the pounds and leaving yourself feeling bloated and guilty the following morning. There are countless ways to have a healthy barbecue without sacrificing great taste.
A typical barbecue consists of hotdogs, which are less than spectacular for you considering the high fat and sodium content. A hot dog contains about one quarter of your day’s fat and sodium intake, and that’s just one! A healthier alternative would be a shrimp salad on a whole wheat hot dog bun made with chopped shrimp, mixed with plain Greek yogurt, some fresh lemon juice and seasoning. This is now a tasty protein packed sandwich with very little fat. The combination of protein and complex carbohydrates from the bun will stop hunger and prevent its return for hours.
Potato salad is yet another dish found at nearly every barbecue in America. However the fat content and calorie count is dangerously high due to the starchy potatoes and fattening mayonnaise. Garlic mashed cauliflower is a delicious alternative. This recipe is law carb, low fat and guaranteed delicious.
When snacking, swap the potato chips and onion dip for sliced veggies dipped in hummus. You can use Persian cucumbers, colorful bell peppers and carrots for a beautiful selection. The vegetables contain less fat and fewer calories per volume than the potato chips. Hummus is high in protein, and fiber compared to the fattening onion dip, which offers close to zero nutritional benefit. Another healthy snack is American flag fruit-kebabs. These are easy to make and are rich in antioxidants. You could also try popping your own pop-corn for a low calorie snack. Make it interesting by using different spices like garlic powder, hot sauce or chili powder.
Finally, let’s talk dessert. Did you know that a single S’mores sandwich contains only 139 calories? What a delicious and guilt-free way to end the meal! You can even roast the marshmallow right over the grill. If you want a little more excitement, try adding a couple slices of banana and a dash of cinnamon, or replace the chocolate bar with Nutella and/or peanut butter. You can also make wonderful banana oat chocolate chip cookies. These only contain three ingredients. By baking a mixture of bananas, chocolate chips, and old fashioned oats you have a delectably healthy dessert.
Don’t let your diet negatively affect your Memorial Day. You should not be punished for eating well, healthy eating should be delicious. With these tips and recipes you can enjoy your holiday and feel good about yourself too!
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Memorial Day, healthy, picnic, barbecue