Summer cookouts and holiday weekends don’t have to derail you from your Paleo lifestyle and food preferences. A little planning and creativity and you AND your family and friends will all enjoy a healthy and versatile summer barbecue!
With many restrictions being relaxed, the ability to begin socializing and reconnecting with friends (maintaining some social distancing if required) is going to be high on the agenda in the upcoming summer months, beginning with Memorial Day weekend.
So, how do you stay true to your own needs and healthy lifestyle plans, and still be social, especially around all the summer barbecues and cookouts?
Here are some tips to maneuver those get-togethers and have a successful and versatile summer barbecue whilst maintaining your Paleo diet:
Host the Barbecue
Hosting the party gives you more control over what food ends up on the picnic table. A new twist on an old favorite is the burger buffet. The “meat” of the burger can be Paleo staples like beef, buffalo, turkey, or salmon. Portobello mushrooms can serve as either the meat or the bun! You could provide Paleo friendly buns or ask them to bring their favorite bun of choice. Always ask their preference. It may be to go bun-less and eat your burger of choice on top of or on the side of a salad. An assortment of vegetables can serve as toppings for the burger or be combined as a salad.
Bring a Dish to Share
If you are the host, you could also ask everyone to bring their favorite dish. Have each of them to bring the recipe card so your guests know what ingredients are in it. If it isn’t your party, you can still make a dish that aligns with your health goals. Perhaps a salad loaded with vegetables and bacon or a Paleo substitute for a cookout favorite
The quickest way to sabotage your Paleo lifestyle is with mindless grazing. At many summer cookouts, you’ll find an assortment of food available from the minute you get there until the time you leave. It is easy to mindlessly wander, picking at food as you go. Instead, choose a time to specifically sit down and eat. Fill your plate mindfully, concentrating on delicious Paleo friendly options so you are less tempted by the appetizers, breads, crackers, etc. Spend the rest of your time consciously engaging with people and socializing. If you are conversing, it makes it difficult to keep food in your mouth!
If one of your health goals is weight loss, decide ahead of time that you will opt out of the extra food that will sabotage your goals. You could opt out of appetizers, drinks, and or desserts. You might choose to skip or limit the alcohol and bring your own, healthier dessert.
Splurging or enjoying one cookout meal isn’t what derails you from your health goals. Sometimes it is the leftovers that you continue to eat for several days after. If you are the host, stock up on take-home containers to send leftover food home with your guests! Or, if you are a guest, offer your dish to be given to one of the other families and kindly say no to bringing any extras home yourself.
Don’t let the weekend or social calendar be an excuse for skipping your movement. Stick to your regular fitness plan AND add in some extra activity. If the days get unbearably hot, switch your workout to the morning.
This Memorial Day, get outside, fire up the BBQ, and try one of these tasty grilling recipes! Cooking on a grill is a great excuse to get out of the kitchen and leave the stove turned off. Sear up a cut of meat, a bunch of veggies, or even fruit, and let the grill bring out nature’s best flavors.
Sit back and relax. Let us do the cooking. Enjoy our organic menus that change each week with the season, no apron required.