Healthy tips for navigating the backyard barbecue

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cooler, wetter summer this year — a nice change from the unbearable heat we are used to.

Hopefully you will find yourself outside more often, grilling or smoking your way through the summertime. Barbecues and summer go hand-in-hand — especially during holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

While we celebrate with a day off from work, we certainly don’t have to take a day off from eating healthfully. Here are some tips to help you keep your backyard barbecues nutritious and delicious:

Plan ahead. Eat a healthy breakfast beforehand. Sometimes people won’t eat before going to a barbecue or a party, knowing they will be eating more than they typically would. However, if you have gone all day without eating, when you arrive at the party you are starving and everything looks delicious, smells amazing and, before you know it, you’ve got one of everything on your plate. Now, you’re definitely overeating, which will leave you overstuffed and uncomfortable. So, eat a healthy meal beforehand to keep you clear-headed and satisfied so you can make better food choices during the barbecue.

You can also plan out your plate. Scan the entire spread and pick only your favorites. There is no law that says you have to try one of everything. And while we are on the topic of plates, be sure half of your plate is filled with fruits and veggies. Keep one-fourth for a lean protein and then the last one-fourth for your carbohydrate source. For example, let’s say you have a burger. The bun counts as your carbohydrate, the patty as your protein, and then you can fill the rest of your plate up with grilled veggies and some fruit

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