Lisa’s guide to summertime eating

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Monday, June 11th, 2012
With the long summer evenings many of us are grabbing any opportunity to dust off the BBQ, grab a bottle of wine, invite friends and family around and crank up the barbie. However, just because you’re eating al fresco does not mean you’re eating healthily, food is food, beer is beer, and calories are calories whether you eat it indoors or out! Bearing this in mind, I’ve come up with a few simple tips to help you stay on target and still enjoy the sunshine and BBQ season. Summertime no no’s: 1. Reduce your hot dog intake, if you do eat sausages, ensure they’re responsibly sourced from a quality butcher and ask for beef sausages as they are more likely to contain 100% beef and no fillers 2. Swap potato salad (how this dish has ever gotten the name ‘salad’ associated with it is beyond me) for a healthier green garden salad with baby boiled potatoes 3. Avoid char-coaling meats, some studies suggest the carcinogens produced may directly increase the chances of cancer 4. Watch your alcohol consumption. Many of us claim to eat very little, yet we’re unconsciously drinking over an extra day’s calories at the weekend. One glass of cider has over 200 calories, a bottle of wine 500 – 2 bottles of wine a week on top of your normal calorific intake equals a stone of weight gain in a year! 5. Portion control, 3 burgers still count whether you eat them in the garden or in front of the TV!

Healthy tips and BBQ Options:

1. Have a healthy snack before going to a BBQ, this will avoid hunger and overeating on anything you can get your hands on as more often than not, the kick off time for a BBQ is when people gather and the BBQ is lit, it could be another 2 hours before food hits your belly – plan ahead and have some fruit and nuts or wholemeal toast with a boiled egg before you leave 2. Offer corn on the cob as a healthy side, it fills your plate so you don’t feel deprived, yet is full of fibre and better for your waistline! 3. Use a knife and fork to eat your burger and only have a half a bun instead of the whole bap, white bread can be clogging on your system, is hard to digest and will leave you looking and feeling bloated the next day 4. Pile your plate with lean meats and salad, corn on the cob and guacamole instead of coleslaw 5. Bring a plate of home-made chicken and vegetable skewers to be cooked by your host 6. Try some BBQ fish such as salmon for a healthy choice, BBQ doesn’t automatically mean char-coaled meat! 7. Slice tomatoes and onions and have a large salad bowl on the table to use as toppings instead of cheese and ketchup 8. Try ice cream and pineapple or baked bananas and dark chocolate as dessert LISA’S TIP: Not only can a high intake of alcohol weaken your liver, so too can high levels of saturated fats in your diet and having high blood pressure. Along with minimising your alcohol intake, aim to reduce saturated fat intake and limit salt to bring blood pressure down.
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