It’s that time of year again – time to dust off the workout gear, go swimming, hang out with friends and family and start barbecuing. The problem with most barbecues and other summer meals? They don’t feature the healthiest fare. One way to change all that is by introducing some vegetables into your cookout rotation. Not only will your body thank you, but most of your barbecue patrons won’t even bat an eye.
Sure, you’re a grown-up, you know to get your veggies and fruits in. What you might not realize is that you can really pack on the veggies during any meal and not push the calories too far. You’ll be getting roughage, vitamins, and minerals, as well. You’ll also be giving your body the bonus of reducing your risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and more.
Summer Breakfast Ideas
Okay, maybe you aren’t barbecuing in the morning, but you might have leftovers, and you might just be in the mood to make something simple. It is the most important meal of the day, though, so easy isn’t always the best option. You still need protein and vitamins and minerals to get you going.
Add some fruit to your morning yogurt. It’ll keep it sweet, and if you’ve already thrown some on the barbecue, grilled pineapple really adds a kick to yogurt
If you like omelets, throw some veggies in there (and consider removing some or all of the yolks) – you can also use leftover or freshly grilled to add some flavor
Smoothies are a great breakfast option, too, and can include veggies and fruits – you can get a lot of your servings in, first thing
Summer Lunch Ideas
Barbecue lunches are some of the best you’re going to find. If you’re gearing up for a big barbecued dinner, you can keep lunch lighter, maybe with a simple kebab. You can skewer veggies and fruits this way, along with your normal meats.
If you like pizza – especially if you have a backyard pizza oven – try reducing the meat and replacing it with vegetables. Even fruit like pineapple can make your pizza sing.
Summer Dinner/Supper Ideas
Barbecue dinners are where you’re going to shine. Not only can you reduce the meat, or at least add veggies to your hot dogs and hamburgers, but pasta salads can be served with less fatty ingredients and filled out with grilled veggies. Some old-fashioned corn is perfect, and even grilling up or smoking a watermelon is something people have been trying with great success.
Summer may be the time to hang out, even get a little lazy in the warm heat. At the end of a long, satisfying summer day, you don’t want to feel like you’re dragging. Reducing a little of your meat intake and adding fruits and veggies can make you feel better and get healthier. Your workouts will become easier, and overall you’ll start thanking yourself for starting some new eating habits.