With summer comes barbecues, which means deliciousness and fun, but also greasy burgers, heavy beers, and ice cream treats. And remember that bikini body you worked hard for all winter? Yeah, if you keep this up, come Labor Day weekend you will have already gotten a head start on that winter bod… not cute.
It doesn’t have to be this way though, you can still enjoy summer BBQs and feel like you’re indulging without going overboard.
Keep reading for some ideas of how to make any warm-weather celebration a little more health conscious!
Swap out the hefty french onion dip for a Greek yogurt onion puree. You can dip fresh veggies, pretzels, or pita chips into the lighter mixture for a guilt-free appetizer or snack to much on throughout the day. Plus, the protein in the yogurt will help keep you full so you're less likely to overdo it on the less healthy options. Check out this recipe from the Food Network for the details.
To balance out that burger, instead of potato or macaroni salad as a side, try a fresh and salty watermelon, feta, and arugula salad. Cube the watermelon and place it in a bowl with arugula and crumbled feta cheese. You can even add red onions if you like. For the dressing you can give it a squeeze of fresh lemon and some olive oil and/or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Try our pick from Skinnytaste.
No BBQ is complete without dessert. Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit makes delicious, sweet, and all natural pops and 'fro yo' that incorporate all the flavor and comforting aspects of sweet ice cream and popsicles without the fat and artificial ingredients. Made with JUST fruit, water, and a little cane sugar, you can indulge without any guilt! Pick up Chloe’s Soft Serve Pops at grocery stores nationwide or if you’re in the NYC area head to the storefront in Union Square to test out their soft serve (and smoothies) for yourself!
Another healthy dessert option is so simple I don't know how we didn't think of it earlier: grilled peaches with honey. It tastes way more indulgent than its 61 calories per serving, and you won't feel bad because it's fruit! Check out our favorite recipe from Health.com!
You don’t think of BBQs without thinking of booze. The team at Ketanga thoroughly enjoyed pretending to be mixologists as we taste-tested our way to find you some simple, healthy drinks to sip on at your next bash.
Your best bet here is to ditch the beers, which can add up to more calories and carbs than you even want to know. Instead try out our favorite, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, for a 'healthier' buzz! This certified gluten-free vodka is smooth enough to drink on the rocks but easy to mix with almost anything! For a simple and refreshing cocktail, mix one shot of Tito’s vodka with club soda (we like club with a lemon/lime flavor or, even better, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and lime juices). Then add a few basil leaves, finish it off with fresh or frozen berries, and you’re good to go!
Another delicious option, pick your favorite of the seven Bai Bubbles flavors for a 5-calorie, lightly carbonated mixer. These antioxidant infusions like Jamaica Blood Orange and Peru Pineapple have no artificial sweeteners and turn vodka into a seemingly fancy cocktail in seconds! Just add some cut up fruit or berries to complement the flavor and serve!
For a guaranteed win, increase your preferred recipe and pour the cocktail mixture into a hollowed out watermelon. Set up a tap to turn the fruit into a keg, and your guests will be in cocktail (and Instagram) heaven! You can pick up a keg kit from Urban Outfitters (just $20!), and for step-by-step tapping instructions, check out this post from Tablespoon.com! Note: if you don't have time to pick up the kit, just use a ladle and scoop out the drink punch style!
Keep your guests engaged and active with games (and a killer playlist in the background!). Lawn games like bocce, corn hole, kan jam, and spike ball are crowd pleasers for guests of any age, and they are easy to make or cheap to purchase. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that playing will get your heart pumping and help to burn off some of those extra cals! And for some good, old-fashioned fun, you can't go wrong with a water balloon fight... just saying!
Try these tips out at your next BBQ bash and let us know what you think! Share your pics with us on Instagram, @ketanga_fitness! Hope everyone has a happy and healthy 4th of July!