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I am so excited to be teaming up with Giant Eagle to talk about how to picnic a little healthier this summer. My husband loves to grill and I love not having to take the lead on dinner every night over the summer - win, win! Grilling is a great way to have fun making meals together as a family as well as find unique ways to eat healthy foods. Summer picnics are a fun time to let yourself have a few treats as well! I don't think a healthy diet has to be all or nothing. It's all about making smart tweaks to your diet and you can still enjoy all the yummy foods at a summer picnic!
Even when you are grilling out at someone else's house, there are easy ways to make healthy food choices. Don't think that you are stuck eating unhealthy foods if you are not the one in charge of the menu. Remember - you are in charge of your food choices. No one else is going to make them! Just like it is really important to get enough sleep and how you have to find time for yourself for self care. Summer is a great time to get outside and get some exercise as well!
Giant Eagle makes it easy to picnic a little healthier this summer - you can find anything you need in that store! I particularly love the prepared meats counter this summer because the burgers are ready to go. They have some really yummy flavors right now. The girls picked out the Gourmet Burgers – Bacon Cheddar Patties!
Here are my tips on how to grill a little healthier this summer:
- Grill Veggies and Fruit - You can have your burger. Just add some grilled veggies and even some grilled fruit to your menu. I buy those huge bags of brussel sprouts, a couple bunches of asparagus, 2 containers of washed mushrooms and have my husband grill a load of veggies anytime the grill is hot. I will use any leftovers to add to eggs in the morning or use for soups, stews or even chop up and add to spaghetti sauce. We also love to grill pineapple and serve grilled fruit with a little ice cream for dessert!
- Skip the Bread - Sure, not all bread is bad for you. Totally get it. However, most of the time when you attend a cookout, the buns served for burgers are basic white bread and let's be honest, there is zero nutrition there. Instead, put your burger on a bed of greens. For me, that bun is not worth the calories so I skip it. Decide what you really want and have it. Skip the food items that you don't really care that much about.
- Watch your Portion Size - Just because a burger is served in a certain size, doesn't mean that you have to eat it all. Look at the burger and then look at the palm of your hand. That is the size of protein you should have during your meal. Feel free to take half of a burger, offer to share with someone else, or even take it home with you! I am a huge fan of leftovers and planning out future meals. It sure beats wasting food which translates to wasting money.
- Think About Dessert in Advance - When you are building your dinner plate, plan ahead when it comes to dessert. If you really want that cake or ice cream for dessert, think about what you can give up on your dinner plate. When it comes to dessert, you can have your treat but keep in mind the size of it. Instead of a big bowl of ice cream and that chocolate chip cookie, have a small helping and add some fresh fruit! The girls and I got creative and rolled up some smaller helpings of Breyers Ice Cream covered in Pepperidge Farms Farmhouse Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie crumbs.
- Add Green Wherever you Can - I love adding fresh herbs to sauces and dips and spreads. I simply added sone fresh tarragon and some fresh parsley to some mayo for a simple yet delicious topping for our burgers. I also added some fresh salad greens to our plates.
- Don't be Afraid to Water Down your Drinks - Some drinks that are served at picnics are full of sugar. Look for water or drinks with only added fruit juices instead of sodas. The girls and I found Izze Fusion and Pure Leaf Tea without added sugar and added some water and enjoyed!
Giant Eagle makes it super easy to find all the necessary ingredients for a delicious and healthier menu for your next grilling meal!
Don't forget to check out Giant Eagle for all of your grilling needs this summer! Check out their Pinterest page for some really great grilling ideas!
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