Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Labor Day BBQs: Over-Indulge with less bulge!

Let's face it. One the the best things about Labor Day weekend is getting in one last BBQ of the summer! Everyone loves to laze around a friend's place, drink beer and taste the best that grill has to offer, not to mention the sides and ice cream!

There is nothing wrong with just going for it, but if you would like to have all the fun without all of the calories, here are some great options that really do taste like what you crave - without feeling like you are depriving yourself or looking like the awkward girl that brought crazy diet food to a BBQ. 

Obviously, I could say, eat salad and celery but here are some other ideas that may be more satisfying.
No salads here!!

On the Grill:

  • Skewer just veggies or Veggies and Shrimp instead of Steak or Chicken to save some calories.
  • 98% Fat Free Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs are a 40 Calorie version of the classic with the same great taste!!
  • Everyone thinks that just because it is not beef, it is "diet food" WRONG! The calories in a lean beef burger patty are roughly the same as a turkey patty. The empty calories really come from the bun, so check the store for "Deli Thins" or Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Bread to hold your sandwiches together. 
  • Use the Food Network healthier BBQ sauce recipe at the bottom of the page to slather on to skinless chicken 
  • Use reduced fat/fat free sour cream and american cheese. They taste most like their full-fat counterparts but with half the calories

Ice Cream/Novelties:
  • When it is hot out, you are going to want to down some cold at each Labor Day event, but if you opt for ice cream each time you could be looking at 1000 calories. Instead, here are some great healthy cold novelties:
  • Skinny Cow White Mint Truffle Bars taste so much like Mint Chip Ice Cream but only 100 Calories
  • A bag of frozen mixed berries curbs your appetite for strawberry ice cream and a lot more nutritious than popsicles
  • Sugar Free Fudgesicles


  • Lemonade can have a ton of calories, sugar and acid, but it is so tasty at the time! I instead, now opt to slice/squeeze a whole lemon in a pitcher of ice water or club soda with slices of cucumber or mint for a refreshing citrus drink without calories or sugar!
  • Beer can be a ton of calories and bloat but Miller Light at 95 Calories or MGD 65 aren't bad choices
  • I prefer a good, stiff cocktail to keep the celebration going, but stay away from pre made mixes since they are usually all artificial flavors and sugar. Try a spirit like Gin and add soda and lots of fresh squeezed lime for a refreshing party drink without all of the calories. 
  • Like frozen drinks? Throw a handful of frozen berries, ice, a splash light cranberry juice in a blender with a shot of Voli diet Vodka, Bacardi light, or a high grade tequila. Or try that with a small bit of Tropicana 50 and almond milk for healthy "Creamsicle" drink!


Low Sodium BBQ sauce from Food Network: (under 40 calories)


Serves: 15-20

Units: US | Metric


  1. 1
    Combine all ingredients in saucepan.
  2. 2
    Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  3. 3
    Remove from heat cooling slightly.
  4. 4
    Blend to liquefy.
  5. 5
    And enjoy a very tasty healthy BBQ sauce.

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/low-sodium-lots-flavor-bbq-sauce-191337#ixzz1wDwGjhaC