There are many reasons why you may be on the lookout for healthier recipes this grilling season. Maybe you have made considerable progress on your fitness goals and want to keep that going. Maybe you have some work left to do and want a few options for entertaining your family and friends. Maybe you simply like the way you feel when you are eating better and being mindful of what you put in your body. Whatever the reason, Integrity Urgent Care has a few recommendations for the hot summer months ahead.
While there are some cuts of meat, like quality steaks or fresh caught fish, that don’t need a marinade for the grill, many proteins can benefit from a little extra help in flavor and tenderizing. Pork chops, flank steak, and chicken breasts are even better with the help of acid and seasoning to break down tough fibers. You can mix and match different combinations, but work to combine acid, salt, and flavors. Lemon juice and honey, balsamic vinegar and kosher salt, pineapple juice and teriyaki sauce are all great places to start. Adding fresh chopped garlic, your favorite herbs, and freshly ground pepper can elevate your marinade even more.
Lean cuts of meat and grilled veggies can be a pretty healthy way to start your meal. There are times though that you may be craving a more traditional grilled meal like burgers, hot dogs, fajitas, and more. For these times, we recommend sensible swaps to add a little more health while still enjoying summer favorites. Wrapping your burger patty in lettuce to make a wrap can be satisfying or you could opt for a slider sized burger instead of a jumbo sized. There are tons of different sausages you can throw on the grill to sub out a traditional hot dog. For fajitas, make one regular fajita, loaded with extra peppers and salsa and then make a taco salad on the side to get extra protein and vegetables in your meal.
Don’t forget about making your sides healthier as well. Many vegetables and even fruits can be thrown on the grill to round out your meal. You can use the same marinade you used for your protein on your veggies or keep it simple with a little oil, salt, and pepper. Fruit can be grilled and enjoyed as is or paired with a sensible portion of frozen yogurt, ice cream, or shortcake. If you are enjoying more traditional sides, like pasta or potato salads, remember to keep mayonnaise and dairy based dressings safe by leaving them refrigerated as long as possible.
A great way to eat healthier when grilling is to plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of vegetables, whether grilled or raw veggies with a light dip. Offer to bring healthy sides to someone else’s house. If you are grilling at home, make extra so you have a dinner later in the week or a few lunches ready to go at the same time.
You do not have to sacrifice grilling time if you are trying to eat sensibly. There are plenty of options available. If you have any issues you are facing, from an accidental burn from the grill or heat exhaustion from spending too much time in the sun, you can come into one of our Integrity Urgent Care clinics. We will take care of you and get you back to the grill as quickly as we can.