With summer here and July 4th almost upon us, cookout season is in full swing. For many of us, when we think about cookouts (BBQs to you Brits) we think of hotdogs, burgers, chips and guac, and all sorts of other high calorie foods. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, cookouts are a wonderful way to eat a healthy meal. And this berry nectarine fruit salad is a prime example of that.
I have 6 rules for a healthy cookout:
- Fill most of your plate with healthy side dishes, like a simple lemon kale salad, a mixed bean salad, grilled vegetable kabobs, or grilled corn on the cob.
- Focus on lean protein on the grill, like chicken breast, fish, shrimp, and vegetable, turkey or lean ground beef burgers.
- Include plenty of fruits for dessert, like this berry nectarine fruit salad made with fresh mint and lime juice, or grilled bananas (wrap bananas in foil and leave on the grill for about 10 minutes until brown and soft).
- Stay hydrated and limit high-sugar drinks. Thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so don’t forget to drink plenty of water. And high-sugar drinks not only dehydrate you, they also add unnecessary calories to your day. Try making healthy watermelon agua fresca, or sparkling water with cut fruit.
- Don’t turn up too hungry. Extreme hunger makes it harder for us to make healthful food choices and often leads to overeating.
- Practice mindful eating. Most of us have a tendency to eat until we are too full when we are in a social buffet-style setting. Try to think more about your hunger and fullness cues. Stop when you are comfortably full (no more than a 7 on a hunger scale of 1-10).
And if you are going to someone else’s house for a potluck, take along a healthy dish like this berry nectarine fruit salad with no added sugar. That way you can be sure there will be something nutritious and healthy for you to include on your plate.
- 6 nectarines
- 1 lb strawberries
- 8 oz blackberries
- 12 oz blueberries
- Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- Cut the fruit to the desired size.
- Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently.