Healthy Eating At The Cookout

Healthy Eating At The Cookout

Avoid letting the family cookout ruin all the hard work you’ve put into eating right – get some weapons to take into the battle this weekend!

My favorite trick: fill my plate up with (unprocessed) meats and nibble from that plate for a while. The protein makes me feel full faster and helps me stay full longer. Being full makes it easy to pass up the other temptations. It’s easy to compensate for the extra protein calories by moving around, standing, etc..

Tips for Eating Healthfully at a Cookout

Take me to the next phase

One treat is hard for me to resist: upgraded hot dogs! This link has some of my favorite recipes. The good part – eat one or two of them and you are done eating for a while! If you are the host, upgraded hot dogs will glam-up your cookout – guaranteed!

TonyBear.com | Healthy Eating At The Cookout

Substituting sandwich thins can save you a few hundred calories with each burger. There is also a hot dog version. Photo: Orowheat

Grilled Hot Dogs Upgrades (my favorites are #2 and #4, of course with a little Bear Cave flava to trick ’em out!)

If you want to add a little class with some non-traditional dishes, check out this link (the shrimp dish is my favorite “must-try”):

Healthy Cookout Recipes

Eating smart is easy when you develop a taste for great substitutions. Some of my fav tricks: substituting pepper for salt, or mixing ground beef with ground poultry when making burgers, and then putting the cooked patties on “sandwich thins” instead of buns, or substituting Greek yogurt where most people would use mayo. Find more here:

Smart Swaps For Your Next Barbecue

Nothing kills the vibe at a get-together like the meatless person who complains the whole time that there’s nothing meatless on the menu! Be a good host and remember the guests who are meatless!

TonyBear.com | Healthy Eating At The Cookout

Grill some fresh veggies! Score points with your vegan/vegetarian friends and also have some tasty sides ready to accompany your meats. Photo: Jeremy Keith/Flickr Creative Commons

Vegan and vegetarian burger recipes

Veggie kabob ideas

Don’t sweat the technique

The vegetarian/vegan will probably try to kill the vibe by talking about the amount of carcinogens found in grilled meat. You can have your argument ready: explain why you put the BBQ sauce on AFTER the meat comes off the grill, and how the (homemade) marinade and the (homemade) herb rub you used actually cut the carcinogens in YOUR meats by 99%–

Reduce Carcinogens by 99 Percent

…then, talk about how your grilling technique includes steps recommended by the National Cancer Institute–

Ways To Reduce HCA And PAH Formation In Cooked Meats

…and patiently explain why you use your grill as an oven (“indirect cooking”) instead of flame-torching all the meat:

Temperature Control, The 2‑Zone Setup, And Indirect Cooking

Keep an eye on the time after all the cooking is done. Cooked food should be put away after ___ hours. The answer here:

How To Avoid Kitchen Suicide-By-Food

BONUS: Make your cookouts the coolest on the block by introducing a little high-tech flavor:

High-Tech Twists for Your Summer Cookout

While you are clicking around, please hit my page on Big Oven and leave your comments and ratings for some of my recipes, especially the Bear Cave Rib Eye Sunday Dinner.

Authored by: Tony Bear!

Writer, on-air personality, photo artist.

Please give me your feedback!