May is National BBQ Month: Get Out and Grill Out

By Katelyn Castro

The summer months are quickly approaching. For me, it means fun in the sun, relaxing outdoor dinners, weekends at the beach with my family, and grilling – YES! But BBQ’s and block parties can be huge saboteurs of our nutrition and fitness gains. How do we host get-togethers, attend potlucks, and celebrate the summer months without going overboard? Here are a few ideas to keep your nutrition in check without feeling deprived of summer goodness.

Become a Grill Master

Grilling gives one-of-a-kind flavor to our favorite meats and proteins. To keep fat intake in check, choose a variety of lean meats such as sirloin, chicken, pork tenderloin, and fish. When it comes to red meat, your best bet is to go grass-fed since it contains more anti-inflammatory omega-3’s than the grain-fed variety. If you crave a juicy burger but are worried about the fat, mix ground beef with ground chicken to reduce the fat by 52%. Check out Cluck‘n Moo burgers ( if you’re hosting a party and prefer something pre-made. Load up the veggies: Great grill-friendly veggies include asparagus, bell pepper, eggplant, onion, squash, and zucchini. Try out some Portobello mushrooms in a homemade teriyaki marinade or stuff them with quinoa, black beans, and salsa. The world is a happier place with fresh salsa, isn’t it? Stocking half your plate with veggies is a sure way to prevent overindulging on dessert.

Enjoy a Sweet Treat

Have you tasted grilled fruit skewers for dessert? The easiest summertime fruits to thread on a skewer are apricots, pears, cherries, nectarines, plums, and strawberries. If you’re looking for a creamier dessert, sliced avocado and strawberries, drizzled with honey hits the spot. Although some of these fruits are high in sugar, eating protein first will prevent blood sugar spikes and allow a steadier pace of insulin release.

Infuse Your Hydration

We can’t escape the heat, and if you’re like me, you welcome it. The three things we should focus on with nutrition is protein, fiber, and water. Preparing a pitcher of water before bed infused with cucumber, lemon, and mint will add flavor and a healthy boost to your next-day hydration efforts. Not only does it change up the H2O routine, but adding lemon will help flush toxins out of your body and balance the pH levels, which reduces inflammation.

There you have it! Enjoy the outdoors and fuel your body the best you can as you keep up the hard work in the gym. If you want more tips, you know where to find me! Play hard. Live well.