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BY Alyse

July 4th Barbequing Basics

The July 4th holiday is synonymous with the word barbeque! Whether you will be throwing a shindig in your own place or going to a friend’s party, you already know what the day is about – good company and good food (and the independence of our country, too!).

What is your favorite BBG fare? If you don’t want to end the meal feeling like you gained 5 pounds, do you think you have to give up your favorite foods? DON’T. You can have your dream BBQ and your favorite foods without feeling stuffed and uncomfortable at the end of the day.

In fact, if you avoid your favorite foods and go the healthier route, you may be more likely to overeat because you will feel unsatisfied and eat more in an effort to satisfy your hunger. The key is to figure out what you want, see if you can improve the nutritional quality of your meal without affecting your satisfaction and then eat mindfully.

Think of your stomach as your gas tank – it can only hold so much – fill it up wisely. Review all of your food options. What do you REALLY want to eat? Hot dogs, hamburger patties, corn, coleslaw, beans, mashed potatoes, vegetables, fruit, chips, soda, beer, cookies, ice cream, etc! If you really want the mashed potatoes then serve yourself a good helping of mashed potatoes. Do not force yourself to eat the corn and fruit salad before the mashed potatoes – this will only leave you feeling overly full when you polish off the mashed potatoes – which is what you really wanted.  SATISFACTION is key. It’s about quality not quantity. If you pick foods that appeal to you (good quality) then you will indirectly control the amount (quantity). When we eat what we want – we are satisfied with less than if we eat what we think is best.

Sit down and eat your meal with your family and friends. Talk to one another; put your fork down while chewing. This will help you slow down and enjoy the moment. Remember, just because the food is on your plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it. If you’re the host of the party, check the ingredients of the food when shopping. Just because the food label sounds healthy doesn’t mean it is healthy. Veggie patties are not always better than beef patties. Veggie patties tend to have additives and beef patties tend to be 100% beef. The only way to find out what you’re serving to your guests is to read the ingredient list.

BOCA Burger Vegan Patty: Ingredients: WATER, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WHEAT GLUTEN, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF METHYLCELLULOSE, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, DRIED ONIONS, YEAST EXTRACT, SESAME OIL, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR (NON-MEAT), DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE. CONTAINS: SOY, WHEAT, SESAME.

Beef Patty: Ingredients: 100% grass-fed ground beef

So there you go, a healthy mindful approach to the fourth without sacrificing flavor or fun.   Have a safe and happy holiday!