From Labor Day to Tailgating, Keep It Healthy All Season Long
As Labor Day approaches this weekend, it’s one last chance to light up the barbecue, gather some friends and prepare some fantastic foods. For some of us, Labor Day is also an opportunity to perfect our grilling technique so we can be efficient tailgaters during football season. Whichever the case, we have collected some advice and tips for keeping your grilling filling, flavorful and healthful so the only layers you’ll be adding as the temperatures dip into autumn is an extra sweater or down jacket. At the heart of every good tailgater’s plate is slab of grilled meat, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s not also healthy for the heart. Of course, there are some great vegetarian centerpieces you could grill up, such as portobello mushrooms or grilled tofu. But for the “meatatarians” in us, there are some simple and healthful ways we can prepare this tasty protein. First, think skinless chicken, or better yet, skinless white-meat chicken strips. Kabobs made with lean beef and extra vegetables are a staple of BBQ meals. If you can’t go without a juicy burger, consider a lamb/bulgur burger, using lean ground lamb mixed with prepared bulgur wheat (cooked ahead of time at home), which help the patties retain their shape while providing a healthy filler. And who doesn’t love bacon? A simple BLT made with slices of grilled bacon strips and a light mayo (or your favorite mayo substitute) gives you a smoky, meaty meal without a burden of calories. Every good meaty centerpiece deserves a fitting side dish (much like a superhero and his or her trusty sidekick!). Forgo the cans of sugar-loaded baked beans or the uber-loaded baked potatoes. Instead, throw together a coleslaw with shredded cabbage, bell pepper and carrots, but in place of heavy doses of mayonnaise use oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. If you want a touch creaminess in your slaw, a little dab of Dijon mustard will provide that and a kick of spiciness. Other great lean sides are German-style potato salad, seasoned with vinegar and a little sugar. Or try a cold bean salad dressed with oil and vinegar. Pasta salad with fresh veggies and herbs also goes well with any barbecued dish. Now to the drinks. Having been to a tailgating party and barbecue or two, what I saw most people drinking came in a silver can or brown bottle. Beer comes in many shapes and sizes, and if it’s your drink of choice while tailgating or barbecuing, remember to be sensible with the quantity (and quality) of this calorie-laden liquid. Light beers on the market now contain less than 100 calories per 12 ounces, which is about half of a “regular” beer, so keep that in mind. Have any tailgating tips to share with those wanting to keep it healthy? Share them (and give your home team a shout out!) on our MyNetDiary Facebook page or in our Community Forum. Go MyNetDiary members!

From Labor Day to Tailgating, Keep It Healthy All Season Long

As Labor Day approaches this weekend, it's one last chance to light up the barbecue, gather some friends and prepare some fantastic foods. For some of us, Labor Day is also an opportunity to perfect our grilling technique so we can be efficient tailgaters during football season. Whichever the case, we have collected some advice and tips for keeping your grilling filling, flavorful and healthful so the only layers you'll be adding as the temperatures dip into autumn is an extra sweater or down jacket.

At the heart of every good tailgater's plate is slab of grilled meat, but that doesn't have to mean it's not also healthy for the heart. Of course, there are some great vegetarian centerpieces you could grill up, such as portobello mushrooms or grilled tofu . But for the " meatatarians " in us, there are some simple and healthful ways we can prepare this tasty protein.

First, think skinless chicken, or better yet, skinless white-meat chicken strips. Kabobs made with lean beef and extra vegetables are a staple of BBQ meals. If you can't go without a juicy burger, consider a lamb/bulgur burger, using lean ground lamb mixed with prepared bulgur wheat (cooked ahead of time at home), which help the patties retain their shape while providing a healthy filler. And who doesn't love bacon ? A simple BLT made with slices of grilled bacon strips and a light mayo (or your favorite mayo substitute) gives you a smoky, meaty meal without a burden of calories.

Every good meaty centerpiece deserves a fitting side dish (much like a superhero and his or her trusty sidekick!). Forgo the cans of sugar-loaded baked beans or the uber-loaded baked potatoes. Instead, throw together a coleslaw with shredded cabbage, bell pepper and carrots, but in place of heavy doses of mayonnaise use oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. If you want a touch creaminess in your slaw, a little dab of Dijon mustard will provide that and a kick of spiciness.

Other great lean sides are German-style potato salad, seasoned with vinegar and a little sugar. Or try a cold bean salad dressed with oil and vinegar. Pasta salad with fresh veggies and herbs also goes well with any barbecued dish.

Now to the drinks. Having been to a tailgating party and barbecue or two, what I saw most people drinking came in a silver can or brown bottle. Beer comes in many shapes and sizes, and if it's your drink of choice while tailgating or barbecuing, remember to be sensible with the quantity (and quality) of this calorie-laden liquid. Light beers on the market now contain less than 100 calories per 12 ounces, which is about half of a "regular" beer, so keep that in mind.

Have any tailgating tips to share with those wanting to keep it healthy? Share them (and give your home team a shout out!) on our MyNetDiary Facebook page or in our Community Forum .

Go MyNetDiary members!

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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Foods & Recipes/Fruit & Vegetables Holidays / Parties/Football Holidays / Parties/Labor Day

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