Healthy Living

Brian Duewel is a guest columnist | Contact Brian

Healthy Living: Trim the fat out of summer cookouts

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At this time of year, my mouth waters when I think about all the cookouts I’ll be heading off to enjoy. Because I love a good grilling party even more than the next guy, I find it important to make a few adjustments to the normal menu to keep from adding a size to my summer wardrobe.

Sometimes I suffer through a small flavor loss to gain an edge in the health department. I know it’s a difficult sell, but it’s a sacrifice I choose to make to enjoy my meal in a fit fashion.

I figured with all the picnics and parties you’re likely to visit in the coming weeks, I’d pass on a few of my grilling secrets to a great – and healthy – cookout.

When it comes to chicken, I lose the marinade and opt for pepper and other spices as a flavor boost. Although marinades add a great taste, they are often loaded with calories and fat. By replacing the marinade, you might lose a slight amount of flavor, but you pick up a great exchange in caloric intake.

I enjoy hamburgers, a lot. But they are about as unhealthy as grilled food gets. So instead, I choose veggie and soy burgers. I know that many people wrinkle their nose at this choice, but I urge you to take another taste. The meatless burger has come a long way in the past few years, and at this point, I actually like them better than their red meat counterpart. There are several brands to choose from, so try a couple before you decide your favorite.

A barbecue favorite is the hot dog, but the processed meat inside the wiener makes this less than a wise choice. I find that either meatless franks or turkey dogs make a good alternative. The turkey dog is every bit as tasty, but with a fraction of the calories and fat as beef.

A few other changes to my regular meal include grilled veggies instead of chips and potato salad and opting for wheat buns – or no bun at all – instead of white.

A few simple changes can make all the difference when it comes to a healthy, fit cookout. So choose wisely and enjoy.

For this week’s easy fit mini recipe, try this cookout favorite. Take a fresh chicken breast, add salt, pepper and other spices (I like a little paprika and oregano) and cut into slices.

Chop a white onion and tomato into quarters; and clean and cut green and red peppers into nice sized chunks.

With a 12-inch wood skewer, alternate the chicken, onion, tomato, and peppers all the way down the spear. Place the kabob on a hot charcoal grill and cook until the chicken is done.

If you have questions, comments, recipes or information you’d like to pass on, contact me at brian@brianduewel.com, and be sure to check out my blog at healthylivingwithbrianduewel.com.


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