Happy Mother’s Day!
As we inch closer to Summer, I figured I’d help out with planning what “accoutrements” you might need for your first barbeque of the season – just in case I (and a guest) get invited to it. Just kidding! I don’t have to bring a guest.
So, with that in mind, here are some ideas that will not only help your waistline, but also your bottom line, when getting ready for a backyard feast. As you know, the availability and price of seasonal produce is directly related to the time of year. In other words, if it’s in season, the price is lower and the quality is fresher. Therefore, not only will it taste better, it’s will be better for you as well as your budget.
Fruits and vegetables, while obviously an important part of a nutritious diet, seem to become more “fun” to prepare and eat during this time of year. Who doesn’t like grilling vegetables to the perfect combination of crunch and taste – where each “snap” when bitten provides a “splash” of Summer Flavor; or the fun in “scooping” up the different types of melon balls and berries in order to satisfy that moment’s sweet tooth like a child first rummaging for his/her favorite candy after a night out trick-or-treating?
Fruit that are at the peak of their flavor during these months include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and, of course, strawberries, all types of melon, peaches, pears and plums. They can stand alone, or you can “slice and dice” – making them the highlight of a Greek Yogurt Parfait! Why not cut a seedless watermelon in half and scoop out some chronic disease and cancer preventing refreshment?
Summer squash and zucchini, excellent sources of fiber, are also great on their own or you can cut them into cubes and “skewer” them with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and some protein for a great tasting kabob. Butternut Squash? Cube it. Pepper it. Wrap it (in tinfoil). Then grill it! Wanna really be creative? Mince the zucchini and toss into a bowl with 99% Fat-Free Ground Turkey, and other desired seasoning, for a unique twist on burgers. Don’t want the bread? Evenly slice up eggplant or “portabellas”, grill ’em to texture and voila…no-starch buns!
Corn-on-the-cob has become one of my mainstays of my weekend “grillfests”. Also high in fiber, providing vitamin B-1 for energy, folate for cell repair, and potassium to help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels low.
In-Season greens that make the perfect Summer Salad include romaine, spinach, arugula or collards. The ones with the most nutrients are those darkest in color. Many provide the same benefits: vitamin A for immune system health, K for blood clotting, D for thyroid health, E for cell protection, iron for the blood, and calcium for bones and teeth.
So, when grilling meat like a caveman, as I did last night at Gyu-Kaku (Beverly Hills) or at the T-Lofts on the weekends, remember to be creative, as well as health conscious, and add a serving or three of fruit and veggies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides daily recommendations for the number of servings of fruits and vegetables, depending on your age, gender and physical activity level. For example, a 35-year-old female who engages in 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day should eat two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day.
To find your target, click here: http://www.
On last thing, please refer to Body Designs 40 and 92 for information on main-course-meats for the barbeque at www.bodydesignswest.com.