Summer’s here and us Brits love a BBQ, no matter what the weather! Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and enjoy your summer BBQ.

It’s summer, I love the summer, the warm weather, the sun shining and of course BBQ’s. But it’s amazing how our eating habits can change as soon as we light the BBQ up. Follow these tips to stay healthy during BBQ season.

Meat and fish

Mix up your BBQ with some fish, it’s much healthier, less saturated fat, a good source of protein and oily fish (salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, trout) are rich in the good omega 3 fats. I usually make up some fish burgers (my favourite recipe at the moment are Gywneth Paltrow’s salmon burgers made with ginger, coriander, sesame oil and tamari) or some fish kebabs.

I choose to eat red meat in moderation but you can also swap out red meat for leaner chicken or turkey. Choose a simple, healthy, marinade to make it really yummy.

And if you’re vegetarian or vegan try popping a large portobello mushroom on the BBQ, add some avocado, beetroot and onion and you’ve got a delicious burger alternative.

Watch your portion sizes

What is it about a BBQ that means you eat 2 burgers and a sausage and may be some crips on the side. We’ve all done it, me included! I’m all for having a burger but just the one, there’s no other time you’d eat more than one burger and you wouldn’t usually have a sausage along side it, so watch how much you eat.

Don’t burn your food

My BBQs as a child always meant burnt sausages, they were as black as they came as my Dad made sure they were cooked through! But burnt food isn’t good for you, it’s highly toxic putting pressure on the liver to detoxify and it’s also believed that excessive burnt food can be carcinogenic.

Bulk up on salads

I love putting an array of salads out when we have a BBQ and it’s amazing how many compliments I get. This will really ensure your BBQ is really healthy. I usually have a quinoa salad, mango salsa, cucumber and clementine salad, shredded carrot with fennel and a beetroot salad. There are loads of healthy recipes out there so experiment with your salads; they can be far more exciting than some lettuce, cucumber and tomato! And make your own salad dressings, or simply drizzle in olive oil.

Ditch the sauce

I’m going to be honest here, I love a bit of mayonnaise, but it’s not healthy. Try these healthy alternatives to sauce with your burger, you can of course make your own tomato ketchup. I use avocado a lot instead of mayonnaise; take a nice ripe avocado and mash it with some lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper, it’s lovely and creamy and a nice addition to your fish or beef burger. The other thing I use instead of sauce is humous, I always make my own humous, you can either have it on the side or add it to your hot dog.

What about the buns!

If you’re going to have your burger in a bun always choose wholewheat. Beware of gluten free varieties in supermarkets, just because they are gluten free doesn’t mean they are healthy, they’re usually highly processed.

And finally a word on alcohol

A nice glass of white wine is another thing I enjoy alongside a BBQ but this is a caution as we all know alcohol is full of empty calories, and not only that, it can lead to you eating more than you usually would. So just be conscious of it, enjoy your glass of wine and keep an eye on how much you’re eating.

Have a happy healthy summer!

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