Picnic Suggestions for a Wholesome Summer time

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Celebrate Labor Day and say goodbye to summer with a fun barbecue evening in the garden! Stay healthy and nutritionally friendly with this simple guide that includes lots of tips on grilling, cooking side dishes, fun games, and making Nutrisystem-approved beverages. Here are five fun ways to enjoy a picnic in the garden and still lose weight:

1. Load some vegetables on this grill.

Even veggie haters find grilled vegetables irresistible. That’s probably because this particular cooking method highlights its inherent sweetness. Slice some onions, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, and even cabbage steaks, then grill them for the healthy side.

To keep your meal diet friendly, load half of your plate up with vegetables. Trending now: the carrot hot dog. Cook whole carrots on the grill and serve them on a whole grain frankfurter roll with all the side dishes. You can use vegetables in other ways too: some grilled veggie recipes layer vegetables between cubed chicken, a firm fish like tuna or swordfish, shellfish like shrimp, or even lean beef. Vegetable skewers can help you balance your meal between higher calorie protein and low calorie vegetables with a fiber-friendly touch.

Check out these seven foods that taste better on the grill! >

2. Make pages that are the star of the meal.

Leaf's healthy summer picnic tips

Forget the mayonnaise-laden potato salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw that crowd every summer picnic table across the country. They are as ho-hum as they fatten. Instead, focus on some of the fresh farm produce that is readily available this time of year.

Consider slaw by a. to replace Spicy cucumber and dill salad it takes minutes to prepare and can rest for hours in the fridge, but it gets more and more spicy the longer it marinates! There’s no need to remove coleslaw entirely from the menu either – just liven up a cabbage and carrot mix with a dressing of low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, and peanut butter. this Spicy peanut salad Recipe provides a PowerFuel and two vegetables for your daily count.

Do you love pasta salad? Broccoli, paprika strips and cherry tomatoes become very easy Creamy pasta salad (mixed with fat-free Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise) into a work of art. Plus, it’s only got 228 calories per serving, even with the chopped turkey bacon added for crunch and protein. One serving counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one vegetable. Click here for the recipe! >

You don’t need to banish potato salad either if you’re making it the Nutrisystem way, with reduced-fat mayonnaise, fat-free Greek yogurt, or even a savory vinaigrette. Also think beyond the summer picnic basket: Remove half of the potatoes from the recipe and mix in beets, cauliflower or parsnips. Add fun and flavorful ingredients like dill, spring onions, chives, or capers. Then add some of your favorite vegetables, like fresh peas, bell peppers, or radishes for a flavorful bite. Make a healthier potato salad for your summer picnic using these five tips. >

3. Add Nutrisystem foods to the mixture.

Leaf's healthy summer picnic tips

How good would your Nutrisystem Classic hamburger or Grilled Chicken Sandwich taste it when you’ve done it on the grill? Yes sir. So good. You are also welcome to treat yourself to a dessert with one of the sweet bars or appetizers from Nutrisystem. Click here to stock up! >

4. Plan active garden fun and games.

Leaf's healthy summer picnic tips

Work out excess calories from your summer picnic by planning outdoor activities for young and old. If you have enough space, put up a volleyball or badminton net. Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy backyard games like Tag, Freeze Tag, or Dodge Ball, especially when you incorporate water balloons into the fun. In the egg-and-spoon relay race, you can even make a reef with filled water balloons and a wooden spoon. Throw frisbees back and forth, or have a game of cornhole or horseshoes. Organize a post picnic stroll around the neighborhood or a nearby park.

5. Hydrate wisely.

Leaf's healthy summer picnic tips

While you can always turn to light beer and wine coolers to save some calories, don’t forget that studies have shown that alcohol can stimulate your brain’s appetite center and make you want to eat more, says the National Health Service of the United Kingdom.

Both wine and beer come in non-alcoholic versions. You can also make some delicious and satisfying “mocktails” that your guests will love. Try an alcohol-free Strawberry Daiquiri, which combines fresh and frozen strawberries with water and lime juice in the blender. It has only 55 calories per serving and counts as a SmartCarb on Nutrisystem. Find this delicious soft drink recipe and four more mocktails here! >

Eliminating alcohol at your picnic in the garden can help avoid unnecessary calories. However, you can enjoy alcohol in moderation in your Nutrisystem program. If you want a drink, read this article on 10 low calorie beers that really taste good! > You can also brush up on your Nutrisystem knowledge and Find out more about alcohol in our program here. >

Visit The Leaf for more tips to enjoy this summer season with family and friends, including Expert fitness and Nutrition tips as well as delicious seasonal recipes for your weight loss journey!

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