Spice up your summer with a healthy BBQ

Welcome Sally Jones, C.E.C., A.C.C. to the Mrs Mo's New Jersey community. Sally is a certified life coach with experience as a Weight Watchers team leader. With her company See...Believe...Achieve!, Sally motivates individuals and entire companies to reclaim their health and well-being in life or work. Sally can also be found on Twitter!

"Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor." William Cowper

Summertime is here and to some of us that means putting everything on the grill. But how do we do that and keep the marinating natural, healthy and sodium free? How can we marinate, grill and continue to lose weight?

The answer to these questions is in natural, healthy spices!!

The biggest perk of summer eating for me is the way the produce aisle comes alive with vibrant, fresh, healthy color! This not only happens with fruits and veggies, but also with natural spices like basil, cilantro, ginger, and more!

As we look around everywhere we see foods advertised with “zero calories”, artificial flavoring, no fat, no trans fat, you name it! But studies are starting to show that our best bet is natural and pure earth grown herbs, fruits and veggies! All of these foods contain therapeutic healing vitamins and, yes, you can actually eat them and live healthy! So are you ready to greet the summer with a vibrantly colored, healthy plate at your next BBQ?

If so read on:

  1. Next time you are ready to grab a bottle of marinate loaded with chemical ingredients why not think about exploring some heart healthy olive oil with lemon and garlic to use as a marinade? Try salmon or shrimp with lemon juice (a natural detoxifier) and olive oil and garlic chopped up. That is low calorie and healthy! The garlic alone has so many health benefits. It is an antioxidant, and contains vitamins like C and B6!

  2. You can also be creative with marinades and add fresh herbs you enjoy like fresh cilantro, pepper, or oregano for added flavor.

  3. Marinades flavored with fruits such as pineapple or peaches are also healthy and delicious. Once you experience a grilled pineapple you won't even think about s'mores!

  4. To spice things up, add some cayenne pepper! It has healing powers and is known to increase metabolism-maybe because it is so hot it makes you sweat! Ha! So next time you make chicken wings, take the skin off and baste with the real hot stuff- cayenne pepper! Enjoy taste without the high calories this way!

  5. Basil is my favorite herb in the summer. Summer food means Pesto! Pesto gives you true flavor and natural benefits and the basil has antioxidants (which protect us from free radicals). In the summer, sun does a number on me (free radicals) so I make sure I eat plenty of Pesto to help reverse the damage! I mix my basil with a little olive oil (heart healthy oil) and pine nuts and blend in the blender and serve over whole wheat past! Yummy Pesto. Fast, easy and great for you!

  6. Ginger, like basil, is an antioxidant. It is also an immune system booster and a natural anti inflammatory. Try it on veggies or in a stir fry for a delicious meal! A little ginger goes a long way in terms of flavoring!

  7. Cilantro is a healing herb! If your enjoy eating fish but are scared of the mercury, add some cilantro- it is known to help cut down the mercury and it is also a natural detoxifier. Cilantro is my favorite dip ingredient in summertime! Chop it with fresh tomatoes, avocado, onion and lemon- yummy! It easily replaces the sour cream and onion dip! Yes you can have a healthy and delicious dip!

  8. Healthy starches with veggies: Grill small red potatoes with oregano, pepper and olive oil or mixed with veggies like zucchini and asparagus sprinkled with lemon juice and olive oil!

  9. As far as drinks go water is really the best bet when trying to hydrate, but if you want to spruce it up a little, fresh brewed ice tea with fresh peppermint is delightful! Peppermint in its natural form helps with digestion, tension, and yes insomnia! In no time at all you won't miss the sugar! If you really want to get creative, put a cinnamon stick in the tea-this helps boost metabolism and also has been known to lower blood sugar by having one teaspoon a day!

Grilling is such a healthy way to cook so let's keep the preparation in its purest form this summer and focus on socializing and eating in moderation and preserving our health at the same time!

So tell me...what spices are YOU using this Summer?


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Some interesting herbal info :) I particularly love my, um, Lovage! It's a perennial herb that tastes like celery. Of course it can grow to 6 feet tall, so be careful where you plant it.

I also love my chives (again a perennial) and the mint I have growing in planters (so it doesn't take over).

For annuals I like to grow basil, parsley & oregano. I have limited success w/cilantro, though I love it. I think NY is a bit too cold upstate for it :)

Mrs Mo said...

I'm still learning how to use it all! That's why I have Sally in my life! haha.

I do like adding cilantro to peach salsa. And Oregano on sub sandwiches. That's about all I know! haha

Thanks for commenting.

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