Healthy Cookout Tips

How to Have a
Healthy Cookout

What comes to mind when you think of summer? Sun, relaxation, beautiful weather, and cooking out, perhaps? Cookouts are a great way for friends and family to get together. However, too often, cooking out means making unhealthy food choices. Don’t let the next summer cookout ruin your diet.

  • Choose healthy meats
  • Watch your portions
  • Watch your beverages
  • Indulge, but carefully


Enjoy your summer, but don’t let cookouts ruin your healthy living

  1. Choose healthy meats. We’re not telling you that you can never have a cheeseburger or enjoy some ribs, however, try to limit these kinds of meats. Instead of choosing fatty, red meat, opt for fish (essential omega 3s!), skinless chicken breasts, and lean ground poultry. Marinate fish in foil, make chicken kebabs, or turkey or salmon burgers. It’s easier than you might think to make healthy choices. Not only will your waistline thank you, but so will your brain!
  2. Watch your portions. Get ready to be enlightened when you begin to start measuring your portions. Three ounces is a healthy portion for any type of meat and portions should not be more than six ounces. Watch how much you load up on unhealthy side dishes. Limit your helpings of mayonnaise-based sides – like potato salad or pasta salad – and instead load up on healthier sides. Start with this simple rule: load half of your plate with greens, and use the remaining space remaining for meat and less healthy sides. Better yet: Bring your own healthy side dish to share! Try making one of our favorite recipes: Avocado and Strawberry Salad. Bonus – your brain health thrives from both avocados and strawberries!
  3. Watch your beverages. This may be one of the easiest ways for you to stay on track. Hydration is key for brain health. Instead of choosing sugary, carbonated beverages, stick to water. If you’re not a fan of plain water, you can easily jazz up your water. You can find a huge variety of flavored, sparkling water. Or, make your own fruit-infused water. Cut up some cucumber, blueberries, and mint leaves, put in a pitcher, pour water over, and let it sit for a few minutes. You’ll have a refreshing drink in no time! When you’re sure to drink plenty of water, you’ll be supporting healthy brain cells, improving concentration, helping your memory function, and improving blood flow and oxygen to the brain. So, go on and drink up!
  4. Indulge, but carefully. You don’t need to completely resist dessert – just don’t overdo it on the sweets. Attending cookouts with friends and family typically isn’t an everyday event. The summer season doesn’t last long, and it’s likely you’re not eating these treats on a regular basis. So, go on and eat that slice of cake, but maybe limit it to just one piece (although, we won’t tell if you sneak in an extra small sliver!).

With these tips, you’ll be sure to stay on track. You don’t need to let cookouts ruin your healthy living. Keep these tips in mind – your brain and body will thank you!