Eat Right All Summer Long

The cloying smell of burning coals finds its way to your nose. The intoxicating aroma draws you in. You begin to salivate as you can practically taste the offerings that will soon be delivered from the grill.


Even though I don’t eat most of the food generally served at cookouts, the smell of those coals still does something to me. So I’m here to share with you the tips I employ to choose well when attending summer gatherings.. The season is upon us. You are soon to be bombarded with cookout invitations, birthday parties, backyard get togethers and the like.


Charred meat. Saturated fat. Sugar. Alcohol.


Barbecue Ribs. Potato Salad. Macaroni Salad. Baked Beans. Punch. Cake. Soda.


This is just some of what you can expect to find at the next BBQ. Nonetheless, you will be duly equipped to choose well. I can still enjoy the food, fellowship and fun while making an active decision to choose well.


Tyra’s Tips for Choosing Well At Summer Gatherings


Be Sensitive To The Hostess

Who really wants to deal with an obnoxious, self-righteous food nazi? Nobody. So no need to make big public declaration about not eating those charred rib because of the carcinogens (just keep that info to yourself). As others enjoy their BBQ, don’t highlight the fat and sugar grams in each item they’ve consumed. I offer information if I’m specifically asked about my food choices.


Avoid Mayonnaise Laden Dishes

Aside from the fact that dairy based dishes don’t really hold well in the heat given it’s been sitting outside for a while, you may want to minimize the added saturated fat and calories of mayo based dishes, esp. if you are working on your beach body. Bathing suits and sundresses here I come.


 Watch The Sugar

With the soda and sweet treats that usually make an appearance at summer gathering, you may have to exercise some restraint. When chatting and socializing in hot weather, it’s easy to drink several sodas. Then top that off with some cake and popsicles and you’ve probably exceeded your recommended daily allowance of added sugar. Need a sweet treat? Reach for a slice of watermelon. Watermelon is highly alkaline and super hydrating.


Travel With Food

I’m infamous for traveling with my own food. Today, it’s pretty common to have a vegetarian, vegan or whole food eater in a group. But years ago it wasn’t so popular. And quite often people simply did not know how to accommodate my dietary choices and frankly I didn’t want to place that burden on them so I just travelled with my own food. Often, I’ll make sure I’ve eaten well before arriving at the event so that I will not be tempted by the cakes and chips. I also like to bring the hostess a dish. This always ensures that at a minimum I can eat the item I’ve brought. Below is one of my favorite summer items to bring. It is very adaptable and can easily be doubled or quadrupled to feed the masses.


Black Bean and Corn Salad


2 cups cooked black beans * (rinsed)

1 cup corn kernels

2 stalks scallions diced

½ sweet pepper diced

1 avocado cubed

1 tbsp olive oil

juice and zest of ½ lime

2 tbsp cilantro chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste


Toss all ingredients together. Chill for a few hours for flavors to combine.

Black Bean Salad


As stated, this recipe is very adaptable. Sometimes I make a sweet version by adding diced mango and 1 tbsp honey. I vary the color of the sweet pepper based on what I have in the fridge. I’ve added jalapeno if I want to little kick. I like to use raw corn shucked right off the cob but Trader Joe’s also has a good frozen roasted corn that would work well in this dish. Have fun with it.


For more on cooking beans and having them fresh and always readily available so you don’t have to use canned, click here.


You are now armed and ready to choose well when attend your next summer gathering. In fact, these tips can be used to eat right all summer long.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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