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The Perfect Summertime Meal

By Donna Stark

Are you looking to head to your backyard for some serious grilling and chilling. You know what that means, then, don't you? It means you need to figure out what is on the menu! Fortunately, with a little planning and a lot of prep, you will be able to serve one of the most delicious meals of the month, just don't forget it should be healthy too. How can you ensure good health and great taste? Take a look at the following suggestions from your local chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic.

Healthy Proteins

You can do more than just hamburgers and hot dogs to get your protein when you move the dinner table outside. Serve some grass-fed beef in the form of steaks or ribs, pick up some pasture-raised chicken and grill it to perfection, or try something completely different from what you are used to, such as grilled salmon or tofu kabobs. Just don't forget to marinate your selection before you start grilling! It's the best way to get all the delicious flavors to mix together.  

Healthy Sides

You can't go wrong with the side dishes that typically complement, say, Memorial Day gatherings. But you can, most definitely, make them healthier! Here are some quick tips on how to do so.

  • Serve vegetables as close to their natural state as possible
  • Skip the cheesy sauces and opt for something a little lighter, such as olive oil and lemon zest
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your baked beans and leave the bacon bits out of it as well
  • Mix your potato salad with oil-free mayonnaise made from cashews
  • Purchase gluten-free or baked potato chips

Healthy Beverages

There aren't too many beverages, other than water, that will take home the award of being most healthy, so you may need to get creative here. A great way to do so is to create an actual water bar. Set out some pitchers of water, and for those who like their carbonation, don't forget some bottles of sparkling water too. Then, fill the table with containers of sliced lemons and limes, berries, cucumbers, and fresh mint. You can even make some homemade unsweetened tea or brew some plain coffee to pour over ice. Whatever you decide, your family and guests will be sure to love this unique idea.

The Perfect, Healthy Meal

If you do a good job with all the courses of the meal, you won't have any guilt digging into that blueberry pie and ice cream. But remember, moderation is key, so let's just stick to one -- well, maybe even two -- helpings of dessert. After all, eating outside is a special occasion.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Renton, Wash.

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