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Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

 
by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

 
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Memorial Day is all about family and friends, and gathering around the grill for some good eats and good company. Just like any other celebration, a little bit of indulgence doesn't mean that your whole diet has to be derailed. Here are some tips for surviving your Memorial Day BBQ:

* If you're heading to a barbeque, offer to bring a healthy side, entrée or dessert. This way you know there's at least one option that will be lower in calories. Some typical BBQ foods that are "diet safe" include veggies (but watch those dips!), fruit salad, grilled chicken, ground turkey burgers or turkey hot dogs.
grilling on Memorial Day
* If you're hosting, then you have control of the menu! While you don't have to force your healthy habits on everyone else, get a little creative with your food options. There are tons of alternatives to burgers and hot dogs that won't leave your guests looking for more. Some examples include: making kabobs, turkey burgers using lean ground turkey, grilling veggies such as zucchini, peppers, onions and eggplant, or marinating chicken or steak. Keep the sides healthier as well by using whole wheat pasta, low fat dressings, low fat dips and trying alternatives to your traditional potato or macaroni salads that don't include mayo anywhere in the recipe!

Here are some other tips:
- Skip the bun: having your burger without the bread will save at least 150 calories.
- Choose healthy dips like hummus, or use fat free sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to make your own veggie dip.
- Think your drink: as always, alcohol adds up, so make sure you're counting those sips into your total calories for the day.
- Eat a well-balanced meal about an hour before you get to the BBQ so you're not starved when you get there.
- Try a lower calorie dessert: berries with whipped cream, or jello-based pie.
- Prioritize your indulgences: Assess the options that are available and choose which ones you want to enjoy and which ones are worth leaving off your plate.

A few recipes to try:

Veggie Dip:

Ingredients:
1 packet of dried veggie dip
1 16 oz container of fat free sour cream or 2 containers of plain Greek yogurt
1 package of chopped spinach, thawed

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and chill for 1 hour before serving

Jell-o Pudding Pie

Ingredients:
1 package sugar-free Jell-o (any flavor)
1/4 cup water
2 (6 oz.) cups fat free yogurt (similar in flavor to the Jell-o
1 (8 oz.) carton fat free Cool Whip
1 reduced fat graham cracker crust.

Directions:
Boil the water and dissolve Jello. Whisk in the yogurt. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into crust and chill at least 3 hours.

(From Annastesia.com)

Cilantro Coleslaw

Ingredients:
12 ounces purchased shredded three-color coleslaw mix (about 7 cups)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Place coleslaw mix and cilantro in large bowl. Whisk canola oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add to cabbage mixture; toss to coat.

(From Epicurious.com)

Also be sure to check out Diet.com's Healthy Recipes for nearly 200 Side Dish recipes, and over 80 Salad recipes!

Enjoy your Holiday!

If you need help evaluating your favorite recipe, premium members can post it in the Rate My Plate message board!

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