Food & Wine

Healthy Hacks for your Summer BBQ

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You’re SO GOOD all week! Bringing fruit to work, avoiding the office birthday cake, getting in that dreaded cardio, and even avoiding beer (mostly)- because it’s bikini season! 


GRAZING at a BBQ can add over 1100 calories to your day- and that’s NOT including alcohol or a burger.


Don’t be the drag on a diet… Use these healthy-hacks to stay lean and be an #INSTA worthy host.


 Potato Chips < Zucchini Chips

photo credit /


Just grazing?  50 chips are easy to eat. Let’s see the difference….

Potato chips have …

10x more carbs than zucchini chips

Double the fat


This swap saves you 120 calories

For Zucchini Chip Recipe go to


Wholly” Guacamole <   Trader Joe’s reduced-guilt guacamole


photo credit: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats

They’re both at the store… so the effort is equivalent (score!)  Trader Joe’s is cut with 0% greek yogurt so it has HALF THE FAT for the same serving

No way Jose!         

Stick to 4Tbsp and this swap saves you 50 CALORIES


Lemonade            <         Infused Lemon Water


photo credit countrytime lemonade /


 Powdered lemonades have excess sugar, dyes, and preservatives. You can get an Insta worthy pitcher (and picture) with cut-up fruit of your own. Go au-natural… pour ice and 1 liter water over 2 lemons, 2 limes and 4 strawberries

Comparing one 8 oz glass … This swap saves you 135 CALORIES


Ice cream  <   DF whip ‘n berries

photo credit : /

Sure it’s no prep, but 1 cup of Breyers chocolate-chip ice cream has 14x the fat compared to this home-prepped, dairy-free whip ‘n berry layered dessert.  One more opportunity to show off your hosting skills with little time and minimal effort.


Layer as you wish; ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup strawberries, and 1 cup SoDelicious CocoWhip Light- for 1 serving that is equal in serving size and half the calories!

                                          This swap saves you 125 CALORIES  (BONUS: dairy free)


 Traditional 5-layer dip     <     Healthy chili dip

Photo and recipe credit: the / photo credit: food network magazine

  If you’re going to make a 5-layer dip, you want it to be delicious!  Make a few swaps and eat without the guilt, plus…

  • Double the protein
  • Cut the carbs in HALF
  • Lower the fat by 82%


This EASY Recipe is below and serves 8

  • Cook 1lb ground turkey (99%) in broth, S&P and chili spice. Sautee and drain any excess oil
    • Allow to cool (about 20 minutes) then put in bottom of dish (large glass serving dish)
  • Dollop, then evenly spread 10 oz 0% plain greek yogurt over the turkey
  • Dice 3 tomatoes and sprinkle evenly over the greek yogurt layer
  • Take your Trader Joe’s reduced-guilt guacamole (1 cup) and dollop over
  • Finish by topping it all with 1 cup diced mango
    • Option to add a few chunks of diced tomato and cilantro as garnish
  • Serve with a plate of romaine lettuce and mini spoons; think 5-layer-dip lettuce tacos. No need for MORE chips.


This swap (1 serving dip + using lettuce wraps instead of chips) saves you 258 calories


In review, your BBQ feast would still include chips with guacamole, lettuce wraps with 5-layer-dip, lemon-flavored drinks, AND a cold dessert. Totaling approximately 429 calories. (That’s less than a protein-box chicken wrap from Starbucks!)


The original BBQ menu (in comparison) would have cost you 1110 calories. That’s without alcohol, burgers, or mixers included.


Be smart. Be hack-happy. Keep that summer bod rockin’


Alyssa Cellini is Co-Founder of and a consulting Nutritionist with Metabolism and Sports Nutrition expertise. She is a freelance writer and contributor for all things health, metabolism, and recipes. For more recipes, her instagram is @mycustomcleanse . For personal nonsense and BTS @alyssakristine. Go to WWW.MYCUSTOMCLEANSE.COM to have Alyssa design and build your CUSTOM 15-day-cleanse, detailing your own specific food plan. Unlike basic cookie-cutter cleanses, this is made for you, by the experts. It also includes a professionally chosen supplement-combo (all based on YOU) that is sent to your door.

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