GUEST POST: Nothing says summer like a warm, Sunday afternoon with a charbroiled burger in hand and potato salad. But now that you have had bariatric surgery you might be wondering “what can I eat?” The good news is that after bariatric surgery there is still a variety of delicious options to choose from. Here are 8 tips to make your next summer barbecue yummy and bariatric friendly.
Tip #1- Marinate Your Meat
Marinating your meat serves two purposes. First, it helps to tenderize your meat which will likely lead to better digestion and flavor. Second, marinating your meat reduces the carcinogens formed while cooking. When meats such as beef, pork, poultry or fish are cooked at high temperatures heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons form. These chemicals have been shown to possibly cause cancer in animal studies. Marinating your meat may reduce these carcinogens because the surface of the meat stays cooler while cooking. Plus, let’s be honest. Marinating your meat just tastes better.
Tip #2- Switch Up Your Protein Options
While beef and hotdogs or sausages are traditional options at a barbecue there are so many other choices for your protein. A simple chicken, marinated in olive oil, salt, cumin and garlic powder can result in a satisfying meal. Grilled salmon or trout are also flavorful options and are full of anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Consider trying a salmon burger or a veggie burger if you can not tolerate red meat.
Tip #3- Include Roasted Veggies
Roasted veggies are my favorite way to eat vegetables. Brush them with olive oil and place directly on grill or in aluminum foil. Delicious options include courgettes/zucchini, aubergine/eggplant, bell peppers, and asparagus. Vegetables will help to increase the fiber in your meal and give you a boost of nutrients.
Tip #4- Utilize the Bariatric Plate Method
As you choose your food items at the barbecue keep in mind the bariatric plate method. These guidelines suggest your plate should be about 50% protein, 25-30% vegetables and 20-25% starchy vegetable or fruit. This balance of nutrients will help you feel more satisfied and may reduce mindless eating. See the Bariatric Portion Plate for more details (click here).
Tip #5- Choose Fruit Infused Beverages
Before the barbecue prepare a pitcher of water and toss in some citrus slices, mint or sliced strawberries. Let the flavors infuse over the course of a couple of hours before serving. Flavor-infused waters can be visually appealing and will offer a refreshing calorie-free beverage option for you and guests.
Tip #6- Pick Out Your Favorite 3-4 Items
Did you know that the more options at a meal the more likely you will eat more food? You usually want to try everything, right? You want to try even those stuffed mushrooms that you know you never really care for. My suggestion is to be more picky. Choose 3-4 items that you know you want to have even if it isn’t always the healthiest as long as it is medically safe then just be mindful with it. This way you will be more satisfied and less likely to graze on a bunch of food items that you don’t really care for.
Tip #7- Try Kebabs
Kebabs are a great way to have balance on your plate. They are easy to make and are bariatric friendly. Kebabs are already portion sized and you can include a variety of different proteins, vegetables and fruits. Plus you can make these up ahead of time and reduce your stress load during the barbecue.
Tip #8- Try Grilled Fruit for Dessert
If you like to have something sweet at a barbecue then consider grilling up some fruit such as peaches, apricots , bananas or plums. Grilling fruit brings out their natural sweetness and will please any crowd. You could pair it with cheese for a snack or with yogurt for more of a dessert. Yum!
Now that you have some ideas for your next barbecue what are you planning on cooking up?
Feature courtesy of Kristin Willard. Kristin is a Registered Dietitian who teaches bariatric patients how to eat healthy and maintain their weight after surgery. Join her Free Facebook Group to get recipes ideas and nutrition info while she creates her website, BariatricWholeLiving.com.