Eat Smart: BBQ for Runners

A great day for a barbecue is usually a great day for a run, too, right? Yet somehow it doesn’t seem like very many of us are getting up from the picnic table feeling energized and excited about a workout.

It probably has something to do with the tendency to stuff ourselves with all manner of summertime goodies that leave us feeling more like relaxing by the fire than lacing up running shoes. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way! Check out some delicious BBQ alternatives to the usual hot dog and hamburger fare that won’t weigh you down or wreck your diet for the week.

Less turf, more surf. Whether you are making steaks, kabobs, or burgers, you can usually get away with swapping beef out for some much-more-healthful seafood. Try grilled fish instead of beef steak, chicken on your kabobs, or salmon paddies on that burger bun. You still get to enjoy a traditional approach to barbecue with something much lighter and easier on your system (maybe even tastier, too).

Get creative with corn.. Corn is good for you. Tons of salt and a personal stick of butter to roll it in…not so much. Try spicing up your corn with seasoning and tossing it on the grill. It’s delicious and you can pretty much enjoy as much as you want without feeling like a slug.

Choose your kabob. You can put pretty much anything on a kabob, but steak is usually a mainstay. Try going heavy on the veggies and light on the meat, maybe even swapping in some chicken instead of beef. And seriously…eat the veggies and mushrooms. They aren’t decoration!

Eat more chicken.. Chicken is great on the grill, but it pretty often takes a back seat to other (heavier) barbecue meats. Get your meat fix with some grilled chicken and one of your friends’ “top secret” sauce recipes. A great sauce can even steal the spotlight from a decent burger.

Go veggie. If you really want to go for it, consider passing on the meat altogether (though in some circles, this might require you to endure some passionate jeering from BBQ aficionados). Vegetables, pasta dishes, salads, and even more creative options like grilled pizza can leave you satisfied and feeling like a million bucks.

We hope some of these ideas will help you feel good about BBQ season and squeeze in a workout or two that might have otherwise been claimed by one hamburger too many. And if anybody gives you a hard time about your fitness-minded selections, consider inviting them out for a run later. Enjoy!

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