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Barbecue and Bikinis

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How much extra ‘you’ did you put on this winter?

Warmer temperatures are on the way folks. That means barbecues, pool time, tanning at the beach and wearing an a lot less clothing. It’s time to find that thinner, inner you that has become surrounded by those long, long, LONG Michigan winter comfort foods.

The best way is to come up with a plan.

  • A plan that addresses some attainable goals
  • A plan that meets your physical abilities
  • A plan that matches your finicky tastes

Make sure you talk to your doctor first about physical activities, their benefits and their consequences.

Your plan will work if you set yourself up for success with attainable goals:

  • Forget losing 50lbs in one month. You didn’t put the weight on that fast and it ain’t coming off that fast either.
  • Try a 1-2lb per week goal which equals 4-8lbs a month and 8-16lbs in just two months!
  • Start with simple tasks and try not to get too discouraged too easily.
  • Stretch before any physical activity, walk a bit more, use the stairs instead of the elevator and make sure to keep air in your body by BREATHING! Oxygen does a body good.
  • This is a life change and not a quick fix. There are no quick fixes!

Remember, drastic changes in food choices could become an issue easily. Try finding yourself a lighter version of the foods you already enjoy.

  • Choosing a low fat cheeses or low sodium sauces are both good options.
  • A large glass of water before each meal will help fill you up resulting in smaller portions at dinner.
  • Adding fiber to your meals is a nice satisfying change when it comes reducing portion sizes. Wheat bread and fresh vegetables will help in dropping few pounds as the fiber makes you feel fuller during the meal.

Now for the lower fat, lower sodium and lower cholesterol recipes:

Fish Tacos

  • Marinate 3-4 Tilapia fillets in a mixture of Canola oil, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne pepper, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, salt, pepper and some minced jalapeño to taste for at least 15 minutes.
  • While marinating, prepare some toppings by thinly chopping some fresh spinach, onion, red pepper, some jicama, green onions, cilantro, and jalapeño rings.
  • Warm some corn tortillas in a hot dry skillet for a few minutes each side and place on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
  • Pull out some sour cream and your favorite salsa. Cheese and hot sauces are optional. But most importantly, you need lime wedges!
  • Grill the tilapia in a hot lightly-oiled skillet for 3-4 minutes each side and then flake each fillet into a bowl.
  • Start with a warm corn tortilla and pile high with flaked fish, spinach, jicama, onions, peppers and low fat sour cream. Squeeze a lime wedge over your taco and enjoy.
  • Be sure to have a Light Corona nearby and watch the sunset with this great, light and healthy dinner.

Flank Steak

  • Take a nice sized flank streak and marinate in a mixture of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, shopped rosemary, sliced onions, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, slice some red, green, and yellow peppers, some zucchini, some yellow squash and some more onions.
    • Sauté these vegetables in a little oil over medium heat to soften but not burn. Season with salt and pepper and some fresh herbs.
  • Prepare your grill for direct heat cooking.
    • Toss the flank steak on it at 45º angle.
    • Two minutes later, spin it another 45º to create those wonderful cross hatch marks.
    • After 4 minutes, flip the steak and repeat the rotate.
    • Pull from the grill and let rest 5 minutes then slice across the grain.
  • Plate with a heaping pile of sautéed vegetables and top with some slice flank steak.
  • Serve with a cold beer and enjoy the evening with your friends.

Here are some additional healthy recipes that do not sacrifice flavor:

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Here’s your new Mantra:

  • “I’m not giving up my favorite foods forever, just for now.”

Later on, once you’ve reached your goals, remember to keep those ‘favorite foods’ for special occasions and limit them according to your next set of goals. Sliders and doughnuts are not the enemy if you are reasonable with their intake!

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.

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