Healthy BBQ can be both fun and delicious.

healthy bbq It helps to break the hamburger rut and learn new ways to enjoy your backyard meals.

Healthy BBQ can happen using these five holistic health tips. Think of it as an upgrade to your grilling habits and see how many more ways you can elevate BBQ in your backyard!Coach Georgianne

1.   Choose a lean, unprocessed protein.
That means steer clear of hot dogs and sausages. Processed meats contain preservatives, high sodium, and big-time calories. If I do buy processed meat, I trust Applegate because they buy meat from nearly 1,000 farms and are either certified organic or natural. About 90% of all Applegate beef (both organic and natural) is 100% grass-fed.

2.  Be careful not to burn or char your food on the grill 
Two compounds found in overcooked meats, heterocyclic amine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are known carcinogens.

3.  Enjoy Veggies on the Grill 
Satisfy your appetite and improve your health by offering plenty of high volume, low density foods at your next BBQ. That means include plenty of bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, onions, bok choy and more! Kebabs can improve your meat-to-vegetable ratio when you load each skewer with less meat and more healthy produce.

4.  Don’t go to a BBQ hungry
If you’re headed to someone else’s backyard and don’t have any control over the menu, it can be a challenge to eat with health in mind. Keep to your priorities by eating a filling snack before you go. A combination of protein, healthy fat, and carbs (I like a handful of nuts, dried fruit and a slice of lean turkey) will help you exercise control over portions at the party.

5.  Set a boundary around alcohol
Cookouts often include an abundance of cold beer and sweet concoctions like Pina Coladas and Margaritas. In the summer sun, a fizzy or fruity drink may sound like a logical choice, but these calorie-dense choices add up fast. I always alternate each alcoholic beverage with a cold glass of water. Staying hydrated in the summer heat is a top priority for me.