I wasn’t sure what to share with you this week (as most weeks) but I was invited to a BBQ over the past weekend and I went through the motions;
What do I eat? Should I bring things? Will they accost me? Will they want me to drink? and finally I thought to myself… why am I worrying?
It’s so often that people pick on me for eating the way that I do, by that I mean healthily. You see, it’s not the done thing in my family, it never has been really…so I don’t think they understand what ‘normal eating’ is anymore which leaves me looking like an alien. This week I went in with the expectation of having issues at the BBQ, as so many years prior to this I’ve had several accusations of being a fussy eater or being on a diet.
This year was different. They were used to me! They’ve adjusted to my eating habits and actually enjoyed some of the foods I brought over
Survival guide: BBQ rules 101.
Make sure they know your eating preferences
Whether or not they listen is up to them, but giving them plenty of time to A. understand you will be eating other foods or B. prepare the food you’ll be eating. I really do think it’s the courtesy of letting them understand how you eat that’ll bring down the questions when you get to the BBQ.
Bring your own food
Because yes, you’re invited to a BBQ but putting the host through the strain of buying a branded food you’d like or preparing a complex healthy meal along with the foods for the rest of the guests just doesn’t seem fair (to me). In my case I try to bring a few nibbles for myself and for others to eat. Which leads me to my next point…
Bring enough to share
Sharing is caring! Especially at BBQ’s, they’re sharing their food with you, so be courteous and do the same.After all, some people maybe too scared or rushed to normally try your dietary foods, whether vegan, gluten-free or pescetarian. Allowing others to try your foods and understand your lifestyle might give them an insight. You’re not looking to convert them, but just allowing them to step into your shoes for a bit.
Not to mention it’s polite to share!
Don’t be afraid of their food
As long as you’re not allergic or someone who’ll suffer badly after eating their foods, if they offer them to you, it’s courtesy to eat something ( I know, it sucks) but why not actively seek out the healthiest thing they’re offering and try some of that. That way you’re still included and make their offerings, so to speak, look appreciated.
Know what’s good and bad
This one ties in with ‘don’t be afraid of their food’, if you know what’s in it you’ll be more comfortable to eat it. However, this one’s a bit of a tricky one because it’s diet specific. E.G BBQ’s are predominantly meat, we all know that, but what percentage meat is it? I’m perfectly happy eating BBQ food if the meat is 80 or higher because I know I won’t have any adverse effects due to gluten or the fat content (my IBS can’t handle too much fat/grease). So working out whether or not it’s cheap food can be a life saver.
I tend to look out for real meats; Chicken drumsticks, lamb chops, steaks, breasts etc.
In burgers and sausages: Look for a tight textured burger, it means it’ll have more meat in it! The mushier and softer normally means it’s been bound with gluten or fat to bulk it out.
Everything else: Take time to notice whether things are being boiled,fried or made using packets. There are a lot of foods on a BBQ buffet that are perfectly good,clean and healthy foods for you if you know what you know what to look for. Steer over to the salad bar, mix up some veggie couscous and add in some of the BBQ meat! If your veggie or vegan why not make your own snacks and share them out?
So fear not! If you’re attending a BBQ this summer you’ve got it all sussed.
If you want some great foodie suggestions for BBQ meals to bring with you pop over to my Paleo board, it’s got some brilliant foods on there that are easy and healthy to whip up! Use your head and don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a while, remember a treat doesn’t mean over eating, it just means choosing what you want to eat in the right ways. I’ll be whipping up some BBQ recipes over the next few weeks so stick around if you want some great alternatives other than that..
Have a great summer!