Memorial Day has special meaning for me. Not only is it the inaugural weekend of summer, but it falls right around my wedding anniversary. Both usually involve consuming some food of ill repute.
My first Memorial Day weekend as a newlywed was spent eating an amazing feast of fried clams and seafood in Maine, but since then my husband and I (13 years later) have wanted to celebrate a little bit lighter.
Fortunately there are other options--healthier options for food and fun. Registered dietitician Jackie Newgent offers up some alternatives for traditional Memorial Day fare.
Instead of a party bowl of pretzels
Enjoy a party bowl of in-shell pistachios
Why: A UCLA study found that pistachio snackers had a greater reduction in body mass index when compared to those who snacked on pretzels. Plus, research suggests you’ll eat fewer calories when you choose in-shell pistachios (instead of those previously shelled) due to the visual cue ultimately provided by the empty shells and likely the extra time it takes to shell the nuts.
Instead of a hamburger made with ground chuck
Enjoy a better burger by first using a lean grassfed organic beef, then by replacing part of the beef with sautéed mushrooms.
Why: It’s better for our health (and the environment)—and you’ll love the taste. Mushrooms are nutrient-rich, low in calories, and provide savoriness. When you use them in place of part of the meat, that’s called mushroom “swapability”!
Instead of steak
Enjoy skewers of steak cubes and a variety of veggies, like bell pepper pieces, eggplant cubes, and onion wedges
Why: Vegetables provide more volume—and more interest. You’ll be more satisfied on fewer calories. Plus, eating food from skewers provides such as fun way to get veggies.
Instead of a slice of pie
Enjoy grilled fruit, like peach halves, pineapple slices, or bananas; top with fresh or frozen yogurt, if you like
Why: Pie crust is the most caloric part of a pie and often fruity filling has a significant amount of added sugar. Grilling brings out all of the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Jackie Newgent, RD, is a culinary nutritionist and author of Big Green Cookbook and the upcoming 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes.
Tara Weng is the national editor of parenting and health for GalTime. She is also a media consultant with a focus on medical and consumer topics. Her professional experience includes a stint as a medical/features producer at the NBC affiliate in Boston, MA and a media relations position at a top teaching hospital in Boston. Tara has also done public relations consulting work and has written for several online and print media outlets. She is a wife and a mother to two children (who are fantastic) and an enthusiastic New England sports fan.
Read more: http://galtime.com/user/38415#ixzz1vDSQI53d