Grill your way to a healthier summer

Summer means the return of grilling season – with juicy steaks, crispy baked potatoes, cheese-topped burgers, beer brats and foot-long hot dogs taking center stage. And, of course, all the delicious sides that go along with them like sweetened baked beans, buttery corn on the cob, chips and dip, and irresistible fudgy brownies. It's a feast fit for the season.

With such tempting food all around, how can you indulge without sacrificing your healthy diet? We sat down with Farshad Marvasti, MD, director of HonorHealth Integrative Medicine, for tips on how to serve up a great tasting – and great for you – meal.

Follow these simple swaps and additions to help you maintain your healthy lifestyle all season long:

  • Boost your burger. Swap out beef for a thick portabella mushroom and serve up the "steak" of veggie burgers. Top it off with slices of avocado, lettuce, tomato and a toasted whole grain bun.
  • Go for a tuna or salmon steak and grill up heart-healthy sweet red cherry tomatoes, asparagus and zucchini as your side. Cut the zucchini into slices and top with garlic-infused olive oil. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and wait for the "wow."
  • Kabobs are easy crowd pleasers. Think lean chicken and pineapple chunks, all-veggie skewers or lemon garlic shrimp. Try a marinade of olive oil, fresh thyme and your choice of citrus fruits.
  • You don’t have to banish bratwurst but try a leaner chicken brat instead. Let them get to room temperature, brush lightly with olive oil and grill over medium heat. A bean salad is the perfect partner and a quick and easy side.
  • Grill a few crispy margherita pizzas. Go easy on the cheese and focus on flavorful olive oil, tomatoes and basil. Sprinkle fresh culinary herbs into a green salad and you’re all set.
  • No need to skip dessert. Grill up good-for-you peaches, plums, pineapple, nectarines or cantaloupe. Drizzle with a simple syrup and fresh mint or a small scoop of sorbet.
An HonorHealth patient and her family grill

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