With summer in full swing, it’s time to hit the beach, visit with friends, and enjoy summer cookouts. There is nothing like the smell of the barbecue grill to get those taste buds watering, and if you live in the USA, chances are you’ll be attending or hosting a July 4th barbecue to celebrate Independence Day.
Unfortunately, many of the traditional foods served at summer cookouts are acidifying and contain bone-damaging ingredients, and it often feels as though you may not have any healthy options.
But don’t fret! Savers know that preparation and moderation are the keys to living a bone-healthy, nutritionally balanced life. Read below for nine bone-saving ways to enjoy a summer barbecue.
1. Start With The Veggies
Many summer cookouts include a crudité platter full of bone-healthy vegetables. Nestled somewhere between the potato chips and the condiments often sits a delicious veggie-filled tray complete with carrots, cucumbers, and celery. When you begin by munching on alkalizing vegetables, you not only fill your stomach, but you balance your pH. Several studies illustrate that vegetables are positively associated with bone density.1
Carrots, for example, are a Foundation Food in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, providing 11 Foundation Supplements for building bones. Not only does the beta-carotene content in carrots make bones more fracture-resistant2, but they are also delicious when served with a plain yogurt-based dip.
You may be able to munch on cucumbers. These crunchy and delicious vegetables are filled with silica, and also contain bone-building magnesium. Silica helps with collagen formation, as well as assists with the assimilation of calcium. Cucumbers are made of over 95% water and are an excellent way to stay hydrated while enjoying the warm summer temperatures.
Typically, on most crudité platters, there is a cruciferous vegetable, such as broccoli or cauliflower. Rich in Foundation Supplements, these delectable vegetables are also working to build your bones while you munch.
If you bring the crudité platter to the party, fill it with seasonal vegetables of your choice, and enjoy!
2. Grill Your Veggies On A Stick
Every summer barbecue has its share of cold salads. But let’s face it, you can make a regular salad at home. There is nothing like the smoky taste of grilled vegetables. There are so many ways to get creative with the grill. Grill your Romaine lettuce for a fun twist on your Caesar salad. Grill your asparagus or transform your crunchy red pepper into a smoky sweet delicacy. You can throw your veggies right on the grill, or use a grilling pan.
Let’s face it, food is more exciting when eaten off a stick. Kabobs are a wonderful way to enjoy a variety of vegetables over the grill. Try adding some of the delicious Foundation Foods from the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. For example, mushrooms are filled with a number of bone-healthy nutrients, such as copper, and are a delicious choice. Mushrooms are quite filling and add a heartier, meaty texture to meals. Another great kabob choice are tomatoes. When brushed with a bit of olive oil and cooked, the lycopene in tomatoes becomes more bioavailable.3 Kabobs are also wonderful with eggplant, onions, and zucchini.
3. Make Your Burgers With Organic, Free-Range Meat
Savers know that enjoying a beef burger or a nice cut of steak is perfectly acceptable, when balanced with alkalizing side dishes. In fact, beef is considered a Foundation Food in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. If you decide to use a summer party as a reason to enjoy grilled meat, it’s okay to eat it occasionally. But at home, it’s best to select, organic, grass-fed beef. Several studies have demonstrated the nutritional importance of choosing organic meat4 over conventional meat. If you decide to indulge in meat, choose wisely.
If you can’t resist the smell of a hot dog on the grill, remember that while commercially sold hot dogs contain several toxic ingredients that can contribute to bone loss, there are alternatives. Try our bone-healthy hot dog recipe. While these hot dogs are acidifying, they can be enjoyed in moderation and balanced with alkaline foods.
Finally, if you decide to forgo the meat altogether, there are some delicious ways to enjoy meatless burgers. These alkalizing burger recipes can be prepared ahead of time and brought along so that you don’t feel as though you are missing out.
4. Make Your Own Side Dishes
The majority of side-dishes served at summer cookouts tend to be filled with bone-deteriorating ingredients such as mayonnaise and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). While the side-dishes may appear healthy, you might be surprised to learn that the salad dressing or potato salad is chock full of sugar and GMO oils.
When invited to a barbecue, offer to bring a couple of side dishes that you can enjoy and share with others. You can prepare a colorful salad or quinoa crunch for a side-dish that won’t last long!
If you really want to treat your friends, here’s a fantastic summer dish for you. This salmon salad surprise contains every single Foundation Supplement listed in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. While the other guests may be less excited than you are about its bone-strengthening aspects, they will love its delicious flavor!
5. Swap Beef For Fish
While fish is acidifying, it still offers an array of bone-health benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. In fact, salmon is considered a Foundation Food on the Save our Bones Program. Boasting less saturated fat than beef, salmon can be a good choice at a summer party. However, it’s important to select the right kind of fish. Alaska wild-caught salmon is the preferred fish. If you are looking to grill fish, try to balance it with alkalizing foods and be careful to avoid these toxic fish choices.
6. Enjoy An Open-Faced Burger
For some, a burger is not a burger without the bun. Unfortunately, traditional buns and are often nutrient deficient, and many contain ingredients that are damaging to bones. Most bread is made with highly processed and bleached flours and are “enriched” with toxic ingredients. If you can’t live without the bun, opt for an open-faced burger. Use a bun on one side to support the burger, and replace the other end with bone-building vegetables.
Better yet, opt for sprouted bread or bread made with spelt flour, as both are alkalizing. While making your own bread is healthy and fun, many stores now carry a variety of healthier options. Consider rye, spelt, millet, and brown rice flour bread as well.
7. Be Careful With The Condiments
You’ve worked hard to ensure that your meal is balanced and bone-healthy, so what is the harm in adding a little ketchup to your hot dog? It may be more damaging than you think! Most store-bought ketchup contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), but there are a few brands without it.
If you think mayonnaise is a better choice, think again! Most mayo products are made with bone-damaging processed oils, many of which are genetically modified. And while mayonnaise may not seem sweet, it’s often loaded with sugar as well.
There are many ways to make your own condiments. For example, full-fat, organic plain yogurt can be used as a base for a creamy topping. If you are unable to make your own condiments, consider buying organic with minimal added sugar.
8. Go Easy On The Alcohol
Very few things say summer like a cold beer or cocktail. While all alcoholic drinks are acidifying, Savers know that moderation is the key to a bone-smart life. Besides, there may be some bone-healthy advantages to some of these drinks. For example, red wine contains the polyphenol resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial to your bones and overall health.
Not all alcoholic beverages are created equal, and many contain toxic ingredients, so whenever possible, get organic from local wineries or breweries. Additionally, certain beers contain no added chemicals, so Sierra Nevada, Amstel, and Heineken are healthier choices.The same rules apply for liquor. If organic and local are not available, tequila is considered one of the cleanest beverages, as it is low in toxins.
As you enjoy your adult beverage, remember to the adhere to the 80/20 rule. Alcohol is acidic, so balance it with alkalizing foods.
9. Enjoy Your Dessert
Eating to support your bone health can feel indulgent if done correctly. There is no reason to skip dessert when celebrating summertime. If your grill is still warm, throw a bone-building pear, banana, or pineapple directly on the grill. In fact, due to their bone-healthy nutrients, all three are a Foundation Food in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
If you feel the need for something a bit more “summery” or indulgent, these bone-smart ice cream recipes are a sure bet. Not only are they delicious, but they can be prepared quickly. Alternatively, these delicious raw desserts are also a great option.
Relax And Enjoy Summer!
While food preparation is vital for a healthy, bone-saving lifestyle, it’s also important to be realistic and to enjoy yourself. Summertime is meant for laid-back parties with friends. Savers know that you don’t have to be perfect when you follow the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. If you decide to indulge in less-than-ideal food every once in a while, just try to balance it with healthier, alkaline menu items.
If you inadvertently stray too far from the Program, just get right back on. Don’t stress too much, as stress can damage your bones. Just continuously remind yourself that you have the power to reverse bone loss and keep living an active, happy life.
Foundation Foods Made Easy
Throughout this article, we’ve offered ideas that will help you to enjoy a summer party or barbecue while continuing to build healthy bones. The fun does not have to stop when the party ends. The Save Institute’s cookbook, Bone Appétit, guides you to excellent bone health with more than 200 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, including scrumptious bone-smart desserts.
Bone Appétit is chock-full of recipes suitable for summer barbecues and beyond. The difference between Bone Appétit and other cookbooks is that it focuses on pH balanced recipes utilizing bone-building Foundation Foods outlined in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
Bone Appétit makes eating to support your bone health easy and fun!
Till next time,
1 Macdonald HM, Black AJ, Aucott L, Duthie G, Duthie S, Sandison R, Hardcastle AC, Lanham New SA, Fraser WD, Reid DM. “Effect of potassium citrate supplementation or increased fruit and vegetable intake on bone metabolism in healthy postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2008, 88 (2): 465-474.
2 Zhaoli D, Renwei W, Li-Wei A, Yen-Ling L, Jian-Min Y, Woon-Puay K. “Protective effects of dietary carotenoids on risk of hip fracture in men: the Singapore Chinese Health Study.” J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Feb; 29(2): 408–417.
3 Feilding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, O’Dea K. “Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil.” Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14(2):131-6.
4 Srednicka-Tober D, et al. “Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.” British Journal of Nutrition. 2016; 115(6): 994-1011.