Grilling For Good Health

Grilling For Good Health

The sizzle of your favorite grillables hitting the grill, the mouth-watering aroma of smoke and spices filling the air, and the sound of laughter and chatter as friends and family gather around. As the Fourth of July approaches, it’s time to fire up our grills and embrace these moments together.

Our love for grilling has deep roots in history. The tradition of barbecue in America can be traced back to the early settlers, who learned the art from Native Americans.

Fast forward to the post-WWII era, and grilling became a staple of American suburban life. We’ve been laying slabs of meat and hearty vegetables on heated surfaces since our ancestors were using the jungle, the woods, or the outback as a Food Bazaar.

Granted, we’d now opt for the supermarket and backyard over hunting our food and starting our own fires, but the tradition lives on.

This Fourth of July, let's honor this rich tradition by grilling up something healthy for our loved ones while still providing savory and delicious choices.

Healthy Grilling Tips 

Lean Meats On The Grill…Yum!

Skip the fatty cuts and opt for leaner options like chicken breast, turkey burgers, or fish. These taste great and are better for your heart and waistline.

When it comes to flavor, marinating is your best friend. Try a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and your favorite herbs. Don’t get shy with those herbs!

Avoid processed meats like hot dogs or sausages as they can be high in unhealthy fats and preservatives. To keep lean meats juicy, grill them over medium heat and avoid overcooking. Using a meat thermometer can help ensure your meat is cooked perfectly.

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Breasts


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste



In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Place chicken breasts in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken breasts for about 6-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

Veggie Power: Delicious Vegetable & Fruit Options

Don’t forget the greens!

Grilled veggies like bell peppers, corn, zucchini, squash, eggplant, and mushrooms can be as satisfying as any meat. Plus, fruits like pineapple and peaches can be grilled for a sweet treat.

For the best results, brush your veggies with a bit of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Grilling times can vary, but generally, vegetables should be grilled for about 5-10 minutes until they are tender and slightly charred. Fruits take less time, around 3-5 minutes, and they should be grilled just until they are warm and have grill marks.

The nutritional benefits of these grilled goodies are plenty. They're packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Grilled Veggie Skewers


1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks

1 zucchini, sliced

1 red onion, cut into chunks

8 oz mushrooms, halved

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Thread the vegetables onto skewers.

In a bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Brush the mixture over the skewers.

Grill the skewers for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred.

Grilled Pineapple Slices


1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp lime juice


Preheat the grill to medium heat.

In a small bowl, mix honey and lime juice.

Brush the pineapple slices with the honey-lime mixture.

Grill the pineapple slices for about 3-4 minutes on each side until grill marks appear.

Catering To Your Vegans & Vegetarian Friends

Got some vegans or vegetarians in the group?

No problem! Grilled portobello mushrooms, veggie skewers, or plant-based burgers are solid options.

Portobello mushrooms can be marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic for a flavorful alternative to meat. Veggie skewers with a mix of peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini are easy to prepare and cook quickly on the grill.

There are also many plant-based burgers available that grill up nicely and are sure to please everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences. Inclusivity in food choices not only caters to everyone's needs but also brings more variety and excitement to the table.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom


4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste



In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Brush the mixture over the portobello mushrooms.

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill the mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes on each side until tender.

Fresh Salads Over Heavy Sides 

Ditch the heavy potato or mac salad and opt for fresh, vibrant salads. Think mixed greens, quinoa, or a classic Greek salad.

For a refreshing side, try a mixed greens salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and a light vinaigrette. A quinoa salad with black beans, corn, and avocado is both satisfying and nutritious. A Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and a lemon-oregano dressing is always a crowd-pleaser.

These salads are not only lighter but also provide a burst of flavors that complement grilled foods perfectly.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad


1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 avocado, diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine quinoa, black beans, corn, bell pepper, avocado, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Don’t Over-eat: Pace Yourself

It's easy to overindulge at BBQs, but pacing yourself can help you enjoy everything without feeling stuffed.

Start with smaller portions and take breaks between servings to listen to your body's hunger cues. Savor each bite and focus on enjoying the company and the atmosphere. This approach will help you avoid the discomfort of overeating and allow you to try a bit of everything.

Stay Hydrated

Summer heat and grilling can dehydrate you quickly. Keep a water bottle handy and drink regularly. Keep lots of ice on hand.

Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, headache, and fatigue, so it's important to drink water throughout the day. Infused water with fruits and herbs, like cucumber and mint or lemon and raspberry, can make staying hydrated more enjoyable. Drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling refreshed and energized.

Check out some of our Infused Water Recipes here.

Moderation With Alcohol

Alcohol can sneak in a lot of empty calories. Enjoy your drinks, but remember to balance with non-alcoholic options.

Try refreshing non-alcoholic drinks like iced tea, lemonade, or mocktails made with sparkling water and fresh fruit juices. If you do drink alcohol, try to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated and avoid consuming too many empty calories. Drinking responsibly will help you enjoy the festivities without overdoing it.

Refreshing Mocktail Recipes

Sparkling Citrus Mocktail:

1 cup sparkling water

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tbsp honey (optional)

Ice cubes

Orange and lemon slices for garnish

Mix the orange juice, lemon juice, and honey in a glass. Add ice cubes and top with sparkling water. Garnish with orange and lemon slices.

Berry Basil Lemonade

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup honey or simple syrup

4 cups water

Ice cubes

In a blender, combine strawberries, basil, lemon juice, and honey. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a pitcher and add water. Stir well and serve over ice.

Enjoy Your Fourth Of July!

As we celebrate this Fourth of July, let's make healthier choices that don't compromise on flavor. Lean meats, vibrant veggies, and smart eating practices can all come together to create a delicious and nutritious BBQ spread.

Try these tips at your next BBQ and share your healthy grilling experiences in the comments or on social media. Have a fantastic Fourth of July filled with delicious, healthy food, and great company!

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