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More Mindful Options for Main Dishes, Sides and Dessert

There’s nothing more tempting than a hot dog, soda and chips at your family and friends’ Labor Day barbeques – but these traditional favorites are extremely unhealthy, especially when you’re trying to lose weight; with high sodium content, an absurd amount of trans fat and a list of skeptical ingredients to boot, your body could be paying the price. Consider bringing any of these delicious, nutritious, healthy alternatives to your next labor day party instead, and enjoy your meal guilt-free.


1.     Grilled Chicken Flatbread Wraps

Tomato slices and arugula greens are the perfect pairings for a chicken flatbread wrap. Since its still the summer, definitely incorporate some light citrusy blends – for instance, instead of using regular grilled chicken, make it lemon flavored with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a zest of one lemon.

2.     White Bean and Kale Quesadillas

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, this meatless option can be enjoyed by just about anyone – whether you serve it as an appetizer or snack. Combine 15 ounces of cannellini beans, about five Tuscan kale leaves and two cups of grated sharp white cheddar cheese for this healthy alternative. If it feels a bit dry, whip up a quarter cup plain yogurt with two tablespoons barbeque sauce to add a little flavor.

3.     Baja Fish Tacos

With a prep and cook time of less than twenty minutes total, fish tacos are a no-brainer when it comes to Labor Day barbeque food. Grill a pound of mahi mahi fish, and combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, Greek yogurt, salt and garlic powder in a blender for the sauce. After placing the fish inside eight six-inch whole wheat tortillas, drizzle the concoction over each one to taste.

4.     Lettuce Wrap Cheeseburgers

For those that can’t quite part with the traditional Labor Day cheeseburger, good news: A happy compromise does, in fact, exist. Lettuce wrap cheeseburgers allow you to skip all those carbs you’d normally find in a greasy bun, substituting iceberg lettuce to hold your burger together instead. Use low-fat cheese and lean ground beef when whipping up your own.

5.     Shrimp Kebabs

Kebabs are an easy-to-make, easy-to-eat meal, and they can be prepared in an innumerable amount of ways. Try grilling shrimp and a handful of fruit – pineapple is always a good idea – to stack together on skewers. If you need to add a little something to give it a little kick, marinate with a sweet-and-sour glaze, be it store bought or homemade.

     6. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Believe it or not, cauliflower is an amazing replacement for chips – especially when buffalo flavoring is involved. Combine two teaspoons of garlic powder, one tablespoon of melted butter, three quarter cups of hot sauce (whatever brand you prefer), and a pinch of salt and garlic. Add six cups of fresh cauliflower florets into a bag and pour in the mixture, shaking well. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees, and serve with ranch for a healthier appetizer option.

7. Watermelon Lime Popsicles

There’s nothing more refreshing than watermelon on a hot labor day afternoon, but slicing them up and serving can be a bit boring. Mix it up a little by blending four cups of diced watermelon, a quarter cup fresh lime juice, one teaspoon lime zest and a quarter cup agave syrup. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze overnight to serve as thirst-quenching, flavorful watermelon lime popsicles.

8. Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Butter

Since you’ll most likely be preparing your lunch or dinner on the grill anyway, why not throw dessert on there, too? After grilling six ripe peaches for a little over five minutes, drizzle a mixture of unsalted butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt on each one. Serve fresh for the tastiest results.

Keeping your body healthy and fit can be tough during holidays, Labor Day included – especially when you’re used to indulging in traditional fatty barbeque foods. In addition to preparing these wholesome meals, contact New York Health and Wellness Center for a complimentary medical weight-loss consultation – a surefire way to keep in shape.