(ARA) - People around the country are enjoying the great outdoors and firing up the grill on warm summer days. Warmer weather and longer days are perfect for enjoying fresh flavorful foods and outdoor activities.
Weight Watchers offers the following tips to ensure a summer full of healthy habits:
Fire up the flavor
Grilling is a great way to experience new flavors without added fat and calories. Shop at home and look for things you already have in your cupboard. Vinegars and juice-based marinades can maximize flavors for meat, fish and vegetables and dry rubs can turn a bland meat dish into a soulful, spicy supper.
Remember that grilling is not just for meat and poultry. Fresh vegetables are a delightful treat. Choose foods that are tender and cook quickly. Less expensive options like potatoes, onions, corn and squash just need basic seasonings and they are ready to grill. To bulk this up as a bigger side dish, add inexpensive pasta or beans to the grilled vegetables.
Cut those coupons
Check your local supermarket circular for what's on sale. And think beyond beef -- remember you can enjoy a lean burger made from chicken, turkey or salmon.
Water down your beverage bill
Try skipping the soda aisle and use good old tap water and teach the kids how to make "sun tea" -- set tea bags in a pitcher and put it out on the porch. Or liven up regular water with fruit like lemons, limes and oranges.
End the day with a family activity
Take a walk after dinner -- not only is walking a free form of exercise but also a great way to connect with family, friends and neighbors. Walking also helps to burn calories and research suggests that regular physical activity may help to reduce stress and improve sleep.
Try this healthy and tasty recipe at your next barbecue:
Hawaiian Chicken Kebobs
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving size: Four
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 medium pineapple
1 medium green pepper
1 medium sweet red pepper
1 large Spanish onion
1/4 cup pineapple juice or orange juice
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups cooked white rice, kept hot
Cut each chicken breast, pineapple, pepper and onion into approximately 24 1-inch-thick pieces. Combine chicken, pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce and oil in a large non-metallic bowl; marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
Preheat grill. Lightly coat vegetables with cooking spray. Thread two pieces of pepper, pineapple, chicken and onion onto each of eight skewers. Brush with marinade. (Note: If using wooden skewers, soak in water to prevent charring.)
Grill over medium-hot coals until chicken is completely cooked, about eight to 10 minutes, turning kebabs every two minutes so they're cooked evenly on all sides. Yields two kebabs and 1/2-cup rice per serving. Courtesy of ARAcontent