Enjoy Summer BBQ’s Without The Guilt
by Ellie Marrandette
Published on June 6, 2022

Enjoy Summer BBQs Without the Guilt

By Ellie Marrandett

You must admit, eating healthy during the BBQ season is challenging. Don’t stress out; it can be done. Remember two important health mottos: Eat for nutrients. Anything is fine in moderation.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Use common sense. If you consume too much today, then consume grilled fish and vegetables tomorrow. Your objective is to not make food an idol.

In these situations, we should apply our mind/body/spirit connection to overcome temptation. We must be mindful of what we select, our portion sizes, and instill spiritual discipline to remain in control.

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)

Everything in life needs a boundary. Bear in mind, this is a social occasion as much as an eating event. Sit with those you feel comfortable around and with your back to the food table. “Out of sight – out of mind” does work, especially if you’re sitting with wonderful conversationalists.

Everyone dislikes that awkward feeling of not knowing what to do with their hands in social situations. Uncomfortable awkwardness can lead to unconscious eating. It’s also something to do while you wait for someone to say something. To compensate, we normally carry a drink to keep our hands occupied.


A 12-s soft drink has 9-11 teaspoons of sugar, (visualize that!) Sugar increases insulin which increases appetite.

Diet sodas are even worse. Artificial sugars trick our mind’s neurotransmitters into believing more food is coming. Therefore, one tends to crave more. Fat doesn’t need much insulin to metabolize, so unburned-off fat hangs around. Avoid diet sodas because they contain chemicals such as aspartame, sucralose, and Splenda which harm our earthly temple. Artificial sweeteners also alter gastrointestinal bacteria which contributes to weight gain.

Try a refreshing glass of pure or flavored carbonated water with a lemon, lime. or an orange slice which has 2 calories per slice. Continue adding more ice to your ice tea or lemonade.

Remember alcoholic drinks are extremely caloric at 7 calories per gram (approximately a 1/4 teaspoon) which adds up! Also, physiologically speaking, the body burns alcohol before carbohydrates, protein, or fat, so you’ll likely gain weight. Drink only in moderation.

I recall several male patients thru the years, announcing, “I’ve got this party tonight so I’m not eating anything until I get there – then I can enjoy eating without guilt.”

Not so fast. The first law of thermodynamics states it requires energy to make energy. Starving until the party will only backfire. Not eating, signals to the brain that you might be ill. Therefore, being self-protective, your body’s metabolism compensates by slowing down. Then when you consume food, it will hang onto calories for dear life until you’re “normal” again.

Don’t arrive at a party hungry. Eat mini-meals during the day.

As you know, it takes twenty minutes for your brain to realize you’re full. Eat slowly. If you’re still hungry after that, you’re eating too quickly, so don’t allow unconscious behavior to rule your personality. Remain mindful and enjoy everything you consume.

If you eat it, you’ll wear it. Do you love it enough to wear it? Visualize all that ugly fat coursing through your veins, making your heart work harder. Think of your heart as a separate entity, faithfully beating every second to keep you healthy. Doesn’t it deserve better?

“So What?” you might ask. “I’m not hurting anyone. Life is short! Why all the rules? I want to enjoy it!

Well, look at the faces of your grandchildren and understand there are no victimless crimes. If you develop cancer or a heart condition, they’ll endure heartache along with you. Are those second bratwursts and a fifth chicken wing worth it? Why are you making an Asherah Pole out of sausage? (Judges 3:7)

Then What Do I Eat?

Learn to make the most intelligent choices available and don’t create a god out of food.

“Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,” (Philippians 3:19)

Remember “anything is fine in moderation!” But on days like this, you’ll have an abundance of choices. Forgo the heavy fat cheeses, chips/dips, high-fat sausages, and hot dogs for more nutrient-dense selections.


Of course, there might be an attractive veggie tray offered with spicy mustard or shrimp cocktail on ice if you’re lucky but we live in the real world.

Choose about 15 tortilla chips with spicy salsa at 140 calories, rather than 15 potato chips with a sour cream dip at 310 calories. Spicy food revs up metabolism, burns calories, makes you feel happier, and stimulates brain function. If you want to live longer, consume spicy foods.

At 90 calories per ¼ cup, guacamole with tortilla chips is a good choice due to its high fiber and nutrient content of lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.

Main Dishes:

What’s usually on the menu? Hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken legs/thighs/wings, Kabobs, brisket, sausages, and pulled pork.

Best Choices: a grilled hamburger/bun with tomato, lettuce, pickle, onion. Or 4 ounces of pulled pork, a Kabob or piece of chicken, brisket, or perhaps one spare rib. Try to avoid the overly fattening sausages and hot dogs.


Normal offerings include mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs.

Baked beans which include healthy fiber, or coleslaw (also fibrous) in a vinegar base, are your best choices. If you’re a curious person, take a spoonful of interesting sides to taste and you won’t feel robbed of pleasure. You can even select a deviled egg that has about 60 calories.


Unless it’s watermelon, select wisely. One cookie, cupcake, or sliver of cake/pie won’t defeat you. Savor the occasion as well as the food! Take a walk with your grandchildren after eating.

Finally, remain focused and disciplined. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Cherish your earthly temple. Destroy it and the devil wins. Don’t allow him to steal your Joy!


After attending Graham Jr. College in Boston and Moody Bible College, Ellie Marrandette earned her Bachelor of Ministry (BMIN) from Trinity Theological Seminary. Fascinated by psychology and physiology, God directed Ellie toward a rewarding healthcare career. She became a licensed, certified nutritional counselor, working with doctors, nutritional centers, and independently as the founder of New Creations Ministries , a faith-based solution in overcoming health challenges.

In recent years, God has focused Ellie’s path toward writing. She is the author of four Christian novels, a novella, and a non-fiction book on healthy living entitled, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us.) All can be found on: Here. Her current endeavor is to complete a children’s devotional this year.

For more about Ellie’s profile go Here:

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