Honour Canada without the calories

Partying over the long weekend can be tough on the tummy, but hanging out with friends doesn’t have to leave you with love handles. Here’s the breakdown for not hating your hips after the Canada Day barbecue.

Meat lovers

Enjoy a hot dog; just skip the bun. Beef wieners are a source of protein, which helps you feel satisfied. Roast the wiener on a stick over the fire pit, or grab one from the grill guilt free.

Savour salty treats between lettuce leaves; wrap your beef patty or pulled pork in greens. The meat is the pièce de résistance, so nix relish and other sugary condiments. Opt for fresh veggies, like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc., to enhance your burger.

Vegetables and dip | Sheknows.ca

Be side savvy

Catching up with your pals can easily add to the calories when potato chips are being passed around — you’re absentmindedly eating handful after handful while chatting. Steer away from the spuds, and crunch down on veggies instead. If you are looking for a little crunch, drizzle a little oil and vegetable salt over kale, and then bake them until they are crisp.

Fries are a well-known friend to barbecues, along with the many other potato variants — after all, poutine is our national dish. If you’re feeling starchy, then go for a plain baked potato. Or create a cauliflower mash; with the right amount of garlic and seasonings, you’d be surprised how easily you can be fooled.

You can usually bank on at least one type of salad or veggie platter at these gatherings. If it’s a potluck-style shindig, then make your contribution something calorie friendly. Pasta salads give the illusion of a healthy choice, but they should not be labelled as salad. Creamy dressings add insult to injury. Get your carb craving out of the way with a quinoa salad. This protein-rich seed is best paired with a light vinaigrette.

Sangria | Sheknows.ca

Cheers (drink to that!)

It’s known as a Moscow Mule, but for our purposes, we’ve dubbed this drink the Moscow Moose. A blend of vodka and diet ginger ale with lime juice is a refreshing way to raise a glass to our country. Nothing says a Canadian cocktail like Canada Dry ginger ale. If you have Skinny Girl or Smirnoff’s Sorbet Light on hand, even better, but a shot of vodka sets you back only 100 calories.

Sip on a sangria that is equal parts tonic water and wine (red or white). Crush berries, apples and/or oranges to add sweetness versus loading up the liquid courage with sugar. Off alcohol? Squeeze lemon into your water, and skip the sugary additives that come with most lemonades.

Grab a cold one; just make it a light one. Brews have become waistline friendly, and there are a lot of beers that are calorie conscious.

Roasted marshmallow | Sheknows.ca

Indulge in dessert

While we’ve preached about saving calories, you’re entitled to satisfy that sweet tooth. While cuddling around the campfire this Canada Day, go for the gooey centre of a s’more (four marshmallows equals 90 calories), and get rid of the graham crackers. Or nibble on a few squares of dark chocolate, which is high in antioxidants and minerals.

Have the fun of an apple pie without the carbs. Slice an apple, and place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle a little agave nectar, sprinkle cinnamon, and bake until softened. Add a scoop of vanilla frozen yogourt to the dish for a more traditional taste.

Try this: Since you’ve got the grill fired up, remove the core, slice the apple, and barbecue it before adding agave and cinnamon.

Cupcake or apple | Sheknows.ca

Unexpected calorie bombs

  • Cinnamon sugar Beavertail: 314 calories (but who doesn’t add candy, peanut butter or Nutella?)
  • Small poutine: 710 calories
  • One s’more: 354 calories
  • Red wine sangria: 286 calories per glass
  • Serving of fries: 312 calories
  • Macaroni salad: 640 calories (with mayonnaise and/or Thousand Island dressing — delicious but deadly)
  • Turkey club sandwich : 510 calories
  • Beef and bean burrito: 547 calories
  • Barbecue pulled pork sandwich: 610 calories
  • Baked potato with sour cream: 393 calories
  • Creamy coleslaw: 362 calories
  • Spinach artichoke dip: 312 calories (and that’s without the tortilla chips)
  • Jalapeño poppers: 390 calories
  • Mozzarella sticks: 430 calories
  • Potato salad: 358 calories
  • Fully loaded nachos: 1,390 calories
  • Frappuccino: 410 calories
  • Mac ‘n’ cheese: 420 calories
  • Chicken Caesar salad: 610 calories
*Calories are based on one serving size and may vary depending on the ingredients used and the portion size consumed.

More ways to celebrate Canada Day

Fun Canada Day activities kids will love
Sizzling styles for your Canada Day date night
Fresh cocktail ideas for Canada Day

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