Mastering the Backyard BBQ

By Alex Lewis, RD, LD

Summer evenings are full of backyard get-togethers, barbeques, and potlucks, many of which may cause or exacerbate existing anxiety. Planning for these events, informing supports of these plans, and following through is a difficult AND necessary process. Here’s a refresher on mastering summer socials!

Planning for Events:

  • Plan for the day of the event (before and after). What will you do and what will you eat leading up the event? Write it out so you have a tangible plan to follow the day of the event.
  • Plan for eating (or not eating) at the event. Remember your event planning options:
  • Attend the event after the food part is complete.
  • Attend the event and bring your own food to eat.
  • Attend the event and eat what you can tolerate from the event and take own food to eat as back up.
  • Attend the event and eat food at the event. You may need to plan to eat more/less before and after the event to meet meal plan.
  • Find out what is going to be provided at the event. Ask the host and other guests what they are preparing and even for the recipes ahead of time, if desired.
  • Bring your own safe food(s) or recipe(s) if desired. See below for a sample recipe with exchanges.

Informing Supports and Following Through with the Plan:

  • Enlist at least 1 guest at the event that you can utilize as a support. Also enlist one additional support that may not be at the event, but that can be available via a text message or phone call. Inform these 2 supports of your plan for the event.
  • Stick to the plan. Remember to use skills and anxiety reduction techniques such as distraction, opposite to emotion action, TIPP, deep breathing, and walking tall.
  • Follow your after-event plan, which should involve having a support in person or virtually available, and self-care activities such as a mindful walk, bubble bath, reading a chapter in your favorite book, or painting your nails.

Bring this Recipe! Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salad

This recipe is adapted from Whole Foods Market. Recipe makes approximately seven 1 cup servings. 1 serving = 2C, 1P, 1EF.

2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups no-salt-added cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add corn and cook for 1 minute, then drain well, rinse in cold water and drain again. (If using frozen corn, skip this step.) Meanwhile, rinse onions in cold water to remove some of their sharp, acidic flavor; drain well and set aside.

 In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add beans, corn, onion and bell pepper and toss until just incorporated. Cover and chill for about 2 hours. Add cilantro and toss again before serving.

Happy fourth of July weekend!

Lori JohnsonComment