Have you ever been to a bar-b and come away feeling like you need to change into the nearest tent or have someone pop you with a ginourmous pin and watch you rocket skywards? I know I have.
Bar-Bs are lovely, and outdoorsy but they can be a terrible challenge for the stomach, which is pretty much used to having to deal with a handful of food types in one sitting but is suddenly attacked by at least 15 types, including but not exclusively:
- Pringles and dips (when you arrive)
- Pimms with bits of vegetation
- Diet Coke – GAH!
- Full fat Coke
- Chicken (read about the plight of the chicken and weep)
- (Above meats very often blackened to some extent, so the tum has that to deal with the blackness too, and it really doesn’t like burnt food)
- Any number of other barbecued bits of protein
- Bread rolls, ghastly ones too (yeah I’m a bread nobber and proud)
- Burnt corn on the cob
- Salad – kerchinnng!
- Potato salad
- Rice salad
- Pasta salad
- Couscous salad
- Quinoa salad (helffy dontcha know?!)
- Any number of other types of umm ‘salad’
- Various sauces and condiments
- Fruit juice
- Sugar free beverages
- A lonely bottle of water
- Strawberry cheesecake
- Choc fudge cake
- Trifle (Ahh go on, may as well try a bit of all of them!)
And so on……
By the time any human has piled through that lot – cos if there’s one thing we love it’s lots of different foods to try in one go – they’ll likely have racked up a day and half’s worth of food, at least, and the stomach and guts are going
“WHOA, hang on there, I’ll just digest this thing! No WAIT, I’ll just digest THIS thing! NO WAIT I’ll just……*sigh* *bloat* *blow off*” Get the picture? Not good.
Repeat this scenario several times over the summer and you may find your bikinis and budgie smugglers are on the snugger side, you may not feel that well and you will probably have contributed a vast amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
Thank you for reading this far..
“What to do then? Are we to give up Barbecues, you joyless HARRIDAN?!”
Of course not! Barbecue to your delight but treat it like a regular meal, with just as much food as your body actually needs (not wants) Enjoy the lovely company and the outdoors, without ending up as a food transporter.
Here’s the happy stomach’s barbecue guide:
- Don’t turn up ravenous. Starving yourself all day in preparation can lead to downfall, and a lot of pre-Pringles.
- Avoid pre-main meal nibbles. Nobody needs Doritos and dips that badly, OK once in a while but Bar-bs can be a regular occurrence in the summer.
- For the main meal just enjoy a simple plate of food. Try to go for a nice proper piece of meat or, even better, fish, or a homemade burger, rather than processed meat. Stick to one type of carb, so it’s potatoes OR bread OR rice OR pasta. Choose lots of lovely fresh salad. Choose a couple of spoons of any side item such as coleslaw.
- Enjoy the calm simplicity of your plate, being able to focus on the flavour of a handful of things is nicer than mixing a mountain of flavours. And your tum will feel a whole lot better.
- Stick to one or two glasses of the same type of alcohol, or none at all, hurrah for your liver! And sip water too.
- For pud have strawberries and cream, or fruit salad. Take some in your bag in case none is provided 😉
- Enjoy the chilling and the socialising, slow the eating right down, make it the secondary pleasure, still a gorgeous pleasure but not the only pleasure.