#399 3/9/2010 BARBECUE RESCUE
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The story of barbecue is the story of America: Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent, discover wondrous riches,
set them on fire, and eat them.

Vince Staten

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Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: American Barbecue

By Stephanie S. Saunders

American barbecue dates back to the turn of the last century, as poverty-stricken Southerners were searching for economical food sources. What started as a fire pit covered by a tin roof where travelers could stop and enjoy a cheap and filling meal has turned into an American tradition that seems to bridge the tastes of all classes, races, and ages.

Barbecue Pork

Historically, BBQ was largely dependent on pork, with marinades and seasoning that varied from region to region. Today, beef, chicken, lamb, and a plethora of tasty side dishes have made the list—all of which can potentially be as dangerous to our waistlines as pork itself. So when looking to enjoy a little piece of Southern American history, how do we know what our best choices are? Let's look at BBQ in this edition of Beachbody Restaurant Rescue.

Appetizer

Buffalo WingsAlthough appetizers obviously exist in a BBQ joint, they are often overlooked for the more substantial main dish. And as most main meals include a couple of sides and a considerable amount of food, it makes perfect sense to skip the starter. Furthermore, every appetizer offered seems to be loaded with fried fattiness, giving you more reason to avoid unhealthy starters. Should you decide that your stomach is empty enough to handle it all, the following are some popular options offered in BBQ restaurants, with some approximate nutritional breakdowns.


Nutritional information (per serving):

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Potato skins, 3 slices 250 17 grams 15 grams 540 milligrams 10 grams
Buffalo wings, 3 wings 150 9 grams 3 grams 675 milligrams 15 grams
Artichoke dip, 3 oz. 245 16 grams 17 grams 475 milligrams 6 grams
Hush puppies, 5 pieces 253 12 grams 35 grams 964 milligrams 5 grams
Fried green tomatoes, 1 tomato 312 18.8 grams 29.9 grams 731 milligrams 6.7 grams

Salads

Green SaladEvery meal is better when it begins with some greens, especially if it's not iceberg lettuce doused in blue cheese dressing. Given 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing contain 20 grams of fat, imagine what that nutrient-free ball of water masquerading as a vegetable, swimming in dressing, holds. Lean toward a field greens salad with light dressing, or even the carrot and raisin salad, which your eyes may thank you for. Above all, avoid mayonnaise-based coleslaw, as a tiny 3-oz. serving can add a couple hundred calories and 13 grams of fat.


Nutritional information (per serving):

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Green salad, no dressing 50 >1 gram 7 grams >1 milligram >1 gram
Ranch dressing, 2 Tbsp. 120 12 grams 1 gram 110 milligrams >1 gram
Iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing 320 28 grams 4 grams 560 milligrams 7 grams
Cole slaw, 3 oz. 232 13 grams 26 grams 287 milligrams 2 grams
Carrot and raisin salad, 4 oz. 170 6 grams 28 grams 110 milligrams 1 gram

Sides

CornHere is where BBQ can be scary. Our Southern ancestors seem to have taken the healthiest options out there, and removed all nutritional value, except saturated fat. Try to avoid anything fried, creamed, mayonnaise based, or flavored with pork. Your best possible options are a plain baked potato, corn on the cob without butter, and collard greens. If you must venture into Texas toast and potato salad, try to limit your portion size and share your choices with your companions.


Nutritional information (per serving):

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Potato salad, 5 oz. 256 14 grams 30 grams 527 milligrams 2 grams
Mashed potatoes, 4 oz. 120 6 grams 17 grams 440 milligrams 1 gram
Texas toast, 1 slice 170 6 grams 26 grams 230 milligrams 5 grams
Collard greens, 4 oz. 60 3 grams 5 grams 290 milligrams 2 grams
Baked beans, 4 oz. 190 3 grams 33 grams 760 milligrams 6 grams
Corn on the cob, 6 oz. 150 1.5 grams 35 grams 20 milligrams 5 grams
Corn bread, 1 slice 150 3 grams 27 grams 310 milligrams 2 grams
Creamed spinach, 3 oz. 160 12 grams 18 grams 670 milligrams 4 grams
Applesauce, 3 oz. 60 >1 gram 15 grams 13 milligrams >1 gram
Baked potato 220 >1 gram 51 grams 16 milligrams 5 grams

Main Course

BBQ Pork ChopMmm, meat. Consumption of vast quantities of flesh is what the country is famous for. And when is meat better than when it's covered in a sugary sauce and slowly cooked over an open flame? Chicken is generally your best choice at a BBQ establishment, and can save you several hundred calories over its red-meat counterparts (depending on your portion size and fixings, of course). And remember that with any meat choice, your body can only break down about 30 grams of protein at once, so eating 16 baby back ribs isn't the wisest choice. Try to keep your portions within reason, avoid anything fried, and resist adding extra sauce, a.k.a. sugar, if possible. The following nutritional breakdowns don't include extra barbecue sauce, since the nutritional content for barbecue sauce varies per location. You can add somewhere between 40 to 70 calories for every 2 tablespoons of sauce used.

Nutritional information (per serving):

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Tri-tip, 3 oz. 213 11 grams >1 gram 62 milligrams 26 grams
Baby back ribs, 2 ribs 234 18 grams >1 gram 330 milligrams 18 grams
Chicken, 4 oz. 187 4 grams >1 gram 84 milligrams 35 grams
Beef ribs, 4 oz. 345 29 grams >1 gram 62 milligrams 18 grams
Pulled pork, 5 oz. 330 13 grams 12 grams 640 milligrams 18 grams
Smoked ham, 3 oz. 210 3 grams 5 grams 860 milligrams 14 grams
Blackened catfish, 7 oz. 550 39 grams 20 grams 1,260 milligrams 30 grams

Dessert

Pecan PieThese desserts are in no way specific to BBQ restaurants, but you'll tend to find them there. If you can, leave the restaurant and go get some fat-free frozen yogurt. If you have to have that brownie, share it with your companion. Often, a couple of bites of something sweet are enough to satisfy a craving.


Nutritional information (per serving):

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Pecan pie, 3 oz. 330 15 grams 23 grams 190 milligrams 4 grams
Bread pudding, 3 oz. 216 12 grams 25 grams 120 milligrams 4 grams
Apple pie, 3 oz. 290 11 grams 44 grams 230 milligrams 2 grams
Brownie, 2 oz. 260 16 grams 30 grams 140 milligrams 2 grams

The U.S. is still one of the most obese countries in the world, with our Southern states making up a big part of that heft. This can't be attributed to a certain type of food—certainly, BBQ was around long before this epidemic began—but we do live in a "supersize" nation where abundance is commonplace. Barbecue restaurants provide their clientele with amazingly generous portions. Try to remember that your body needs food for fuel, and that it can only break down so many calories in a single sitting. Be kind to it and remember to make liberal use of another great American contribution to restaurant culture—the doggie bag.

Get online diet support at Team Beachbody®

Related Articles
"Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Mexican Edition"
"Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Japanese Edition"
"Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Thai Edition"

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, March 15th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

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From Tired to Inspired

Patricia L. with Shakeology® Packet

Patricia L. spent her days feeling tired and sluggish. Her weight was up and so was her cholesterol, and she was warned about developing diabetes. Then she discovered Shakeology® and dropped 10 pounds and 38 cholesterol points, and reduced her risk of diabetes. And now, she's won $5,000 in the Shakeology Transform Your Health Success Story contest. Click below to see Patricia's story and find out how you can win!

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Strength and Power Move

Here's a quick and effective move from Slim in 6® creator Debbie Siebers that helps to strengthen your entire midsection. No equipment is necessary, and you can do it practically anywhere. Click below to watch the video.

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Climbing Michi's Ladder: Quinoa

By Denis Faye

This hippie grocer staple, pronounced keen-wah, or kee-noh-uh, may look like a grain and may be prepared like a grain but . . . Surprise, quinoa is not a grain! Grains come from grasses, while these little edible seeds actually come from a plant more closely related to spinach. Despite this, the Incas called it chisaya mama—the mother of all grains—and considered it sacred. Of course, the Spanish conquistadores were quick to kibosh that, forcing the Incas to grow corn instead.

Quinoa

The nutrition facts

Half a cup of quinoa is 111 calories, 2 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber. That 4 grams of protein is a complete protein, meaning it provides all 9 essential amino acids, which is rare outside the animal product world.

The biggest vitamin hit you'll get is folate with 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)*. You'll get lesser amounts of vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6. Minerals are much more substantial with 29 percent of the RDA for manganese; 15 percent for magnesium; 14 percent for phosphorus; and smaller amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

How do you eat this stuff?

Quinoa works in place of rice or couscous. Bring one part quinoa with two parts water to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff and eat heartily!

1 cup of quinoa, cooked (185 g)
Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
222 4 grams 39 grams 5 grams 8 grams

Michi's Ladder is Beachbody's guide to nutritious eating. If you only ate from Tiers 1 and 2, you would have a near-perfect diet!

Related Articles
"Climbing Michi's Ladder: Bok Choy"
"Climbing Michi's Ladder: Chard"
"Climbing Michi's Ladder: Collard Greens"

Denis FayeGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, March 15th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

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Test Your International BBQ IQ!

By Valerie Watson

BBQ ChickenBarbeque, barbecue, or BBQ—however you spell or "acronymize" it, it's dang tasty. Be it smoked or grilled, cooked slow or fast, placed close to the heat or a tad farther away, slathered in tomato-, vinegar-, mustard-, or hickory-based sauce, it all works. Many of us think of barbeque as an American gastronomic tradition, but folks the world over have found their own special ways of combining fire and food to create something truly greater than the sum of its parts. Your task? To match each geographic region with its indigenous form of meat-searing.

(A note: Ordinarily, I would end the descriptive paragraph about each quiz item with a sassy little punch line, but I haven't done that this week, BECAUSE I AM DEADLY SERIOUS ABOUT MY BARBECUED MEATS.)

  1. Argentina - Asado. Argentinean "asadors" make a fire directly on the ground or in a fire pit and roast beef and a variety of other meats over it, using sticks or metal grates suspended over the fire. No marinade is used, just a little salt.
  2. South Africa - Braai. Over the open flame of a wood fire, sausage, skewered mutton, pork chops, chicken, steak, fish, and rock lobster coated in a variety of marinades and spices are grilled until tender. Braai actually has its own holiday, celebrated by South Africans at home and throughout the world.
  3. Jamaica - Jerk. Meats, usually pork or chicken, are either marinated or dry-rubbed with hot, spicy seasoning, then cooked over pit fires, or charcoal fires in half-oil-barrels.
  4. Cuba - Ta�no. Meat is slowly cooked over a grate or mesh made from intersecting wood sticks. Another traditional ta�no dish is lechon—a whole pig slow-grilled over a turning spit.
  5. India - Tandoor. A charcoal or wood fire is built within the clay tandoor oven itself, which roasts the meat both directly (over coals) and indirectly (from radiant heat captured within the cylindrical clay enclosure). Chicken is frequently cooked this way, often marinated in sauce made of yogurt and spices.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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