4 Tips to Survive the Backyard BBQ Paleo Style

Barbeque season is officially here and what better way to connect with neighbors, friends and family than to gather for a feast in your own backyard? Whether your proteins of choice include grass-fed burgers, marinated Santa Barbara Tri Tip, or a whole Chicken Under a Brick, the pièce de résistance is one that’s easily a Paleo option, even if no one says as much.


The tricky part stems from what’s served on the side. It doesn’t have to mean going with boring old carrot and celery sticks while everyone else partakes of dishes you may have enjoyed prior to embarking on your Paleo path.


As always, a focus on what we do eat, rather than pining away for what we don’t, is key for successful, long-term adoption.



Remember, salad doesn’t have to mean wilty ice berg lettuce and mushy tomatoes. Bring in the mixed wild greens, the rosemary infused olive oil and the avocado. Toss in some blanched broccoli for a little crunch and add a touch of grated heirloom carrot for color.  You choose the veggies that are available in your neck of the woods and see how close you can get to achieving the goal of seeing every color in the rainbow in that salad bowl.



Grilled zucchini, eggplant, tomato, asparagus, artichoke, onion, whole carrots and Portabella mushrooms are just the beginning.  Add salt free, natural seasonings of your choosing and get ready to experience the heightened flavor of each veggie that roasting brings up a notch!



There is no end to the amount of diversity we can play with when it comes to making salsa. Sweet, mild, hot, spicy…and that’s only the beginning! Even if you follow an Autoimmune Protocol and need to avoid tomato and tomatillo, you can still create a lovely option with fresh peach, chopped cilantro, onion, garlic and lime. Have something to use in lieu of canned ranch dip, which is fresh, and healthy is the last little piece that rounds out the main course of a barbeque.



Need something sweet?  No reason to hope the ice cream man makes an appearance when you can simply go hot…and cold. Grill up some sliced peach, or pineapple, depending on where you live and what you find and serve with a few frozen grapes, topped with shredded coconut. Talk about simple, elegant, and delightful!


The only thing left to address is how to handle guests, or the host, if the BBQ is not at your house. If they’re giving you a hard time for not helping yourself to the bun for the burger or the side of baked beans or ambrosia, handle it gracefully by explaining that you simply feel better when you don’t eat gluten, for example.


Spin the conversation to focus on how great the steak is, rather than going into a big discussion about what that person’s microvilli are experiencing right this very moment as his body is trying to digest the gluten from his hot dog bun.


If all else fails, and you feel as though you’re being coerced into eating something unfavorable, explain as needed and segue into another conversation with someone less pushy who’s keen to talk about something else.


In some cases, it’s often best to let it roll, rather than let the evening be spoiled by an annoying, pushy guest. In the end, they might end up learning from you, too!


Looking for a way to make THE best burger? Check out my Paleoista’s Grass Fed Burger recipe for my favorite combination of cuts to create an oh-so-decadent option.