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BBQ season is here again. YAYAY! Here's our official 2009 BBQ Survival Guide, guaranteed to get you through any and all outdoor eating events...   
Hello, Hydration!

Keeping yourself well hydrated is key. If you don't, you might find yourself snacking when all you really need is some H20. But be careful with the bottled "waters" out there. Some of them are just sugary beverages with lots of calories. For the most part, stick to plain water when you're thirsty. If that's too boring for you, here are a few flavored options you can pick up on the way to a backyard bash. Vitaminwater10 is naturally sweetened and low in calories, and it tastes GREAT. Dasani Essence is unsweetened and calorie-free -- it's perfect if you like just a teeny bit of fruitiness to your water. If you want full-on flavor in your face, go for sugar-free powdered drink mixes, like Crystal Light -- the packets are super-convenient since they can easily be stashed in your purse or pocket. And if you're perfectly hydrated but want something alcoholic to sip, click here for some guilt-free guidelines and here for our latest warm-weather cocktails!
Grill Power

Worried about being faced with fatty burgers, franks, and other BBQ diet-busters? Bring your own guilt-free grillables! As long as you have extras to share, it's totally acceptable. Soy burgers and veggie patties -- like the ones made by Boca, Gardenburger, Morningstar Farms, and Amy's -- are great prepared on the grill. (They're not just for vegetarians, people!) There are also tons of really good hot dog options out there -- look for ones that are at least 97% fat-free. Covering skinless chicken breasts in our Not-So-Secret BBQ Sauce will earn you major points with fellow BBQers. Another great idea? Assemble kebabs ahead of time. Load fresh veggies (bell pepper chunks, mushrooms, etc.) and lean protein (like seafood, chicken, and lean pork) onto skewers, pass 'em off to the person behind the grill, and prepare to PARTY!
Fun with Fruit & Veggies!

Fruit salad commonly makes appearances at summer parties, but eating it straight out of a bowl isn't the only way to enjoy it. Throw a few pieces of fruit into your drink, mix 'em into salad (strawberries ROCK over spinach), put some on a stick and grill them... The possibilities really are endless. As for vegetables, avoid ANYTHING coated in mayo -- unless it's one of our recipes, in which case that mayo's most likely fat-free. Speaking of our recipes, click here for a couple of AWESOME veggie sides and here for our mind-blowingly delicious I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad! If you're serving pre-made slaw, give it a rinse in a colander to wash away lots of fat while keeping the flavor. But back to the veggies already at the party... Feel free to chew crudites, grilled veggies, and green salads. Ooh, one more thing... use large lettuce leaves as a low-calorie bun-alternative for burgers and hot dogs. Woohoo!
Snack Time

Scenario: You ask what you can bring to the shindig, and your friend says, "Just a bag of chips or something." PERFECT! There are sooo many guilt-free chips these days (click here for a BUNCH of great ones), and this is a fantastic way to make sure there's something snacky and delicious for you to munch on sans guilt. You might wanna grab a jar or two of salsa, as well -- not only is salsa a tasty dip for those chips, but it'll come in handy when you're looking for a tasty, low-cal way to top off burgers, grilled chicken, salads, and more. And BTW, our brand-new cookbook, Hungry Girl 200 Under 200, has a whole chapter of dips and dippers... check it out!!!
I Scream, You Scream...

Enough with the screaming! We know everyone likes ice cream. Do it right and get a container of Breyers Double Churn Free fat-free ice cream or Dreyer's/Edy's Slow Churned Light Ice Cream for the party. They're both GREAT. If you want something pre-portioned, we recommend Nestle Drumstick Lil' Drums, Crystal Light Frozen Pops, and Baskin-Robbins Fruit Blast Bars. Now if you're dying to indulge in some ice cream at a pal's backyard bash, but there aren't any guilt-free choices around, go for something simple like a small scoop of vanilla ice cream (as opposed to an enormous hunk of chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake!) -- then top it off with lots of fresh fruit (berries are the best). Yum!!!
Monday, May 25th, is Memorial Day. Make sure you're ready by reading our 2009 BBQ Survival Guide! And since Monday's a holiday, there will be no HG News email (awwww!). We'll be back Tuesday with a FANTASTIC slider swap!
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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

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