We went all in on how to do summer, despite dietary restrictions.

By Briana Riddock
June 22, 2018
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Linda Hirst

I know it's kind of late to start getting my summer body together since the first day of summer was uh yesterday, but I figured, better late than never! Of course, with the ever-expanding array of specialty diets out there, that’s not as simple as it used to be—it’s hard to know, what IS healthy? More or less, it seems to me that intuitively eating a diet that feels right for your body is the healthiest thing one can do… which may require a little trial and error. 

The ketogenic diet in particular has filled my newsfeed lately, and we decided to take a hard look at just what eating keto can look like here at MyRecipes this week. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that promises to help you shed the pounds if you are willing to live a carb-less life.

Writer Kimberly Holland compiled a list of our best keto-friendly dinners that can keep any dieter from falling off the bandwagon. These dishes include a wide variety of meat and seafood options that are paired with leafy greens and vegetables. And I’ll say, I’m totally down to try out the Crab Stuffed Avocado for a light lunch option and dig into this Balsamic Hanger Steak with Greens and Parmesan later for dinner. Holland also gathered a list of the best keto-friendly snacks that you can grab from Trader Joe’s for 100% ease and appetite satisfaction. 

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If the keto diet doesn’t sound like your jam and you are yearning for perhaps a more sustainable lifestyle change, maybe the wildly popular Whole 30 diet will work for you. Writer Gillie Houston breaks down how you can easily still enjoy your favorite dishes at a cookout while sticking to the guidelines of this restrictions of the program. The basic rules of the Whole 30 include eliminating added sugar, alcohol, grain, legumes, and dairy products from your diet.

(Side note pertaining to dairy and specialty diets: A word to the wise, not all dairy is vegetarian-friendly. Some dairy products contain animal enzymes that are used to help the cheese curdle. Read your labels.)  

Surprisingly, the Whole 30 works out in your favor when it comes to grilling season. You can indulge in many protein options that are even better when cooked on the grill such as a burgers (hold the cheese and bun), chicken, steak, pork, and fish. You could even make a slab of baby back ribs; however, you will mostly likely need to leave the sweet barbecue sauce on the side. 

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For the side dishes, you can gobble down potato salad, deviled eggs, green beans, sweet potato fries, coleslaw, the works! Just remember to swap out the mayo for paleo-approved mayonnaise.

Let’s actually talk about coleslaw for a sec, we developed the creamiest, crunchiest coleslaw, that can be easily adapted to fall within the Whole 30 guidelines and is also keto-friendly.  Our mighty coleslaw starts by thinly slicing a combination of red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots. This trifecta of colors will stand out on any cookout table. The champagne vinegar delivers a touch of brightness, while the dill adds an earthy freshness and color to the creamy, mayo-based dressing.   

WATCH: How to Make 4 Easy Whole 30 Recipes


Too bad you can’t drink alcohol while on the Whole 30, because you’ll be missing out on the fine art of sunny poolside sipping. This week, we conducted a canned rosé taste test to find the best canned (bubbly and still) version of summer’s favorite wine. Canned rosés are the perfect portable booze to tote with you on all your summer adventures. We recommend that you try the House Wine Rainbow Limited Edition Rosé Bubbles (if you can grab some before it’s gone) and both varieties of canned rosés from Underwood, they’re truly impressive. Having obtained this knowledge by first-hand experience, I decided that sipping rosé all summer should be a part of my healthy lifestyle, and the Whole 30 is clearly not for me... but I encourage everyone to stay strong and push forward on their own path to feeling your best this summer, whatever it may entail. Cheers!