It’s mid-July. There’s a chilly aluminum can in my hand and more in a nearby cooler. I can hear the satisfying sizzle of ribeye steaks searing. Our neighbor Jim chuckled at my t-shirt, which reads “I’d smoke that”.

I’m having a hard time thinking of what could be better. The temperatures, sunshine, and long days are all of the reasons summer was made for grilling. Grilling can be beneficial in so many ways, both physically and emotionally. Here are some of my favorite reasons to enjoy grilling.

Stress Relief

As a physical therapist, I encourage patients to stay active and find ways to relieve stress. Exercise is important, and so is limiting prolonged, elevated levels of the hormone cortisol caused by chronic stress. Grilling helps me unwind. I use the “little-of-this, “little-of-that” method mastered and taught by my grandma Marsha. She is notorious for taking an existing recipe and tweaking it to her liking. As a result, she never remembered ratios and no two meals were the same. I love this, as it requires a fair amount of common sense, strategy, and creativity. This method allows my brain to unplug and simply focus on making something delicious.

Healthy + Flavorful

Well, I’m a guy that’s constantly thinking about food – flavors, creations, environments, textures, sources, everything. My mind never stops dissecting recipes, strategizing grocery lists, and planning meals. Although some of the most appetizing grilled entrees are smash burgers, classic hotdogs, and rib-eye steaks, a fun challenge occasionally is to make a healthy option tasty.

A chicken breast recipe I enjoy incorporates my go-to cooking style, sous vide. The combination of perfectly cooked chicken, marinated in savory juices and fresh herbs, then finished on the grill makes a once seemingly boring piece of meat rather tolerable – maybe even delicious! We typically pair this with a grilled vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower. All it takes is a splash of olive oil and a few shakes of garlic salt, and the smokiness of the grill will do the rest to add incredible flavor. Give it a shot. Don’t forget to add your own little bit of “this or that”!

Good Food + Good People

Ready for a ridiculously cheesy tip? Here it goes. The most important part about grilling anything is the company you share it with. I definitely read that on Pinterest, but it spoke to me (…yes, I have a Pinterest account). With this last little bit of summer, I encourage you to give your oven a break and roll out the grill. Play the part with a snappy T-shirt and ensure there’s a cooler within reach. Relieve some stress with the process and flex some creativity with your recipe. Try new things. Lastly, share your good food with good people.

 

Brandon Boeck – PT, DPT