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Fun and Healthy Fourth of July

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What comes to mind when you think of Independence Day? Hot dogs and hamburgers? Fireworks? Flags? It’s all correct! As you prepare for fourth of July, you may be thinking about what to cook and where to see the best fireworks. But you might be overlooking some important details, like packing enough sunscreen for a day at the beach or preparing a vitamin-rich meal.

That’s where we come in.

We want you to celebrate Independence Day in the best way possible, which is why we have come up with six essential tips to have a fun and healthy fourth of July!

Choose lean meats or fish for the barbecue

A fourth of July without read meat? Yes! Instead of ribs or steak, switch it up this year and grill leaner cuts of meat like chicken breast or pork tenderloin. Lock in moisture and prevent the meat from drying out by marinating overnight in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Fish like salmon, halibut and flounder are rich in omega-3s and equally as tasty as meat options to throw on the barbecue. Grill summer vegetables like bell peppers, squash, corn and eggplant for a delicious side dish that’s rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Wear lots of sunscreen

While our bodies need Vitamin D from sun exposure, too much sun can be a problem. If you’re spending the Fourth outdoors this year (which we hope you are!), apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. If you’re already seeing signs of skin aging, consider taking a supplement like Oligonol, which reduces the look of wrinkles and brown spots.

Swap sour cream and mayo for low-fat dairy

We love dairy as much as the next person, but high-fat dairy like mayo, sour cream, ice cream and butter are high in calories and saturated fat, which can lead to weight gain. This fourth of July, swap the high-fat dairy in your recipes for low-fat dairy like Greek yogurt, buttermilk and cottage cheese. You won’t even taste the difference!

Try fresh fruit for dessert

Head to your local farmer’s market and pick up the best summer fruit you can find! Juicy nectarines, sweet peaches and tart raspberries make a scrumptious snack and equally impressive dessert. For a truly festive fruit salad, combine strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with honey, lemon or lime juice and chopped mint. Top with a dollop of vanilla-infused Greek yogurt and serve immediately. Voila, a tasty (and healthy) red, white and blue dessert!

Spend quality time with friends and family

Did you know spending time with friends and family can reduce stress and enhance intellectual stimulation? Maintaining a healthy social life, even later in life, has been  shown to help improve your health! Go ahead, plan that huge fourth of July bash and invite the whole neighborhood. Your brain will thank you.

Get moving

Whether you spend the day at the beach or in your backyard, make it an active Independence Day this year. Check your local listings or search online to find the right fourth of July event for you. It could be a 5k run, a stroll on the boardwalk or a game of frisbee. Once the sun sets and the fireworks are being prepared, you’ll feel grateful for spending the day outdoors.

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