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How to Enjoy a Healthy and Fun Independence Day Weekend!


Happy 4th of July weekend! To celebrate Independence Day we would like to give you a gift – the gift of health! Knowing how to celebrate holidays in a healthy way is a very important skill, especially when you can also pass these healthy traditions along to your friends and family.

A typical 4th of July party can wreak havoc on your body, especially when it’s celebrated through the weekend after – but it doesn’t have to be this way. We would like to give your Independence Day parties a healthy makeover!  Here are some healthy swaps so your Independence Day celebration won’t set you back:

  • Choose a lean protein – If you are planning on grilling – try chicken breast or fish! Salmon, mahi mahi or catfish are great options. Other lean meat choices include center-cut pork chops, pork tenderloin, flank steak or lean ground beef or turkey for burger patties.
  • Marinate smarter – Store bought marinades can be packed with sodium. Prepare a homemade marinade to add flavor to your lean meats in a healthy way!
  • Fill up on Veggies - Throw some zucchini, eggplant or yellow squash on the grill with some salt and pepper. Grilled peppers or onions are also good choices – these are low calorie and contain allot of nutrients so you won’t feel guilty about loading up your plate!
  • Grill fresh fruit – pineapple, mango, peach and plum halves make great side dishes or desserts!
  • Swap salads – trade out traditional creamy mayonnaise-based salads for green salads with vinaigrette dressings. If you are not willing to give up your favorite potato or macaroni salads – swap out regular mayonnaise for light mayonnaise to make these healthier! You can also try using gluten free pasta in your pasta salad this year.
  • What to drink? – Sparkling water is a good alternative to soda – try infusing water with citrus or berries for a sweet flavor without added sugar.
  • Treat your self – It’s not a celebration without some special treats! Try this healthy dessert recipe so you can indulge without harming your health. These Brownies are low calorie and feature black beans!

One important thing to remember as you celebrate is food safety! All aspects of a celebration can be distracting – it is easy to forget how important it is to be safe with our food. Follow these food safety rules to ensure you and your loved ones can get the most out of your Independence Day celebrations:

  1. Don't leave perishable foods out for more than two hours. If it's warmer than 90°F outside, food will only be safe outside for one hour.
  2. Keep food indoors until ready to serve, or store in a cooler filled with ice.
  3. Separate raw meat for grilling from produce and prepared foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  4. Provide a hand washing facility or hand sanitizer for guests to use before eating

Don’t forget to stay fit on the fourth! Just because this is a holiday doesn’t mean you should pass on some extra physical activity. Bike riding, outdoor games, fishing and swimming are a few fun activities that also double as a workout!

  • Dancing – why not cut shapes to some patriotic tunes! This is a fun way to get moving and burn some of those extra calories consumed.
  • Take a walk – if you planned on going to see your local firework display – why not walk or bike there instead of driving. An added plus, you won’t have to sit in post firework traffic!
  • Enjoy a swim – spending the 4th poolside or at the beach? Be sure to jump in and do some swimming!

Make it a goal to try at least one of these healthy swaps this year. If you can do them all – more power to you! We encourage you to share this blog on your social media too so that your friends and family can make these healthy choices and improve their quality of life too!

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