Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Surviving the 4th of July

Surviving The 4th of July Picnics 

For as long as I can remember the 4th of July has been hands down one of my favorite holidays. My family has a huge bash and we end up spending hours together! Like every year I am looking forward to the day this year. However, I will be looking at this years gathering with a different eye. In years past, I GRAZE all day long. There is everything from the most amazing taco dip you could ever eat, to desserts galore, many, many, carbs and fun summer cocktails to boot! It’s the making of a perfect picnic! This year I am going to try my hardest to put a healthier spin on the 4th of July party. I want to offer you some tips for avoiding junk foods all day and some suggestions for what you can bring along to snack on.

I would first suggest arriving on a full stomach. I know your parents always told you not to eat before you go to a party but if you want to try to avoid overloading on junk think ahead and have a light lunch before attending.

Bring some fruit infused water think strawberry and blueberries for the 4th- I am sure it will be a hot day. Anytime you get the urge to start grazing guzzle some water. It will keep you full and take your mind of the urge to snack.

Do other things instead of sitting around a picnic table all day – play a game, catch a fish, swim, chase your kids around- do something that does not involve eating all day. Now don’t get me wrong you should totally eat while you are there just be sure that the choices are healthy ones and that you are eating to fuel your body not simply because it is there and looks like it tastes good.

If you are going to drink on the 4th go for something light - a 4 oz glass of white wine or 1 12 oz beer, vodka with club soda lemon and mint leaves would be refreshing and light on calorites. Stay away from the margaritas and frilly drinks they scream sugar and calories that you don't need. 

If you can, take along a dish that you know you enjoy and is also a healthy pick. In addition is should be able to withstand a little bit of heat incase the picnic is outside. I am planning on making some healthy fresh options so that those who wish to eat healthy can. There is nothing worse than going to a party and all they have is junk, junk and more junk food.

Here are a few ideas I thought of this week:
            Dark chocolate covered strawberries
            Fresh salsa and corn tortilla chips
Southwest salsa with black beans, avocados, corn and tomatoes
            Fresh guacamole
            Fruit kebabs
            Hummus and pita chips
            Summer salad with grilled chicken
            Watermelon mint water
            Whole-wheat pasta salad
            Tomato Basil Mozzarella Bites on wheat bread
Deviled Eggs with avocado filling
Veggie Tray
Sushi wraps
Corn on the cob - roasted in a firepit or on the grill
Homemade trail mix with popcorn, nuts and dark chocolate chips

Try your best to enjoy the holiday and your family. Enjoy a few “cheats” but don’t make a day of it. You will thank yourself the next day. When you eat like crap, you feel like crap.

Check out my pinterest page for some recipe suggestions! Happy 4th of July!

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