The 4th of July is a fun holiday shared with friends, family and, of course food, booze and fireworks.
But, you can still have fun without sacrificing your health and fitness goals and sabotaging good habits.
While there will be a lot of tempting food and beverages – you don’t have to chose the beaten path…this holiday can either derail you or keep you moving closer to your goals.
Here are a few tips that will help keep you on track, swap out bad for the good, and overcome temptations.
First, your mindset is critical as we head into the holiday weekend…you will become stronger if you can make it through the weekend without caving to the sugar loaded drinks and greasy foods.
First, make a commitment to yourself before the weekend begins and come up with a plan… review your goals, think about what is important… think about those shorts you’re looking forward to fitting into or the swimsuit you will be wearing ?
Give yourself a mental pep talk and really focus on the lifestyle you desire long-term. If you’re saying yes to the booze, overloaded plates, and sugary desserts… you’re saying no to progress towards your long-term goals.
Here are some tips to keep you on track this week/weekend
If you’re heading to a party
- Bring a healthy dish! See recipes later for some fun, festive ideas
- Fill your plate with veggies and protein first!
- Choose lean protein instead of the heavy brats…stick with chicken, turkey, lean beef burgers
- Skip the bun – double the protein if you need to…leave the starches behind
- Finish with fruit to fill your sweet tooth vs. a cookie or another dessert
- Be mindful of your condiments –
- “Salads” (especially store bought) are made with mayo so skip the potato salad …Tip: if you don’t know what others are bringing, bring a side salad you can eat!
- BBQ sauces especially can be filled with sugar! Opt for ketchup and mustard, or a Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
- Dips – be careful here as calories add up quickly with dips. Skip the dairy based dips and opt for guacamole or salsa if it is available. Replace the chips with veggies such as carrots, radish or cucumber slices, or snap peas.
If you’re going out to eat
- Look ahead at the menu and go in knowing what you’re going to have before you get there. This will help you avoid the temptations of looking at the pastas, pizzas, or calorie filled appetizers.
- Tip: don’t go super hungry – have a snack before you go (ex: eat an apple on the way)
- Ask for alterations as needed! Ask for grilled or broiled instead of breaded, speaking of – ask for no bread at all, ask for dressing on the side and stick with vinaigrettes.
- Skip dessert or practice the 2 bite and pass rule!
If you’re traveling for the holiday
- Prepare healthy snacks to bring in the car so you can avoid the truck stop or vending machines (legit, this happened to my friends and I once – we were traveling and arrived late to our hotel SOOO hungry but all restaurants were closed therefore we only had the hotel vending machine…terrible!)
- Ideas include bringing your protein shakes and a shaker
- Beef jerky
- Protein snacks – protein bars (No Cow, Quest, Vega), a shaker with protein, or my new favorite for a light snack ToneItUp Protein Bites (found at Target by the pharmacy)
- Pack a cooler with cut up fruit, veggies, hummus, and organic sliced turkey
- Unsalted nuts/nut butters – almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts. Apple and 1 or 2 tablespoons of nut butter is also a good snack on the road.
And the BIGGIE... If you're going to enjoy some booze
- Pick a low calorie beverage and have a glass of water between each drink to stay hydrated. Check out our full blog post for more info on how to keep your booze calories in check this summer!
Now for the good stuff ...6 of our favorite festive holiday recipes
So refreshing and delicious – can be made dairy free without the cheese or substitute goat or feta cheese to the traditional mozzarella. I recommend pairing basil with mozzarella or mint with feta. Goat cheese goes with either and would be my personal choice ☺
- 1 personal size seedless Watermelon, cubed
- ¼ cup Basil or Mint, fresh leaves, chopped
- 6 oz Blueberries, fresh
- 12 oz Cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ Red Onion, thin sliced
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp Olive oil
- Cheese of choice to your liking
- In large bowl, add cubed watermelon, fold in herbs and veggies.
- Drizzle Vinegar, EVOO, and spices on top. Stir well.
- Fold in cheese cubes if you choose to add the cheese.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until ready to serve.
Festive Fruit Tray
Strawberries, Blueberries and cut up Bananas or Apples OR Gluten Free Weight Watchers Cake – Simply mix 1 box of gluten-free cake mix with 1 can of diet sprite and bake as normal!
Super easy to make and perfect for any size party. Simply alternate Blueberries, Strawberries or Raspberries and Banana
Coconut Water and Berry Popsicle
2 ingredients! Berries and coconut water! Fill your popsicle makers and freeze!
I highly recommend the Coco5 Natural – for more info on coconut water recommendations click here!
You could also serve these with a dollop of SoDelicious coconut whip cream.
Blueberry Pasta Salad
- 1/2 lb Pepperoni, diced
- 3 cups Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 Green bell pepper, diced
- 1 (10 ounce) container of blueberries
- ½ bunch of basil, chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing, good quality
- 1 (16 ounce) package Gluten Free fusilli or rotini pasta
- 1/4 tsp Stevia in the Raw for Baking
Cook pasta as normal, rinse with cold water. Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or until ready to serve. Add pepper to your liking.
And finally, it is not a holiday without our favorite recipe …Guacamole!
- 5-6 avocado, mashed for smooth or cubed for chunky
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 2 Tomatoes, seeded and cubed
- ½ bunch cilantro, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeño, chopped (or Habanero)
- Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin
- Cut and dice vegetables and set aside.
- Combine avocado and lime juice in bowl and mash as smooth as you like.
- Fold in vegetables and season to taste.
- If you really want to take it to the next level – add in some crumbled Goat Cheese!
*Serve with sliced cucumbers, carrots, or sliced bell peppers for a low carb option to chips*
We hope you have a safe, fun and exciting 4th of July! I would also love for you to post in the comments below if you tried one of these recipes or share your favorite with us!