Can you believe it’s already July? Can you believe 4th of July festivities are days away? I always say that I consume food like a dog (rather than a cat): If it’s in front if me, I eat it. This makes summer soirees tough, especially festivities that revolve around food. Thankfully, Sarah Jones, Nutrition Counselor for Mountainside Fitness, is here to help. Here she shares her approach to healthy eating for all your Fourth festivities…
How to Eat Healthy this Fourth of July
The 4th is just around the corner, and I’m not sure about you, but my favorite way to spend our Nation’s birthday is lounging poolside with family, friends, snacks, drinks, BBQ, dessert, and of course, fireworks! That means it’s time to fire up the grill, make mom’s “famous” potato salad, throw some beverages on ice and grab a few bags of your favorite chips… and then it’s time to say “hello” to that listless food coma. Sound familiar? Whether you’re hosting or attending, here are a few healthy tips that won’t make you feel like you missed out.
1. Don’t skip breakfast. Even with the best intentions, saving up calories for later in the day tends to backfire and can lead to poor food choices.
2. Cut the fat. Swap that high-fat beef burger for a chicken, turkey, veggie or Portobello mushroom patty. If you’re adventurous, you might even try a bison burger (aka, buffalo). For a tastier burger mix, try adding fresh herbs, garlic and/or your favorite blend of spices.
3. Go whole grain. Swap out those refined flour buns for a whole grain version. The fiber will keep you fuller longer and it’s an easy swap!
4. Skip the mayo. Try loading your burger with flavor-filled veggies instead. My favorites are arugula, tomatoes, sliced avocado, sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions. Mustard (3-5 calories per teaspoon) and ketchup (15-19 calories per tablespoon) are also wiser choices.
5. Stick to healthier side dishes. Make or choose side dishes that are plant based. Grilled veggies, corn on the cob, green salads, mixed bean salads, cold whole grain salads, coleslaw or potato salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
6. Don’t overdrink your calories. Watermelon margarita anyone? This refreshing recipe only has 105 calories per serving. Otherwise, replace sugary mixers with sparkling water, use garnishes of fruit and mint, and of course there’s always light beer!