July 4th is our national celebration day of independence, the birthday of the U.S.A. We celebrate with parades, fireworks, fairs, concerts, picnics, family reunions and lots of food and drinks.
Traditional fare is barbecued burgers, hotdogs, brats and sausage, ribs, pork steaks or fried chicken. We pile on more calories with side dishes of potato and macaroni salads, baked beans, coleslaw, layered bean dips with bowls of chips, cake, brownies and watermelon for dessert then wash it all down with copious amounts of soda, lemonade, cocktails and beer. Needless to say, for many, this holiday packs way too many calories, fat, sugar, salt and especially fat-storing carbohydrates.
This July 4th, declare your independence from the high fat, insulin-spiking foods and celebrate with healthy snack alternatives. Nutritious, balanced food choices can help you access stored body fat and provide the energy needed to participate in holiday activities. Below you’ll find a variety of delicious and healthy alternatives to prepare and serve at any of your summer family events. They include low-fat, high-quality protein choices, low-fat, low-glycemic carbohydrate side-dishes and a bit of quality fat.
Main-Course Protein Choices
• Organic Turkey Burgers
• BBQ Organic Chicken Breast
• Organic Chicken Strips with Hot Sauce
• Kabobs - Marinated cubed and skewered Organic Beef, Chicken, Pork Tenderloin, Shrimp, Ahai Tuna or Wild Salmon
• Deviled Eggs (less some yolks)
• Tuna Salad
• Egg Salad
Side-Dishes (primarily lower-glycemic carbohydrate)
• Mixed Greens Salad with Oil & Vinegar Dressing
• Sliced Tomatoes with Basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
• Coleslaw with Vinaigrette Dressing
• Mixed Fruit Salad
• Sliced Apples
• Mixed Melon Salad (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
• Fruit Kabobs (strawberries, grapes, pineapple, blueberries)
• Raw Vegetables with dip (snow peas, celery sticks, red and green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes)
• Grilled Veggie Kabobs (mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, onions)
• Grilled Fruit Kabobs (pineapple, watermelon, peaches)
• Olive oil based marinades and dressings
• Black, green or Greek olives
• Reduced-fat Cheese Cubes
Desserts and Snacks
• Fruit Kabobs
• Balance Bars
• Iced Tea, black and green
• Bottled Water
• Mineral Water
• Sweet Iced Tea (sweeten with low-glycemic Agave Syrup)
Also, pack a few boxes of Balance Bar nutrition bars for a healthy snack alternative when the kids come running for an afternoon treat.
So, this year, show how much you care about your families’ health and make this July 4th celebration a healthier, balanced one that can be a daily victory for your entire family.
Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist and national best selling co-author of:
THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program