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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

5 Tips For A Healthy 4th

The 4th of July is no exception to the food-centric holiday rule.  This is a good thing, since food fills not only a nutritional, but a cultural and celebratory need as well.  But there are ways to up the enjoyment of your feast without upping empty calories.  Here are 5 tips to keep your 4th festive, but not fattening:
  1. Leave the chips at home.  Finger foods and dip-able foods are great - just swap out the chips in favor of a veggie tray. Baby carrots, sugar snap peas and grape tomatoes require no prep time at all. (Turning them into a volcanic island scene however, does.) 
  2. Whip up the dip yourself.  Pre-made dips are high in fat, sodium and sometimes sugar.  A healthier option is to whip up the dip yourself with some greek yogurt, a little canola mayo, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, dash of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. 
  3. Be beverage aware.  Remember you can always drink calories faster than you can eat them, so choose your beverage wisely.  Make ice-water or water bottles your go-to instead of a cooler full of soda pop.  I personally would rather chew my calories than sip them.
  4. Pack in the plants.  This summer holiday is perfectly suited for a produce-rich meal.  Make salads and veggie or fruit side dishes the highlight of your picnic table. 
    This holiday may just be the easiest time to get 9 servings of fruits and veggies in.  Watermelon, peas, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, fresh greens, beans and tomatoes can all take center stage this time of year.  
  5. Make fruit your dessert.  Whether it is a fruit topped cheesecake, chocolate dipped strawberries
    or fruit filled waffle cones, make fruit a part of your dessert tradition. 

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