Happy Birthday, America!
4th of July Weekend is upon us, and that means cookouts, family, and celebrations. How do you continue to eat smart at a potluck? Or when there is an apple pie staring at you? Here are a few tips (and healthy 4th of July recipes!).
- Don’t go to the cookout, potluck, or party starving. Eat your normal meals throughout the day and have a filling snack before leaving such as an apple with peanut butter or Greek yogurt with fruit. That way, when you get to the party it will be much easier to control how much and what you consume.
- Bring your own healthy dish. You know there will be at least one thing you can confidently put on your plate if you bring a healthy option. And others will appreciate it too!
- Survey the all of the food first. Before diving into the buffet line, scan all of your options and plan ahead. You will be able to see your Aunt’s famous chicken is at the end of the table so you’ll know to skip the other meats that come before it.
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The majority of your plate should be fruits and vegetables and by putting these items on your plate first, you are less tempted to leave them out “on accident”. A salad makes this part easy, just throw it on there!
- Determine what is calorie worthy. The most important step of them all. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite 4th of July dish such as Grandma’s mac and cheese she only makes once a year. Just determine which once-a-year dishes (and dessert) is calorie worthy and take a small amount. You’re more likely to savor the small bites instead of woofing down a large portion mindlessly.
- Don’t feel like you have to put something on your plate just because it is there. Someone else’s favorite dish on the buffet might not be your favorite dish, and vis versa. Again, determine if it is calorie worthy before reaching for it out of habit or obligation. If you try a bite of something and don’t care for it, throw the rest out and save the calories for something you enjoy.
- Sit away from the food table. Enjoy the company and sit facing away from the food. When you are finished, put your napkin over your plate and focus on the conversation instead. You are there for the people!
- Be mindful of what you are drinking. Drinks can be a hidden culprit of sugar. Lots of sugar. Choose water or jazz it up with a splash of juice, fresh fruit or cucumber, or sparkling water.
Here are a few of our favorite 4th of July recipes.