Make the 4th a Healthy Eating Holiday

Recently, a friend of Vee’s asked her about healthy snacking tips on Facebook. In the thread, someone commented that she should just “eat a … muffin, because life is too f$%&#@* short”. That got Vee thinking, yeah, life is too short, so you should eat health to live longer. Here are some last minute tips you can put to good use today at your 4th of July parties, and any other day.

  • Veggies and hummus
  • Keep the carbs early
  • Drink more water
  • Moderation is key
Cap’n America!

For most of us here in the United States, the 4th of July means cookouts, picnics, and fireworks. Burgers, hot dogs, wings, beer, soda, cake, cupcakes, and dips are just some of the tempting foods and drinks we celebrate with. Yes, they taste amazing, and the urge is to splurge on a holiday is strong, but the key word is moderation. Yes, you can enjoy those tasty foods, but keep the portions small and balance them with healthy options.

Snacking throughout the day is good as it helps to control cravings and increases your metabolism.  Pass on the chips and look for the vegetable tray, but skip the dressing dip. The ranch or blue cheese dressing comes with extra calories. Instead, look for hummus if you need some extra flavor. The chickpeas adds a little bit of protein and lots of flavor. Be careful with fruit though. It might seem like a healthy option, but fruit contains more sugar than you think. Enjoy some, but keep it early and stick to a few pieces.

Leave the carbs on the table. Carbs in the morning are a good thing as you have all day to burn them off. Later in the day though, they build up and eventually convert to fat since your body doesn’t need the fuel immediately. When you go for an all-beef hot dog or that lean beef hamburger, leave the buns behind. Instead, look for broad leaf lettuce, or just eat it open faced.

Staying hydrated on any day is important, but even more so in the summer time. Your party is probably going to be outside and it’s going to be hot, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water. If water is a little too plain for your taste, try adding a splash of lemon or lime juice, or slice up some cucumber and let it steep. Get an insulated water bottle like a Hydroflask for the office or a Polar Bottle for when you are active. Both will help keep your water colder for longer, making it so much more refreshing.

If you are craving soda, try sparkling waters. It gives you the same carbonated feel, but without the sugar. Make sure to read the labels and stick with waters that are low in sugar and sodium. Better yet, pick up a SodaStream and add a little bit of lime juice or vanilla extract to your bottle. Just be careful if you are carbonating your water and then adding it to a sealed container. Make sure to vent it every so often so the top doesn’t blow off. Yeah, I’ve done it.

Once you deprive yourself of the real life food, then it is now consider a “diet”, then you won’t succeed. If you feel like having dessert, or are used to having one after each meal, grab a piece of (dark) chocolate. Then follow through with a tall glass of water. Split a cupcake with your significant other. Portion control will satisfy your craving plus sharing is caring. Caring about each other’s health.

Celebrating a holiday doesn’t mean you need to sit all day long. Do something to be active. Go for a walk, or a run, or a bike ride. Throw some horseshoes or quoits. Start up an impromptu Zumba class in the middle of the picnic. Whatever you do, get up and move around to burn some extra calories to offset any additional calories you are taking in. You can do this in the office too. Take a break every so often and go for a short walk. If there are some stairs you can climb, make sure to hit them.

Last but not least, and majority are fully aware of this, but you can’t exercise  off a bad diet. It is called 80/20 for a reason. Make smart choices as well as sweat once a day. Feel good about what’s inside and also on the outside. Why do you think we’re always smiling after a great workout? It’s endorphins and a feel good effect after an awesome and fun workout. VeeFit4Fun trains at the Nook so try a free orientation/fitness assessment and free first INSANITY Class every Monday at 5pm. Sign up at the front desk. Who knows? Vee might be throwing free and random bootcamp classes in the area to support the fight against cancer?