It’s that time of year again where the fourth of July has snuck up on us! Since I’m originally from Canada, (we Celebrate Canada Day July 1st) I must say, there’s nothing like how the US celebrates the fourth of July. It’s just one big fun party full of family, friends, barbeque food and drinks all day long!
When it comes to the food and drink part of Independence Day, traditional favorites tend to be not so waistline friendly. Favorites such as barbeques, beans, chips, beer and desserts can leave you feeling bloating, tired and “full” the next day.
Here are a few tips you could implement to make your fourth a bit “healthier” this year:
1) Use Whole Wheat buns or Thin Buns
Swapping your white buns with whole wheat or thin buns can be a great way to still enjoy that burger on the barbeque. White bread causes a spike in your insulin, which in turn causes your body to store more fat, unlike bread made with less processed whole wheat. I personally look for buns labeled 100% whole wheat, to get the most nutrients out of the bun.
2) Grill Lean Meat
Choosing leaner meat cuts is also a healthier way to enjoy the barbeque fun! I personally like to make up my own turkey or lean ground beef patties ahead of time so they are ready for the barbeque when guests arrive. Making your own allows you to know exactly what’s in the burgers vs using the premade ones. Pre-made patties usually contain sub-par meat and extra additives. Other options for lean proteins for a more “waist friendly” barbeque are; chicken breasts, lean cuts of pork or lean cuts of steak such as tenderloin or sirloin.
3) Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals earlier in the day to save up for the evening dinner or barbeque can lead to overeating later in the day. Be sure you are still eating throughout the day (approx. every 2-4 hours) to keep your blood sugars stable. This way, when Aunt Betty brings her “to die for” homemade pie, you’re not tempted to dive into it right away because your oh-so hungry! I personally recommend to all my clients not going 4 hours or more without having at least a snack of something.
4) If you’re going to someone’s house for the fourth, offer to bring a dish for dinner or an appetizer to contribute to the evening. Not only will the host be appreciative of the offer, but now you have at least one dish you can enjoy that won’t ruin all your hard work! Brining a “lighter” version of a dessert is also a good idea, then you can enjoy it with others and know it’s not going to be filled with all the calories of most desserts. Here’s a few easy ideas that are waist line friendly 🙂
Lightened Up 7 Layer Dip:
1 can non-fat refried beans
1 cup hummus (I used red pepper taco flavor) but you can use plain hummus and add 1/2 a packet of taco seasoning.
1 jar (16 oz) chunky red salsa
1 cup Pico De Gallo
1 cup Guacamole
Approx 1 cup reduced fat mozeralla cheese
Approx 1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
Approx 1 cup, halved cherry tomatoes
1)In a shallow pan, spread the non-fat refried beans in an even layer.
2)Add the hummus in another even layer on top of the refried beans.
3)Top with the salsa, pico de gallo and end with the guacamole
1)place 1.2 cup of black beans in the corner of the dip on top of the guacamole
2)layer cherry tomato halves face down on one line and use cheese on the second line.
3)Serve with tortilla chips & enjoy!
Here’s how I made it!: