What comes to mind when you think of 4th of July? We automatically picture barbecues filled with greasy burgers, salty chips, lots of beer, and fireworks of course. It’s always hard to maintain a healthy diet during any holiday but this year don’t let 4th of July derail your summer bod! We’ve handpicked some of our favorite healthy summer food and drink recipes and devised a few activities that will keep you fit and active and best of all won’t compromise your patriotic fun!
Grilled Portobello Pineapple Burgers – Burgers on the grill are a well known staple of 4th of July, but not always the healthiest option. Don’t worry, you don’t have to put away your barbecue just yet, there are plenty of healthy burgers out there. Like these burgers that will wow non-meateaters and meateaters alike! Portobello mushrooms, when marinated and grilled, take on a meat-like texture and are extremely satisfying. Not to mention they are low-calorie, high in macronutrients, fiber, Potassium and many other health benefits you won’t get from a regular burger. The addition of grilled pineapple adds a tropical, summery freshness that no one will be able to pass up!
Turkey Burger on Portobello Buns – Turkey burgers are a great alternative to beef, they are a much leaner meat which means less fat, which is always a good thing. Instead of a starchy, grain filled bun opt for a couple grilled Portobello caps. This versatile and nutrient filled superfood is the perfect shape and texture to book end all the deliciousness of your turkey burger.
Root Vegetable Fries – It IS possible to have healthy fries, we promise! Instead of those greasy potato strips that we all love so much, use any root vegetable you can get your hands on: Carrots, Turnips, Beets, Celery Root, the possibilities are endless really. Once seasoned and baked these veggies taste just like our beloved french fries and won’t leave you bloated or regretful.
Light and Fresh Potato Salad – I don’t know about you, but it just wouldn’t feel like 4th of July without some good ol’ Potato Salad. However, traditional potato salad, though delicious, is slathered in mayonnaise and we just cannot stand for that. This recipe uses a light and refreshing vinaigrette instead of the fattening, processed condiment. This light side dish will have your guests coming back for seconds, heck, even thirds, it’s only 90 calories a serving!
Patriotic Quinoa Salad – This healthy and festive salad will pick up everyones 4th of July spirit and their energy! Quinoa and almonds are both very high in protein, giving this refreshing fruit salad an extra edge. On a day that usually starts early and goes well into the night, a protein packed meal is a definite necessity.
Raspberry Yogurt Ice Pops – There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a popsicle on a hot summer day. These fresh fruit pops are healthy and easy to make. This particular recipe calls for sour cream and buttermilk but we suggest using greek yogurt or coconut yogurt for a healthier option. If you want a more patriotic treat add blueberries to the mix!
Strawberry Lime Margarita – This margarita recipe will knock your socks (or sandals, rather) off! Packed with fresh fruit and citrus you’ll be getting healthy dose of fiber as you sip on this frozen treat. As the recipe says, the fresher the strawberries, the better! Forget the added sweetener and stop by your local farmers market to pick up some fresh berries the day before your festivities.
Patriotic Vodka Soda – This might be the cleanest cocktail you’ve ever had. Using fresh fruit and mineral water as opposed to sugary mixers (hello hangover!) this cocktail will have you feeling refreshed and renewed. The mix is so good on its own that you can even leave out the vodka for an irresistible non-alcoholic spritzer.
Fireworks Fizz – This low-calorie cocktail will light your tastebuds on fire (in a good way of course). This recipe calls for Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka and all natural Pomegranate juice, yum! At only 60 calories a glass this one is pretty hard to pass up.
Blueberry Screwdriver Jell-O Stars – Ahhh, the beloved Jell-O Shot. This summer time staple is usually made with processed boxed powder, tons of sugar and weird artificial ingredients that do not do a body good. This fun recipe opts for grass-fed gelatin or vegan gelatin and calls for 100% OJ, none of that concentrated juice, thank you very much. These treats will for sure be the hit of your party!
Bike Ride – Break out the Beach Cruisers and get to pedaling! Not only is biking a smart way to get around if you plan on partaking in the aforementioned Jell-O Shots, it’s also a great form of exercise. Work off those burgers and enjoy a scenic ride down the boardwalk or ride around the neighborhood and scope out the Firework competition.
Beach Volleyball – If you plan on spending your Fourth at the beach, Volleyball is a great way to work up a sweat. Grab a group a friends and play a friendly game, or raise the stakes and make it a little more interesting (loser has to man the grill maybe?). Start up a game at sunset to avoid getting overheated.
Block Party Obstacle Course – 4th of July is a time that brings neighbors and families together. What better way to get everyone involved and stay active than an Obstacle Course. You can include timeless picnic games like potato sack races, wheel-barrow races, and tug of war that are sure to leave everyone laughing and having a good time. Hey, it’s even fun when there are no kids present! Alcohol + Three-legged races are sure to result in some hilarious photos.
Neighborhood Race – Organize your own 5K! What better way to start the day then to gather your neighbors and friends for a friendly race around the neighborhood. It will have everyone pumped and ready to start the day, not to mention eat and drink feeling guilt-free. Have food and treats waiting at the finish line for some fun incentive!