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Manic Monday 4th of July Holiday

Happy Birthday America! Today is not only a day of festive celebrations across our great country, but it's also a day of enjoying some of our favorite American foods. We are so quick to associate the 4th with hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, potato salads, and the best chips around : Sterzings (or for my husband, Ranch Doritos). Then sprinkle in the pies, cobblers and homemade ice cream. What a feast, huh? There's no reason NOT to celebrate, however, the aftermath might be the fact that you need another vacation day just to recover from all the eating you did on the 4th. If this usually is what you experience, why not try a new strategy to avoid the July 5th "effect" (there is also the day after Thanksgiving "effect," December 26th "effect", the January 1st "effect" and so on).

There are many ways to enjoy a holiday celebration and still feel good. We all know there are better food options. I feel like I am preaching to the choir when I tell people to swap out higher fat meats with leaner options (trading beef for ground turkey). Or even trading pasta salads and chips for raw veggies or corn on the cob without butter. Enjoying fresh cut watermelon and berries instead of pies and cookies. But here is the kicker: YOU have to consciously plan to do this beforehand. YOU might have to be the one who brings or prepares these items. If you do this, then you are guaranteed the healthier options.

Another thing to point out: I love reminding people that they are not force fed. Even Eve in the Garden of Eden wasn't force-fed the forbidden fruit. She chose to eat it. I just read about a young man, Thomas, who won a national hot dog eating contest in 2013. He consumed 68 hot dogs which was over 13,000 calories in less than an hours time. At the end, he was sure to be force feeding himself against his own desire as his stomach was about to burst, literally. That's ridiculous! Especially because I'm sure he's not really lavishing in the taste of a good 'ol American hot dog. And isn't that true for some of us when we start overeating? Sure, in the beginning, it all tastes divine, but by the time you are tilting the chip bag into your mouth to knock down the last of the crumbs into your mouth, you are just eating to eat. I've done it with other's ridiculous! Because after you're done with the overeating spree, it comes time to ask, "now what?"

So this 4th of July, start out the morning with a refreshing walk or a trip to MVP Fitness Center for a good workout! Drink plenty of water, more than usual throughout the day. Prepare YOUR healthier food options to celebrate with. If you want to enjoy a piece of apple pie, choose to enjoy it in moderation. Focus in on other enjoyments (conversations, games, etc) instead of food and drinks. Avoid the July 5th aftermath!

Have a GREAT 4th of July!

Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach


Wife, Mother and Friend


Your mental preparation for your festive eating should be that you are "mindful" of your well being and the after effect of what you chose to eat and drink. What will your grand total be?

1 hot dog: 385 calories

1 hamburger: 433 calories

1 corn on the cob with butter: 280 calories

1 serving of baked beans: 182 calories

1 serving of potato salad: 450 calories

1 slice of apple pie: 500 calories


Total: 2,430 calories, 141 g fat, 229g carbs

A 150 lb individual would have to run approximately 14 miles to burn this amount of calories!

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