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Manic Monday ~ Go forth with the Fourth!

Let's get real for a moment. What do you associate the 4th of July with? ( think about it ......)

Did you think food? For most, the 4th of July is just that. There are social events of all kinds and most all of them incorporate a great deal of food. You know, grilled burgers, brats, chips, potato salad, pie, and much more! (**Read last year's blog entry for the 4th) Celebrating the 4th should be festive as we are reminded of our independence as a nation, and our freedom as citizens. But, the day of food can bring set backs to those who are in the process of changing their lifestyles to improve their health. I'm here to encourage you to keep moving forward on that path by taking control of the holiday ahead. Yes, YOU can make the 4th a day of victory instead of a day of setbacks.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Stay Hydrated with Water: No matter where you are in America, July is hot! Be sure to drink plenty of water and keep your body from overheating, and stay away from caffeinated and sugary drinks that dehydrate you. Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand too as fruit is packed with vitamins, fiber and water.

  • Start and Active Tradition: Be it an annual family kickball tournament, neighborhood volleyball game or a pre-dinner hike, an annual activity will be a welcome event to any July 4th celebration. Not only will it get everyone’s blood pumping (and put them in a good mood) but it will also give you stories to share for years to come!

  • Skip Sugary Deserts: This is the season when tons of fresh fruit is available from the grocery, farmers markets, and fruit stands! Cut up strawberries and melon or grill peaches, pineapple or bananas to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding unnecessary processed sugar.

  • Make Healthy drinks Instead of providing sugar filled sodas to guests, make healthy variations such as home-made iced tea sweetened with agave nectar, or even sparkling cucumber water!

  • Eat slowly and mindfully. People who eat more slowly eat fewer calories over the course of a meal. BBQs are a perfect opportunity to pace yourself as you mix and mingle with friends and family. The more you’re chatting, the less you’re eating.

  • Small changes and "tricks" can save you hundreds of calories! Chewing sugar free gum, drinking large bottles of flavored water, snacking in melon, or even socializing more then filling the mouth can be ways to avoid the over abundance of foods.

So move forth this 4th of July! You will be glad you did!!

Have a GREAT week!!!

~Rachel Zimmerman

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