• Tips for a Happy and Healthy 4th of July!

    Tips for a Happy and Healthy 4th of July!

    Everyone knows that a Fourth of July party is the very essence of summer. It’s not just a day to celebrate our great nation but it’s also about spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and of course seeing the fireworks!

    Here are some tips to ensure you have a safe, fun, active and healthy Fourth of July:

    #1 Go Light.

    No one wants to eat a heavy filling meal when you’re outside in the heat. So think about making salads and sides the main course. Grill your meal. You can throw your meat, veggies and even dessert on the grill and enjoy being outside with your guests at the same time.

    #2 Make being Active a 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!

    #3 Stay hydrated.

    No matter what part of the country you live in, July is hot! Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and keep your body from overheating. Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand too as fruit is packed with vitamins, fiber, and water, and with so many in season during the summer there is plenty to choose from.

    #4 Stay Covered.

    Sunscreen is essential for any healthy outdoor activity. UV rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days as well as bright and sunny days. The hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure. So stay covered and throw on a hat and sunglasses for good measure to protect your eyes and face.

    #5 Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.

    Be sure you cook all of your food to the recommended temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria and keep things that should be refrigerated in a cooler over ice.

    #6 Make sure your grill is clean.

    A dirty grill can carry a lot of germs and bacteria. After you are done grilling, do a quick clean up of any visible debris and food, then turn up the heat and let the grill burn off a bit. After the grill is good and cool grab your grill brush for a quick scrub. Once a year, do a deep clean to ensure your grill has a long and healthy grilling life.

    #7 Bring out the lawn games.

    Encourage your party guests to bring their favorite lawn game instead of yet another dessert. Then you can take turns trying out all the different games. Some favorites you might want to have on hand include corn hole, croquet, bocce ball and Frisbee.

    #8 Choose healthy drink options.

    Don’t waste all your calories on sugar-laden sweet tea, sodas, or beer. Instead you can serve refreshing drinks such as peach tea sweetened with agave honey and mint, or cucumber sparkling water.

    #9 Ditch the Sugary Dessert.

    Right now so much fresh fruit is available from the grocery stores, farmers markets, fruit stands, or maybe even your own back yard! Cut up strawberries and melon or grill peaches, pineapple or bananas to satisfy your sweet tooth without expanding your waistline.