Declare Your Health Independence

Holidays are a time full of friends, family, fun and temptation. With all the BBQs and beer, 4th of July can quickly turn into a full day of eating. This year declare your healthy independence and free yourself from the typical July Fourth fare. Here are a few tricks I like to use to make sure I don’t go too overboard on the 4th.

Start Off On The Right Foot
One thing you can do to offset the impact of holiday food and drink before you even get to the parties is to start your day with exercise. There are a lot of organized races located on Active.com that you can participate in – or just head out for a run, walk, bike ride, or to the gym. This can be a fun activity for the whole family, too.

Don’t Forget to Eat
Often times, we try to eat very little before a party or event so that we have calories saved up to splurge on our high-fat favorites. But then what happens is when you arrive, you are so hungry you are overwhelmed by all the options and cannot make the best choice. Eat as you normally would and make sure to have a healthy snack with carbs, protein and fat before heading out to your event. Some options include an apple with peanut butter, veggies an hummus, yogurt and granola, cereal, or almonds and a piece of fruit.

Come Prepared
Whether you are hosting a party or attending, make sure you have healthy options on hand. Offer to bring a healthy side dish like fruit, whole wheat pasta salad, green salad, or a veggie tray. You can also bring your own protein for the grill like a piece of fish or a turkey, salmon, or veggie burger. This way you know you will have healthy options to choose from.

Don’t Drink ALL Your Calories
Celebrating with an adult beverage (or two) is part of the holidays and you do not have to miss out on the fun just because you are trying to be healthy. Have a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage, slow down and spend time chatting with friends rather than chugging your cocktail. Some healthy choices include light beer, wine, mojitos, and sangria. I am excited to make this sparkling sangria from Cooking Light

Most Importantly – Enjoy!
Remember that holidays are a time to relax and have fun. One day will not make or break a healthy lifestyle and beating yourself up over a little indulging never fixes anything. Go into the holiday with a plan and do your best to make the best choices for you.

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