healthy living

4th of July Recommendations for Healthy Living

4th of July is a holiday filled with quality time with loved ones, delicious food, and tasty drinks! With each holiday comes the chance to unwind and take a day off from our normal routines. However, holidays tend to also be associated with a higher risk of heat illness, drinking alcohol, and foods that could cause inflammation or digestive complications. Luckily, there are many ways to protect yourself this coming Thursday and have a fun yet safe holiday! 

Recipe and Eating Recommendations for the 4th of July 

While the classic 4th of July spread tends to contain more unhealthy options does not mean we can’t find a way to turn our favorites into a more health-friendly dish. One of the best ways to create a dish that is both delicious and healthy is to have variety! From lean proteins to healthy fats, a standout dish will contain all of the nutrients for a well-balanced meal. 

Here are some recipe recommendations for the coming holiday: 

Caprese Skewers: Caprese is a dish consisting of basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella. People tend to season this dish with olive oil and salt – sometimes even adding balsamic glaze. The assembly of this dish is quick and easy, making it a stress-free option for those hosts who have less time to assemble the food layout for the day. All of the ingredients in caprese are fresh and nutritious. Basil, in specific, helps reduce inflammation and are full of antioxidants

Jalapeno Guacamole: Guacamole mainly consists of avocado which is a wonderful healthy fat option. Guacamole is packed with fiber which helps you to feel full longer and bulk up your stool for a healthier digestive process. Guacamole is another quick dish that is always a fan favorite. For an even healthier spread consider switching out the classic tortilla chips for whole-grain tortilla chips. 

Grilled Chicken Skewers: Skewers of any kind are such a fun option, and packing them with protein is a great way to get a lean dish in this holiday season. Grilled chicken skewers can be dressed up with your favorite vegetables or other proteins. Chicken breast contains less fat, however, chicken thighs will give you a tastier dish. 

Homemade Popsicles: There is nothing quite like ending your day with a scrumptious dessert. While we most definitely do not advise against indulging in an ice cream sandwich from time to time, if you are looking for a healthier dessert alternative, consider making your own ice pops at home. You can buy a mold at your local grocery store, and even add a splash of food coloring to make them festive. 

Tips on How to Stay Safe This 4th of July 

  1. Implement Heat Precautions - If you are celebrating this 4th of July, odds are you are going to be spending the day in the sun and heat. While we recommend soaking up the vitamin D from the sun rays, we also advise implementing precautions to protect yourself from experiencing fatigue or illness from the heat. Make sure to wear the proper clothing and apply SPF regularly throughout the day. 
  2. Carry a Water Bottle: Hydration is key when spending the day in the heat. This is especially important if you plan to indulge in a glass of wine or a beer. Be sure to pack your water bottle for your holiday this week. Electrolyte packs are especially helpful in quickly boosting your hydration levels. 
  3. Take a Break Indoors: If you have the chance to, consider spending some time indoors for a period of time throughout your day to give your body a break from the heat. While you may not realize it at the time, your body does get fatigued from spending prolonged time in the sun. An afternoon nap and cold shower can be a great way to boost your energy levels. 
  4. Eat Light Meals: A heavier meal is more likely to make you feel tired. Instead, try to keep your meals on the lighter side. Grilling is the best way to minimize the amount of fats you need to cook up your meal and is a low-maintenance option compared to spending time in the kitchen. 

The Dangers of Drinking Alcohol and How to Indulge Safely This Coming Week 

Here are some tips on how to drink safely this 4th of July! 

  1. Take Your Time: Alcohol tends to be a staple for many people on this holiday; however, that does not mean you should indulge to the same degree. It is important to pace yourself when drinking alcohol to avoid overindulging. Try to alternate your alcoholic drinks with water to promote hydration. 
  2. Eat Food: Eating food is crucial when consuming alcohol, because it helps to soak on the alcohol in your stomach and will minimize your chances of feeling ill from drinking. Be sure to not drink alcohol on an empty stomach and try to prioritize meals throughout your day. We recommend packing snacks if you plan to spend time away from home or on the water. 
  3. Focus on Having Fun: Alcohol is not needed to have a good time. Instead of focusing on drinking, try to focus on your loved ones and the present moment. This will allow you to truly appreciate where you are. 
  4. Consider Its Effects on Digestion: Alcohol completely disrupts your digestive process, causes bloating/inflammation, and can lead to irregular bowel movements or indigestion. While a bloating supplement and a digestive enzyme supplement can help to support your digestive process, it cannot take away the negative effects of alcohol on your system. Be sure to consider these side effects when deciding whether or not to indulge in alcohol. 

Alcohol and spending all day in the sun can sometimes be a recipe for disaster. That is why it is crucial to prioritize hydrating, eating, and focusing on what really matters — your friends and family. We hope we have inspired you to add some gut-friendly rituals to your 4th of July this month, and we hope that you all have a safe and lovely holiday. Don’t forget to pack on the SPF! 

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