Try These Healthy Patriotic 4th of July Eats

Classic 4th of July recipes and their healthier (but just as tasty) substitutes

The 4th of July is just around the corner (HOW did it get so close?!) and we know that feasting celebrations are one of your favorite traditions during the holiday (ours too!). As much fun as it can be to indulge with your family and friends, overeating on holidays is a real thing and something we all want to try and avoid. Even if you run your local 5k that morning or participate in our 10am community WOD, that doesn’t mean you get to stuff yo’ face with whatever you want. Whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish, consider swapping some of these fan favorites for their lighter, just as flavorful options.

Some of the recipes have the nutrition facts already calculated for you for easy tracking!

Potato Salad

  • Skip the mayo and try a trendier version. Use sweet potatoes, like this recipe from Paleomg, or keep it simple with traditional red potatoes and tons of herb-y flavor. Find a recipe here.

Burgers

  • Classic burgers are fattier, normally made with 80/20 meat, cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, mustard and a white burger bun. 
  • Choose a leaner beef (90/10 or higher) or even a leaner meat option all together (ground turkey, ground chicken, or a lean ground pork). Season and skip the cheese. Pesto, tomato, pickles, grilled veggies make fantastic toppings. Use a whole wheat bun or a bed of lettuce, pull the insides of the bun out (hollow it out) to make more room for toppings and less room for carbs!
  • Check out this chicken avocado burger recipe from Laughing Spatula! Need to cut the fat? Use less avocado!

Hot Dogs & Bratwurst

Corn on the Cob

  • Make it your classic way (we like grilled or boiled), just go easy on the butter and salt. Or, skip them all together and savor the naturally sweet flavor.

Alcoholic drinks

Just say no! Pour yourself a virgin version or avoid the carbs and sugar all together and stick to good ole’ water. But, if you must, consider substituting sodas and sugary mixes with seltzer water, flavored or unflavored, and using natural/fresh fruit instead of the fruit concentrate or juices.

If you really want to take the brain work out of it, there are a few companies selling spiked seltzer water by the can now. Take a look at this taste-test review of a few different brands if you’re looking to mix it up! Most are very low in carbohydrates, sugar, and you can find plenty of brands that are gluten free.

Coleslaw

  • Try a recipe that uses a vinegar or olive oil base instead of mayo, for a healthy fat or no-fat option. Check out this olive oil-based recipe.

Deviled Eggs

  • Try this recipe and substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise. Trust us, it’s good.

Pie

  • Cobbler or Crumble (less crust!) Try this low carb, rhubarb option. If you’re not a rhubarb fan or don’t have any on hand, sub any type of fruit you like!

Red White and Blue Cake

The classic white cake with vanilla frosting, blueberries and strawberries to create an edible American flag. Cute, yes. Healthy… not so much. Get the same kind of patriotic vibes with these Banana Split Kebabs!

Skewer a piece of banana, blueberries, and a strawberry onto a kebab stick in alternating red, white, and blue order or organize to make them look like a flag. Dip them in whipped cream or drizzle chocolate on top for an extra dessert kick. Feel free to use any combination of blue, white, and red fruits you enjoy eating!

Don’t forget our BRFC community WOD at 10:00 on July 4th! Bring your friends and family to the gym and we’ll all sweat together before the cookouts and fireworks begin!

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too (If You Make It Yourself!): Five Reasons to Make Dessert At Home

As we move into the summer months, we still want you to be able to treat yo’self without the guilt normally attached to eating dessert. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I (Maggie) look for every excuse to eat dessert; so, I present to you the top five reasons that you SHOULD eat dessert this summer… as long as you make it at home.

You’ll save money.

I hate to break it to ya, but pretty much everything is cheaper if you make it at home. There are definitely a few exceptions, but do you really want to be eating an ice cream cone that you bought for 60 cents? Quality over quantity, people.

You’ll save calories.

Have you ever heard of someone actually making a bowl of cookie dough ice cream from scratch? Unless you grew up with Ben and Jerry (or someone with an ice cream machine and a lot of spare time) you probably have only ever eaten it from someone selling it! Eating desserts that you make yourself will save you calories because, well, you probably don’t know how to make most of your favorite treats from scratch. So, if you can’t make it, you can’t eat it. If you are willing to try and make a fan favorite in your own kitchen, you’ll also have control over exactly what is going into the sweet treat you’re making. You can opt to use healthier substitutions (applesauce for butter, cut back on sugar), or try a new, healthy version of your favorite treat. Making it at home gives you total control!

You can share with someone you care about.

If you enjoy cooking and consider yourself a decent cook, chances are you’ve had an opportunity to share a dish with someone you care about, and chances are it felt pretty good to do that! Did you know that the more you share your happiness, the more happiness you create for yourself? Sharing increases joy, so that means homemade dessert= joy! Right?!

You’ll form good habits for your kids.

Studies show that cooking with your kids not only positively influences your children’s behaviors and choices regarding food, but also can increase self-esteem, communication skills, reading and math comprehension, and more! Bond with them, encourage them to experiment with trying new foods, and open their eyes to how GOOD it can taste when they make it all their own!

Experiment!

Don’t hesitate to try new recipes! The internet is FULL of healthy dessert recipes, and tons of them have the nutrition facts already calculated for you (like the ones we found on Good Housekeeping and Eating Well). Check out some of the recipes we’ve picked out below, as well as a few simple, no-cook ideas!

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