Set scene: Sam sits down at a coffee shop and prepares to write a 4th of July post for the people. She looks around and notices that the lady across from her has her four little toenails painted in alternating red and white, with the big toenail painted blue…with stars. Sam can’t decide if this is cute, or ridiculous, and then she realizes she’s been staring at this woman’s feet for two solid minutes. End scene.
Everybody celebrates their Fourth in different ways. Some people go to the beach. Others have barbecues. Some brave souls join the throngs in seeking out the best fireworks, while their neighbors find a friend with a rooftop and watch them in peace. And some even paint their toenails red, white, and blue.
Whatever your plans, here’s our guide to a healthy, happy Fourth of July.
Check out our post on Healthy Summer Skin Care to find information on sunscreen, insect repellant, and the best hygiene practices for surviving the elements this weekend.
This is one of the slowest weekends of the year for the gym, because everyone’s outside having fun! Taking a break from your regular gym routine is actually a pretty good idea every now and then. Start your morning with a walk during the cooler hours, go for a jog with that friend who usually works on Fridays, or try out a new hike.
Last summer, Ross wrote series of posts about outdoor fitness:
(P.S. Ross is starting an Outdoor Bootcamp on July 27th! Stay tuned for details.)
Try out some unexpected dishes this year. Here’s two of my favorites:
Serves 2 | Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes chill time
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 C strawberries, sliced
- 1 C blueberries
Separate the fat from the coconut milk. Add fat plus a splash of milk to a glass bowl (save the rest of the milk for smoothies). Add vanilla, honey, and cinnamon and beat with a hand mixer until it reaches the consistency of Cool Whip. Keep the cream cold until service, or it will get runny.
Layer coconut cream, strawberries, and blueberries for an all-American parfait. This is super easy to multiply and makes a great, healthy dessert for all those cookouts.
Meal on a Grill
This year, instead of slaving away in the kitchen, you can throw everything on the grill and kick back. You can make as much as you need to, and mix and match your ingredients. There’s not really a recipe for this, in other words.)
Cut assorted veggies into large pieces, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and fold into a foil pouch. I like onions, peppers, and summer squash. Eggplant, sweet potatoes, and cherry tomatoes would be nice additions, too.
You can also bake potatoes on the hot coals. Poke several holes in the skin of a potato, then wrap in foil. When the grill is hot, place the taters right down into the hot coals. This works best with smaller potatoes.
Start your potatoes and veggies first, and give them a good twenty minutes head start before adding the meat. Of course, this all depends on what cuts of meat you choose. Potatoes will take about an hour, and the veggies can take around 45 minutes, depending on where they are on the grill and what types/sizes you have.
Add some corn on the cob, and BOOM. Meal on a grill.
In a sea of chips and soda, try to find some healthier munchies. I’d opt for:
- Sliced/assorted fruit
- Veggies with dip (the fancy people call this crudité)
- Salsa or guacamole instead of cheesy, processed sauces & dips
- Ants on a log – try different versions with various types of nut butter & dried fruit
Yep, we’re going to talk about booze on a health blog. Because healthy people drink, right? How do you think Damon handles all those patients, AND the gym, and still manages to be so friendly? KIDDING, PEOPLE. KIDDING.
Anyway. A couple factors to be aware of when it comes to 4th of July imbibing:
1. You’re more likely to be dehydrated already (especially if it’s super hot & humid), so the same amount of alcohol might affect you differently than it would at normal temps. Drink extra EXTRA water this weekend, and supplement your hydration with some coconut water and/or aloe vera juice.
2. A lot of the fun cocktails served at cookouts (mojitos, mint juleps, etc…do people still drink mint juleps?) have a really high sugar content. Not only does this further compromise your hydration, it wreaks havoc on your blood sugar. Make sure to eat a lot of protein (dogs and burgers, baby!) throughout the day, and watch out for the day-after sugar cravings you’re bound to feel.
Wishing you the happiest, healthiest, Fourth of July, from the crew at AFF!