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This week' blog is about food and fitness tips for a healthy 4th of July. Just writing about this will help keep me honest on this one and make sure I follow some of my own thoughts/advice! But today's tips work not only for the 4th but for any weekend where we tend to over-indulge whether its Memorial Day, Christmas, or whenever we get together with friends and family to celebrate.
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Start with a Healthy Fit and Fun Mindset:  First it starts with a mentality of enjoy the weekend, eat healthy and stay fit. Focus on fun first because it is a holiday afterall and its no fun being healthy with no fun. We do this for a reason right? So feel great, eat great, but don'f forget to have fun.

Eat and Enjoy, just not too much: Watch calories and don't eat too much. If you want to nibble, head to the carrots and celery sticks and watch the dips and potato chips.  Fill up on the better stuff but it's ok to grab a buffalo wing if the desire hits you!

Everyday Get Moving but Make it Fun:  Each day do something for you or with your partner or a good friend. Get some exercise, go for a run, a hike, swim.  Just get the body moving and crank it up a bit.  Something healthy every day whether it's morning or afternoon but before the festivities start so you dont skip it altogether.  We have a family tradition to do a hike through some steep California hills behind my house every Thanksgiving before we eat too much turkey...that's the concept... some towns have a 4th of July "fun run" - you can walk it even if your not a runner. Take a long walk to your Starbucks (just avoid the pastries and muffins when you get there!).  So go for a walk, a bike ride but just get moving and get the "feel good" endorphins in your brain released which cardio exercise has been proven to do.

Relax and Enjoy: Relax and enjoy the weekend.  I say it because relaxation is part of being fit and our lives are so busy we sometimes have to remind ourselves on this one.  Step away from work.  Work today isn't just a place, it's in our head as we live with Blackberries and iphones and work can seem to be a round the clock life.  So step way from the laptop and tell yourself "this weekend is my time".  Be grateful for a great weekend and decide to make it fun and great one.

You Can Eat Great but Healthy:  Grills are one of the best ways as mentioned in my other blog posts to be healthy.  Grilling can let you add lots of flavor without adding fat. And the right cuts of meat can be very low fat and very high in proteins and often contain the widest range of essesntial amino acids. Think lean chicken breast, lean pork loin or pork tenderloin, filet mignon - with a spice rub or a healthy sauce they can have all the flavor without the fat of brats.   But brats are fine - after all it's the 4th! Just dont eat them all! 

And don't forget some great 4th of July vegetables:  rub some sweet corn with olive oil salt and pepper it and grill it until slightly charred with a few blackened kernels...have a big salad but with a healthy olive oil vinaigrette vs a fatty white dressing.... eat some great red and blue fruit like strawberries and blueberries.

Watch sugary drinks.  Whether it's avoiding sugary sports drinks, too much fruit juice or too many margaritas, just realize that sugar calories, if they are beyond what you need, will be convered directly to fat!

Splurge!  A little.  Ok more than a little.  Remember have fun first as that is what life is about and it's the 4th so don't overdo the healthy thing.  Splurge and have fun.  An extra glass of wine or fun drink wont kill your diet or health.  Enjoy yourself but just dont over do it.  Have a great 4th!
 


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    Every Day Fit GourmetTM 
    Ingredients, Cooking, Fitness

    A high tech marketing guy with no time who loves gourmet food from around the world, eats it every day, and cares about staying fit and healthy.