While there are healthier options for some of the fan favorites, when we just talk about those substitutions we overlook the bigger picture:
Enjoying time with friends and family does not need to be all about food.
Here are some ways to enjoy a vacation without a focus on food:
- Take a long walk on the beach with a friend you haven't seen in a while
- Head paddle boarding with a sibling
- Enjoy sand castle building with your kids
- Catch up with family over a campfire
- Take in fireworks displays
- Make up an independence day workout with friends
- Grab a quiet early morning cup of coffee and stroll with a parent you haven't seen in a while
- Take some space for solo time through meditation/yoga can to revisit your intentions rather than giving yourself over to the weekend with no regard for self
Perhaps, disengaging from our day-to-day life for a few days of relaxation can become about trying new things and expanding our minds/interests rather than just our bellies.
That being said: as a culture we gather around food. And, the weekend ahead tends to offer no shortage of food + beverage - at the campsite, in the rental house or camper, or even in our kitchen if we're hosting guests. Prioritizing meals and snacks with high protein and fiber and lots of water is key to controlling our hunger, managing our energy and avoiding cravings that can lead us to over-indulge.
Having a few delicious but fat-loss friendly recipes in our back pocket can put us back in the driver's seat.
4 (PLUS, A SPECIAL BONUS!) 4TH OF JULY FAT-LOSS RECIPES:
- 2, 14-oz cans petite diced tomatoes (or, 4-6 fresh roma tomatoes chopped)
- 1, 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1, 14-oz can corn, drained
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 4 cubanelle peppers, 1 diced and 3 cut into large pieces (simulating a scoop chip).
- 2-3 tbsp. diced jalepenos
- 1/2 tsp. garlic minced (tip: use a lemon zester!)
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
- 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 limes, juiced (and one zested)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black cracked pepper
- In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, black beans, corn, onion, avocado, pepper, jalepenos and garlic.
- Dress with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
- Serve as a side with grilled chicken or steak or as an appetizer with pepper "chips" or corn tortilla chips.
KALE CAESAR SALAD
- 6 cups of kale (spine removed and chopped, about 2 bunches)
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/8 c. parmesan cheese grated, optional
- 3 tsp. anchovy paste or one container of anchovy filets, drained
- 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
- Into a blender, add lemon juice and zest, garlic, cheese, anchovies and pepper. Pulse to combine, adding more EVOO until you reach your desired consistency.
- Dress kale with mixture and with clean hands, massage the kale for several minutes to combine all the ingredients.
- Either serve immediately or let sit in the fridge for several hours before serving.
- 4 cups of white cabbage shredded (I prefer shredding at home vs. buying pre-shredded)
- 1 cup of carrots, grated or shredded (pre-shredded is fine - these don't tend to dry out as much as pre-shredded cabbage does)
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin
- 2/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey or 1-2 drops of liquid stevia
- 1 tsp celery seed
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- pumpkin seeds
- In a medium bowl, add yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey/stevia, celery seed, s+p and whisk to combine (or pulse in a small blender).
- In a small pan on med-high heat, roast pumpkin seeds until fragrant being sure to toss periodically (only a few minutes).
- Top slaw with pumpkin seeds and stir.
- 1 1/2 tbsp. avocado oil
- 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup low-fat greek yogurt
- ½ cup organic mayonnaise
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 dash of paprika
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. cracked pepper
- 1/2 scallion, chopped
- In a medium pan over medium heat, add the avocado oil.
- Add the onion and a sprinkle of sea salt and cook until soft and brown (caramelized) about 20-30 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir in with onions for a minute until fragrant. Remove onion and garlic and cool.
- In a blender, combine greek yogurt, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika and black pepper. Add the cooled onion and garlic mixture. Pulse for a few seconds to combine all the ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until cool.
- Sprinkle with chopped green onion and serve with homemade sweet potato chips or cucumber slices.
"OAR NAUT" TEQUILA COCKTAIL
Ok so this isn't a fat-loss recipe but it's a damn good cocktail that you might want to enjoy when you do decide to kick your feet up and relax. One of these beats several beers any day! If you love margaritas, try this variation my husband and I created.
- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. St. Germaine liquor
- 1 oz. tequila
- 5 oz. plain seltzer
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and mixin all the ingredients. Shake several times to combine.
- Pour cocktail over ice and serve with a fresh lime wedge.
Happy 4th of July! I wish you a safe, fun and relaxing long weekend!
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