On Independence Day, many of us like to enjoy the holiday by partying hard with family & friends. But with all that food & alcohol, the day can often turn into a nutritional and holistic lifestyle pitfall, setting back the momentum to achieve our health goals. Don’t sabotage your terrific efforts to get lean, have a healthy gut & to feel good. Implement these tips this 4th to keep the trajectory going forward!
Here Holistic Fitness & Wellness Coach Christian Van Camp shares his tips on how to host a healthy Fourth of July cookout without putting a damper on the fun af festivities:
1. Grill Plants with Your Meat!
"Grills aren't just for meats," says Van Camp, who's a Holistic Health fanatic and coach. "Instead of throwing those standard (non-grass-fed) hamburger patties or inflammatory Oscar Mayer weiners on the grill, try hearty vegetables like portobello mushrooms and cauliflower steaks."
He also recommends grilling veggie skewers by stacking zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, and even some sweet pineapple.
Beef burgers are a staple of Fourth of July barbecues, and some of you Americans may feel the holiday is incomplete without them. Red meat is healthy af when eaten in moderation (2-3x/week). Plus they are tremendously healthier when organic and grass-fed.
Don’t put a label on red meat saying “it's inflammatory”, “bad for the environment”, or downright “evil to eat” just because you don’t support an omnivorous, primal eating pattern. If it is 100% grass-fed and finished, it's better for the cow/pig and your health. If it’s pasture-raised, organic and cage-free combined, it's better for the chicken and your health.
Find the right labels and support that this RED WHITE BLUE DAY!
However, outside of meat, a plant-predominant diet (80%) with the remaining 20% as organic animal-based foods is key to a long-living lifestyle due to the antioxidants, fiber, and anti-inflammatories found in a wide array of veggies, herbs, spices, and fruits. Grill plants side-by-side with your animals.
2. Keep the Hangover at Bay with these Lifestyle Hacks
Solo cups and the Fourth of July may go together hand in hand, but that doesn't mean everyone should go overboard with the alcohol.
Lighter alcohol options, such as an organic vodka, 100% agave tequila, or my favorite Crook & Marker Organic Super Grain alcohol, are more healthful than some other options, such as a Busch beer. Partygoers should also be aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol and the sun.
“You need to make sure you and your party friends are hydrating, yo!” Van Camp says. "It's best to double fist: have one nonalcoholic drink in one hand and your alcoholic drink in the other."
Hydration is key right, but the best thing you can do is read through this entire blog HERE to ALWAYS prevent a hangover.
3. Try More Healthful, Homemade Condiments, 'Real' Colorful Foods & Go Easy on Carbs
"There are a lot of hidden sugars and shitty oils that will give you headaches, food comas, fat gain and brain fog in some of your favorite condiments, from barbecue sauce to ketchup to salad dressings," Van Camp says. "Make sure to buy condiments that aren't loaded with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup."
For salad dressing, Christian recommends creating your own.
"Take a blender and blend extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and fresh garlic cloves. You'll have a dressing that's both delicious and a lot healthier than a premade dressing from the store that's filled with a ton of BS that will sabotage your goals."
When people think of festive holidays, they typically think of colorful foods," Van Camp says. "There are tons of ways to brighten up the food you're serving without buying a cake with colorful evil frosting."
Coach Van Camp suggests making sure the colors in your food are coming from natural ingredients and not from food dyes. A diverse array of fruits and vegetables will add a splash of color to your party.
Van Camp says you can even put fruit such as dates, watermelon, apricots, plums, or peaches on the grill for a short time. They'll not only add color to the party but they'll also serve as healthful dessert options as well.
Now moving onto the glycemic index of foods: carbohydrates. To have the best fourth ever, limiting blood sugar spiking processed carbs coming from dressings, chips, Cheez-Its and wheat bread buns will leave you feeling like an American Marine: The Few and The Proud.
Typical side dishes, like macaroni salad and potato salad, can be heavy and packed with carb-loaded calories. Christian suggests serving fatty, yummy guacamole and hummus as side dishes. Both have higher fiber, fewer carbs and fewer calories while still being filling. If potato salad is on the menu, Van Camp recommends making a vinegar-based version instead of mayonnaise. Ditching the mayo will also help protect the food against quick spoilage.
For real, in order to keep your energy up for lighting shizzle up, and to maintain a solid non-Standard American Diet (SAD) mood, go easy on the carbs and eat more healthy fats and proteins coming from fatty fish like salmon, grass-fed beef, and organic chicken. These will keep you fueled, satiated and with a good belly, not a “People of Walmart” American vibe.
4. Soak Up the Sun & LIGHT IT UP!
The sun is not your burning enemy like our society makes it out to be. That bright orb in the sky is HEALING. Those toxic sunscreens laden with all sorts of chemicals will illicit cancer more than the sun. It's all about the internal sunscreen, aka healthy fats (i.e. omega-3s), greens and antioxidants from nutrient-dense superfoods like blueberries and spirulina. Consume an anti-inflammatory meal beforehand like wild-caught salmon with avocado, cayenne, extra virgin olive oil and maybe on the side have some blueberries and spirulina in a smoothie. THAT IS ANTI-OXIDIZING from the sun, not sunscreen which blocks healthy healing rays.
While you’re lighting up your mood from sunshine, light up some fireworks with friends and have a fight with Roman Candles (try not to take your eyes out though). Happy fourth!
EXTRA: BE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
This year, do your best to enjoy a Fourth of July that's not only fun but also healthful. And—as a bonus for the environment—Van Camp reminds us to recycle if using plastic plates or flatware, or try compostable and renewable options made of bamboo, hemp or paper.
That’s another reason why I support the company Purium Organic Superfoods, because they are going 100% plastic-free by the end of 2021 using biodegradable hemp and bamboo terra pouches on their 50+ products. Check out the 30-Day Gut Reset here to revamp your energy, mood, fat loss and purpose in life! Use code cvcwellness to save $110 on this phenomenal holistic package.
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