By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
The Fourth of July is a unique and special time of year for every American. It is a time to celebrate our nation, enjoy time with family and friends, and have an awesome summer party. With everything that’s gone down in the first six months of 2020, though, this year’s 4th of July holiday is perhaps more important than ever. It is an awesome opportunity to remind ourselves of the resilience and strength that is the American heritage.
In this article, we present nine tips for a safe, fun, and healthier 4th of July this year.
We’ve all spent far too long cooped up in our homes in recent months. Take this Fourth of July opportunity to organize an outdoor sports event. Why not get teams together for an epic game of basketball, football, or volleyball? Alternatively, you could get the extended family together for an invigorating hike in the local National Park. If you can incorporate a few historical markers, all the better!
Getting the crew moving outdoors will make everyone feel more energetic, invigorated, and alive.
Temperatures are bound to skyrocket in the month of July. Keep your body well hydrated by maintaining a healthy intake of water. Look to consume about two liters (half a gallon) of water per day. If you are going to be drinking alcoholic beverages, it is even more important, as alcohol has a dehydrating effect in the body.
As well as drinking lots of water, you should increase your fresh fruit intake. Fruits are packed with health, giving vitamins and minerals as well as a high amount of water. And let’s face it—few things are as refreshing as a cool slice of watermelon on a hot summer day.
Sure, it feels good to overindulge in your favorite treats. And maybe July the Fourth seems like a good excuse to do just that. But you know you’ll pay for it later. In the heat of summer, you’ll pay for it even more than usual. So serve up plenty of salads, lean meats, and vegetables, along with the afore-mentioned fruits and water. Limit your portion sizes, and offer activities like playing a game that gets people away from the food table.
Why not present your guests with a tempting array of summer fruits rather than a sugar-filled dessert? You can still offer some sugar-free whipped cream, shaved dark chocolate, and even chocolate-dipped strawberries. It’s all about keeping the rich foods in moderation.
Here are a couple of awesome healthy dessert recipes:
Mix all ingredients, and then put into a blender to make a puree. Pour into a bowl and freeze for several hours. Once frozen, remove from the freezer, blend again, and freeze again. Do this three or four times until smooth. Serve.
Cake: Mix egg whites with baking powder and low-calorie sugar; beat until creamy. Add the sugar and flour little by little, then stir in the melted butter, and beat lightly. Set aside.
Smear the cake pan with margarine; pour in the cake batter. Bake in the oven at 150 C for forty-five minutes or until the cake is fully baked. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Cream cheese: Mix together all the ingredients. Put it into a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the tip cut off, and then place it into the refrigerator to harden.
Garnish the cake by piping the cream cheese on top. Serve.
Many people do not realize how rapidly your daily caloric content can skyrocket as a result of alcohol intake. But it’s not just alcoholic beverages that are calorie-dense. Even supposedly healthy drinks like orange juice can be packed with sugar and calories. Yet there are plenty of low-calorie healthy options. Here are a couple of great recipes:
Pour all ingredients into a blender and bend for thirty seconds. Pur into two glasses and enjoy.
Pour the gin and the tonic water into a highball glass with plenty of ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
With the sun sure to be blazing down on the Fourth of July, you need to make sure that you and your guests are sun smart. It is especially important to keep your skin protected between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. That is when ultraviolet rays are at their strongest. But the hours surrounding those times are also potentially deadly. In addition to wearing sunscreen, you should also wear a hat and sunglasses.
The last thing you want is for your Fourth of July celebrations to be marred by a nasty fireworks incident. So, rather than lighting them yourself, it’s a much better idea to get yourself and your loved ones to a place to enjoy a public display. It will be far more impressive and far safer.
Food poisoning is no joke—especially if it comes as a result of your cooking. Don’t let that happen on your watch. Make sure you are cooking your food at the recommended temperature. This will kill any harmful bacteria that the food may contain. Cold foods should be transported around in a cooler packed with ice.
If your barbeque has been sitting dormant since last summer, or even Memorial Day a couple of months back, you need to give it a good clean. Be especially careful to clean the grill. Doing so will get rid of any nasty bugs that may be lurking around. If you haven’t got one, invest in a decent grill brush to deep clean the nooks and crannies.
By following through on these nine common-sense tips, you and your Fourth of July guests will be able to enjoy a fun, safe, and healthy Fourth of July celebration.