A Fresh Take on July 4th

Healthy July Fourth

June 25, 2013   13 Comments

I think that July 4th is the most American of our holidays. A terrifying time for vegans, we get our grills fired up!

As with many of our holidays, it is a food fest of epic proportions. You know what I am talking about: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, coleslaw, ice cream, s’mores, and (the one super healthy food) watermelon.

My children will participate in a parade that serves ice cream, and THEN they will go to a parade where candy is tossed from police cars. I can’t make this stuff up.

My first suggestion for a healthier July 4th is to leave the country. In Canada, for example, it will be just a regular Thursday :) If you don’t have money or time to leave, here are some other ideas:

1. Change up your hamburgers. Two years ago, I made this hamburger with a hole in it and I put salsa in the hole see: How To Eat Less Red Meat & Still LOVE Your Burger.

If you are ready to make a big change, you can also try a portobello mushroom burger for a meat free experience that many patriots would admire.

2. Buy smaller hot dogs. There are a bunch of lower calorie hot dogs in the supermarket. My favorite are the most expensive but at 110 calories each, they are a great option. See: Applegate Farms Natural Beef Hot Dog. The other brands such as Oscar Mayer or Hebrew National have made smaller hot dogs - which I think is a good thing.

3. Try baked or reduced fat potato chips. I happen to LOVE Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips. I can’t tell the difference between these and the real thing. They use less oil and the potato taste is exceptional. If you can’t find these, Baked Lays are an okay option.

4. Serve a lot of salad, watermelon, cherries, grapes, tomatoes, etc. with all the BBQ meats you are inhaling. This is the season of fresh produce for less money so take advantage of it. For example, you don’t have to do ANYTHING to cherry tomatoes to enjoy them.

5. Use fruit for your dessert. Grill some peaches, make my healthier strawberry shortcake, or just serve a bowl of fresh cherries for a lighter dessert than ice cream.

Please share your ideas for a healthier Fourth of July BBQ.

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Yum, everything sounds good!! I love Trader Joe's Chicken hot dogs. They are 60 calories and look just like regular hot dogs, plus I don't notice the taste to much!

on June 25, 2013

When I'm serving steaks, which I don't care for, at a get-together, I throw a giant Portobello on the grill for myself. Top it with some roasted red peppers and a bit of feta - Yum!

on June 25, 2013

If you come to Canada before July 4th, like July 1st, it would be Canada Day. Our food day, lol

on June 25, 2013

Serve lots of GREEN salad! Potato, macaroni, and other non-green salads don't help anything! ;)

Oscar Meyer makes a 55 calorie hot dog. I don't know what it's made of and, at 1PP each, I'm not sure I care!! :)

on June 25, 2013

This is such a great reminder for all. As someone with their own nutritional consulting business and who is personally red meat and wheat-free ( and mostly dairy-free) I dread the grilling holidays as well. People, it's time to think outside the box!!!! We are no longer in the days of the cave man.

on June 25, 2013

For myself in Canada, July 4th is not a regular day. It's my birthday! This year will be a special one, my 40yrs.

on June 25, 2013

Grill up lots of veggies!!! Nothing like BBQ'd asparagus, squash, cauliflower, etc. And grilled watermelon is great, too!

on June 25, 2013

Happy 40th Melanie! :) And I think the salsa in the middle of a burger is a great idea. My favorite for the 4th is grilled corn on the cob and fresh watermelon! Yum!

on June 25, 2013

Leave on July 4th! That would be very unamerican lol. How about enjoying the day and not consuming food until you burst. I like to take a plate and have about a tbs of everything no joke. By the time I get everything I have plenty to eat and I cut my burger/hot in half instead of eating one of each. For vegans have lots of fruits and grilled veggies.

on June 25, 2013

There is a wonderful 45 calorie hot dog from Hebrew National, 1 gram of fat. You can get it at Trader Joe's now. Very tasty.

on June 25, 2013

I love portobello burgers! Don't get me wrong, I love a good hamburger, too, but these days they are more like occasional treats than a staple. But a portobello burger with melted low fat swiss and caramelized onions... heavenly!

on June 25, 2013

There is nothing worst then going to a BBQ and they serve the premade burgers. Always make my own and have lots of veggies.

on June 25, 2013

I didn't read all of the posts so I may be repeating someone but Ball Park All White Smoked Turkey Hotdogs are to die for....45 calories, 0 fat...and delicious. Even when I decide to eat badly I still choose these hotdogs over any others. You won't be disappointed. (make sure they say ALL WHITE)

on June 25, 2013

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