We all love a good holiday, there is nothing better than having an excuse to get together with family and friends over food, drink and a general reason to celebrate. Whilst there a many holidays during the winter months, the summer brings it’s own particular style of holiday celebrations. So why is it that summer celebrations feature so many fatty and sugary foods when this is a time of year when we want to wear cooler and less restrictive clothing?

Memorial Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Labor Day all come with the problem of potential junk food but the 4th of July is particularly treacherous for those of us wishing to stay on our health and fitness plan.  Cotton candy, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, chips and dips are all dangerous foods to anyone not wanting their favorite skinny jeans declaring independence from us!

So with the 4th just around the corner 24Seven Wellness & Living would like to supply you with a few simple “swaps” so you can still enjoy your day without that feeling of bloating and sluggishness.

Choose oil and vinegar as your choice of dressing on salads, avoid at all costs mayonnaise based dressings and certainly stay well clear of the Cesar salad.

Olive oil is a healthy fat, high in antioxidants and low in saturated fat. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is high in unhealthy fats and, if not home made from scratch, is often full of artificial ingredients.  Also if mayonnaise has been left too long on the buffet table at room temperature or worse still under the hot sun for too long it could potentially make you unwell and certainly will not taste as good.

Choose fresh and raw veggie sticks to dip not potato chips.  

Potato chips are deep fried, calorie dense and high in added salt. Raw veggies are high in fiber, are low calorie, high in antioxidants. Carrots contain beta-carotene and cucumbers, besides containing vitamins A and C, minerals, and fiber, contain water. In the summertime, eating fresh vegetables is a great way to stay hydrated and get your nutrition into the bargain.

Dip your aforementioned veggies in hummus rather than sour cream dip. The chickpeas found in hummus are high in protein and fiber making this a far more nutrient-dense option. Obviously it goes without saying the issues associated with a sour cream dip, high in saturated fat, calorie dense ……. need I go on?

Drink Sangria over Margaritas. Firstly a traditional margarita obviously has the glass rim dipped in salt so for every sip you take along comes the salt which will cause water retention and ultimately make you thirstier. The majority of margaritas are made with sour mix which contains high fructose corn syrup or cane syrup, food dye and chemicals. The wine in the sangria will provide anti-oxidants and obviously it contains fruit so at least you might get a serving of berries added into your drink! Better still go for sparkling water with berries, lemon or cucumber. One of my personal favorites is kombucha, it gives you the taste you might be craving as well as the bubbles but is low in calories, low in sugar, is made from natural ingredients and is a superb probiotic. If you need a little kick then add vodka to your favorite blend, absolutely delicious!