How to eat clean(ish) at your 4th of July BBQ

Of course you want to eat clean and be healthy, but what about burgers and chips and the 4th of July!

What do you always eat at your traditional 4th of July BBQ? I always think of burgers with the classic white bread bun covered in sesame seeds, the rest of the plate covered in chips and goopy “salads” that don’t actually include any greens but do include Jello (is this only a Utah thing, or is Jello salad a 4th of July classic everywhere?)

So how do you make clean eating and your 4th of July celebration be besties?

Here are the tactics I use to make sure I’m still celebrating, but also treating my body well:

    • Bring a big, yummy salad (the green kind) to the party. It’s the time of year that gardens are starting to pump out yummy produce, and the stores are full of the best, in-season greens and salad yumminess. If you are bringing a delicious salad, you ensure that you can fill up on something delicious and healthy.
    • Fill up on the other produce options, too. Watermelon and other melons are classic summer party fare, and corn on the cob, especially grilled, is delicious! Go for these real-food options first.
    • Increase the quality of your ingredients. How about a burger from grass-fed cows instead of frozen burger patties with questionable ingredients from sad cows? Higher quality ingredients means more nutrient density, and also usually means better flavor!
    • Skip or reduce the processed ingredients. Do you really need a bun for your burger? Or can you find a higher-quality bun? Could you only take 2-3 chips instead of half the bag? Maybe just one spoonful of macaroni/potato/Jello salad? Or maybe by the time you get to these “salads” your plate is so full of watermelon and green salad and corn on the cob that you just don’t have room for these others? Also, think about the little details like condiments on your burger and the dressing on your salad (click here for some yummy homemade salad dressing ideas).

No matter what, the best advice I can give is to enjoy the moment and celebrate this great country (whatever country you may live in). And if you do eat the chips and that burger, be kind to yourself! Food is about more than calories and ingredients, it’s about family and celebration.

Have a wonderful holiday!

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