• Meredith Stone Wellman, RD, LD

A Fresh Fourth of July

There's red, white, and blue decor on many doorsteps, firework tents at every corner, and picnic plans are being made. Fourth of July is next week!

See below for ideas on how to bring something more fresh and nutritious to the picnic table...

Simple Switches to Increase Nutrition, Without Sacrificing Enjoyment or Flavor:

-Hot Dogs: Better quality hot dog buns and hot dogs (*they don't have to be turkey dogs*), and a homemade relish packed with vegetables.

-Fruit Salad: Using unique vegetables like jicama, adding nutritious herbs like mint, and making a dressing with only pure honey and lime juice.

-Potato Salad: Adding different colored potatoes (blue, red, and gold!) to increase the nutritional value, making a light & tangy dressing with heart-healthy olive oil.

-Dessert: Using sweet fruit like strawberries and blueberries, making a filling with good quality cream cheese and using a smaller amount of sugar, bite-sized also helps with portion control.

These recipes are still traditional picnic foods that feel oh so American, but they have more nutrients, different flavors, and utilize nature's red, white, & blue colors! Try one, or try them all. Of course, there's always room for a Rocket Pop, s'more, or an ice cold beer if you want! || Find your balance. ||

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Email me at SimplyWellman@gmail.com.

*Last 4th of July I planned a fresh menu for us to fix: Turkey hotdogs with sauerkraut, carrot-apple slaw, firework fruit salad (recipe above) and grilled sweet butter corn. After telling my husband he laughed and lovingly said, "Meredith, I'm sorry, but turkey dogs on 4th of July is un-American..."

Well, I wasn't about to disrespect America like that on her birthday! After a duo trip to the store, we ended up having real hotdogs and bratwursts for lunch and dinner, the good quality buns and fresh sides, cheap beer, and rocket pops til our mouths were blue. We took a nap, swam, went to a baseball game (and put that hand on the heart extra proud when they sang the national anthem), then we watched fireworks in the back of his truck. It was hands down one of the best days and the most patriotic day I've ever had! ... Meaning of this story? I don't want to give a false image like I am doing everything 100% "right" or "healthy", nor do I need to to be truly healthy. Being a dietitian, I want to show that I do eat pretty, balanced, and nutritious meals, but I also drink cheap beer, eat real hotdogs & rocket pops. I love being active, but I also like naps. I want a long life, well lived. || Find your balance. ||

Last year's fresh 4th of July meal(s).

Me & my man Z.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Fourth!

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

-Nelson Mandela



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