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4th of July: 4 Healthy Food Ideas

July 02, 2014 by Kamalawith 0 comments

What do you think of when you think of the 4th of July? What kind of entertainment and food ideas come to mind? BBQ, beers, beach?

My guess is that ‘healthy’ would not feature in your description of how you choose to celebrate America’s Independence Day. However you decide to celebrate the day – whether it’s enjoying a day off of work, with family and friends, or a day of patriotism and reflection on what it means to be American – food will no doubt feature somewhere in the middle of it all…food and holidays…the two are inseparable!

Unfortunately, obesity, diabetes and other chronic lifestyle-related diseases have reached epidemic proportions in America. There are few causes greater than ensuring the health and wellbeing of our people and our children. This weekend, I hope that you’ll join me in celebrating the vision of a healthier America.

Time spent with family and friends is deeply nourishing to our soul and our psyche. Let’s use this weekend as an opportunity to nourish the body too. Here are some simple, tasty, ways to nourish our body and to make a commitment to a healthier America:

1. Ditch the sugar and go for fruit instead.

Fruit provides plenty of natural sweetness and flavor. There’s really no reason to waste time or money on making complicated surgery desserts, with the abundance and fresh simplicity of all the wonderful summer fruits available. Have fun playing with your fruits:

Flag Fruit: Blueberries with silvered almonds 'stars' and layers of strawberries and coconut covered banana slices

Flag Fruit: Blueberries with silvered almonds ‘stars’ and layers of strawberries and coconut covered banana slices

2. Add greens, or other veggies, to your meal.

Who says the BBQ grill should be held hostage to the limited function of cooking meat? Asparagus, zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant and mushrooms are all amazing on the grill. Your plate, and your mood, will become so much more colourful when you add these tasty morsels to the rest of your meal.

Coat your vegetables in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper before grilling. YUM

Coat your vegetables in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper before grilling. YUM.

3. If you eat animal products, buy the best quality.

Go for grass-fed beef, wild bison or elk, free-range or pasture-raised chickens, wild caught, sustainably harvested fish. Too expensive? Buy less of it. Too much meat is bad for our health and bad for the planet. Refine the quality and reduce consumption.

‘Conventional’ meat is far from conventional – pumped up with hormones, antibiotics and other unnatural products. You’re better off with, at least, buying organic meats. Whole Foods has a step-by-step program for their meats – with Step 5 being the best option, I would aim for Step 3. If you are lucky enough to live in Hawaii, Kokua Market (on South King Street) sells bison and elk. The ground bison make for delicious burger patties on the BBQ grill.

4. Buy less packaged foods, make more real food.

Almost everyone is off of work on the 4th of July – this means plenty of help with the cooking. So, instead of buying bagged chips and potato salad, make your own fresh sweet potato chips or deliciously decadent yam chips instead. Check out our previous blog post for the yam chips recipe:http://imuaortho.com/blog/yummy-yam-chips/.

Yam Chips presented with a lemon-Veganaise aiole, fresh basil leaves, onion slices and avocado. Better than anything you'll buy in a bag!

Yam Chips presented with a lemon-Vegenaise aioli, fresh basil leaves, onion slices and avocado. Better than anything you’ll buy in a bag.

Have a healthy, happy and safe 4th of July weekend! What did you think of these ideas? If you have any questions or feedback I’d love to hear from you: imuahealth@gmail.com.

 

 

Kamala Skipper

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