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Delicious and Healthy 4th of July Recipes

I'm so excited for the 4th of July this year! It's a day to celebrate our independence and give thanks to all those have served and are serving to keep our families and our country safe. We have so many things to be blessed about, our family, our jobs, food on our plates and freedom!

So, you've been doing great, making healthy choices, losing weight and feeling amazing…now it's a long 4th of July weekend and you want to enjoy delicious food AND stay on track with your health goals…is this possible???

The answer, ABSOLUTELY. I've got healthy recipes that are super delicious and still allow you to get your grill on!

Barbecued Chicken: This barbecued chicken has it's own special ingredient, the barbecue sauce! It's still sweet and savory but has 1/4 the amount of sugar of most barbecue sauces.

This is taking potato salad to the next level. It uses healthy Greek yogurt instead of mayo to cut back on the calories. It's a real treat everyone will enjoy.

No-Mayo Coleslaw is tangy and sweet. It is sure to disappear fast! I use apple cider vinegar, cranberries and green onions to make this coleslaw unforgettable and fork-worthy.

Fruit Cobbler: Why not make fruit the star on the 4th of July? I've got an easy fruit cobbler that uses 1/4 the amount of sugar and fat but is full of flavor. Not wanting to back? Have sliced cold watermelon or cantaloupe for a refreshing and cooling treat.

Not doing the cooking? Tips for staying on track:

1) Eat meals instead of grazing all day. Make a single plate, sit down with family and friends and mindfully enjoy your food. This allows your body to get the sense of fullness. When we graze all day, our bodies do not have the chance to ever feel full, so we keep eating and consuming more calories than our bodies need.

2) Don't skip meals if it makes you hangry. You know what I mean, you get so hungry that you eat way more than you would have and you never quite feel full. Skipping meals can be a sure fire way to overeat if you get too hungry. If you wake up and do not feel hungry, you do not have to eat and if you get a little hungry later, you can choose to eat a small snack before your next meal.

3) Create a balanced plate:1/3 plate protein, 1/2-1 cup starchy veggies or whole grain, 1/2 your plate non-starchy veggies and up to 1 serving of fruit.

4) Choose smaller portions and savor each bite. I talk a lot about this in my practice. The truth is we often consume our food way to fast without enjoying it so we tend to eat more of it. When we take a few minutes to eat with our family and friends without electronic distractions and instead have meaningful conversations, the meal becomes much more about sharing it with loved ones than how much is on our plate. Also, we we eat slower and savor each bite so we can enjoy less of it and have more satisfaction. The added bonus: we feel good about ourselves because we did not overeat.

5) Choose fruit as your dessert. Have you ever tried grilled pineapple, cantaloupe, peaches or strawberries? They are amazing! They are warm, firm and the cooking brings out their sweetness. Other of my favs: cold watermelon or cantaloupe can be that perfect treat in the heat. Or, make a fruit sorbet, it's so easy and will satisfy your sweet tooth. For the kids, have them make fruit popsicles, it's a fun activity for them and they will get a ton of nutrition that their bodies need, especially when they are running around and having fun.

It's your turn, what are your fav healthy 4th of July recipes?

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