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Happy Independence Day to all the fit and healthy ladies out there! Are you looking as forward to the long weekend coming up as I am? I bet there are barbecues, summer treats and maybe even a few cocktails in your future!
Here at Athlean-XX for Women, we love finding the tastiest, healthiest ways to enjoy holiday food without sacrificing the fun. One of the best ways to make sure there’s always healthy food at the party table is to take a healthy potluck dish with you. If you’re the hostess, you’re the boss, so you can make the whole party healthy!
In honor of the 4th of July, let’s look at some of the health benefits of our favorite natural red, white and blue foods. We’ll also throw in a couple of great Independence-themed recipes incorporating these healthy foods that you can make to take as potluck dishes or to entertain your own guests.
When we think of red summer foods, watermelon, strawberries and tomatoes immediately come to mind. Both watermelon and tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent some cancers.
Other health benefits of lycopene include prevention of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, age-related eye problems and aging of the skin. It is also beneficial for the treatment of infertility and can protect your skin from sunburn.
That’s a whole lot of great reasons to eat watermelon and tomatoes! If that’s not enough, watermelon also contains vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B-6. Tomatoes are packed with vitamins A and C. Strawberries contain a very high level of vitamin C, and have antioxidant properties similar to those of lycopene.
Here are some great 4th of July recipes including red foods:
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Appetizer by AFoodcentricLife.com
For this one, you’ll need a round cookie cutter and a melon baller tool. Once the watermelon is cut into the correct shape, top it with cucumber pieces and a whipped goat cheese/milk mixture. Beautiful and tasty!
Red, White & Blue Watermelon “Cake” by RealSustenance.com
With this recipe you can have your cake and eat it too! This recipe contains a lot less sugar than a regular cake (the author also provides a sugar-free option) and is totally gluten free since the inside of the “cake” is watermelon! It’s the perfect 4th of July party dessert.
Click Here for Full Recipe
Some great white foods to enjoy this summer are cauliflower and coconut. Cauliflower may seem like a boring food to many, but there are some amazing things you can do with it. If you are dairy-free, you can make cream sauces out of cauliflower. You can also make “rice” out of it by processing it in a food processor and cooking it just a bit with some onion, or you can make super low calorie “mashed potatoes” with it. Just do a Google or Pinterest search, and you’ll find lots of creative cauliflower recipes.
Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C and manganese as well as high amounts of vitamin K. It’s also high in fiber, so including it in your meals will help keep you full for longer.
But, what’s my favorite white food? It’s definitely coconut! Coconut’s weight loss benefits are unmatched. It contains healthy, natural MCT oils that actually help speed up your metabolism!
Some of the best ways to get coconut into your diet are to include shredded coconut, coconut milk or coconut oil in your breakfast granola or smoothie. Here’s a great smoothie bowl recipe:
Smoothie Bowl of the Gods by Fitnessista.com
Get the benefits of red, white and blue foods with this smoothie bowl! For the smoothie portion, mix berries with milk of choice, acai berry smoothie pack, banana and protein powder. Put the smoothie in a bowl instead of a cup and top it off with nuts, granola, dried coconut, fresh berries or whatever your heart desires!
Are blueberries the only true blue (not purple) food? Maybe not, but they’re certainly the most common, and in my opinion, the tastiest!
Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants including vitamins C and E, which help fight against inflammation and disease. The fiber in blueberries is also great for your digestive tract.
Enjoy blueberries by incorporating them into these tasty recipes:
Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa by TwoPeasAndTheirPod.com
This salsa is made with blueberries, strawberries, jicama, cilantro, onion, jalapeño pepper and lime juice, combining sweet and savory flavors. Serve with corn chips or on top of grilled fish or chicken. Really different and very tasty!
Clean Eating Independence Day Fruit Dip by TheGraciousPantry.com
Enjoy red and blue berries topped with this healthy white dip made of high protein Greek yogurt, lemon zest, banana and optional natural sweetener. Easy to make and a great healthy treat for adults and kids at a 4th of July party!
At Athlean-XX for Women, we’re all about healthy nutrition because it helps us lose weight and have energy for our tough workouts! Our nutrition plan recommends combining proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates at every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full. In fact, the Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan is anything but a diet – we actually recommend you eat more – 5 – 6 times per day! This type of diet will help turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine – when combined with our killer 30 minute workouts. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
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