Fourth of July Flavor

Who doesn’t love some tasty food while celebrating the Fourth of July? These recipes will help you stay cool, healthy and happy while enjoying time with friends, family and fireworks.

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Bunless Burgers
2 lbs of ground beef
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of fine sea salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1 head of green leaf or butter lettuce
Any condiments you prefer- pickles, ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, onions, avocado, cheese, etc

Directions
Preheat grill to medium heat
In a large bowl, mix ground beef with all ingredients except lettuce and condiments
Create 8 patties, unless you prefer smaller patties
Grill for 5 minutes on each side
Set in a lettuce wrap on a plate and let your guests make their way down the condiment line

Vegetarian tip: Swap a vegetarian burger for the ground beef. You can have it with or without a bun

Red, White and Blue Salad
1/2 pint of blueberries
1/2 lb strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/2 C crumbled goat cheese- creamy also works well
2 9 oz bags of pre-washed spinach- you can also mix up your greens by adding arugula or baby kale
2 Tbsp apple cider vingear
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions
Add spinach or other greens to a large bowl
Add berries and stir to mix well
Add cheese and stir to mix well
In a small bowl, mix apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
Pour vinegar and oil mixture over salad mix and stir to coat
Let stand in fridge for 15-20 minutes so flavors absorb well

Super Skewers
30 strawberries, hulled
30 pieces of pineapple, cubed
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp honey

Directions
Soak wooden skewers in water for one hour
Alternate strawberry and pineapple pieces on skewers
Mix oil and honey together, drizzle over each skewer
Grill skewers for 2 minutes on each side

Tasty tip: You can make a dip by whipping together coconut cream and almond milk. Buy one can of full fat coconut milk and place in the fridge over night. Open can and scoop out hard coconut cream that has settled on top. Place in a blender to whip, slowly adding almond milk if you would like a thinner finished product.

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Safety in the Sun

The sun is out, and chances are you’re spending more time outside enjoying it. Even on cloudy days it’s important to protect your body from sun damage. Too much sun exposure can lead to dry, wrinkled and leather looking skin, things I’m sure we all want to avoid. And too much skin damage can lead to skin cancer. So, what are you supposed to do if you want to enjoy the sun and still stay healthy?

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Find shade- If you don’t have shade where you are, try to make some by moving things around. If you’re hoping for a tan, give yourself 15 minutes without shade. It’s plenty of time for your skin to soak up vitamin D and will provide gradual color for some skin types.

Wear a hat- Wearing a hat will shade your your head, an area that can easily burn but is not easily protected by sunscreen. It will also help protect your face from that wrinkly leather look we all try to avoid as we age.

Plan ahead- The sun is typically strongest from10:30am-2:30pm, so try to plan your outdoor activities around those times.

Protect your eyes- Like your skin, your eyes can be damaged from UV rays. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses can go a long way in protecting yourself.

Pick a safe sunscreen- Many sunscreens are full of chemicals. Even worse, they lead us to believe that we can stay out in the sun for hours if we continue to reapply them. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s information on the safest sunscreens. Keep in mind that your skin is your largest organ. You want to keep the nasty stuff out while staying protected from the sun.

Stay hydrated- Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard if you’re well-hydrated, and you can keep tabs on the amount of water you may need by paying attention to the color of your urine. If it’s dark, it’s time for more water. Thirst alone is not a good indicator of how hydrated you are.

These simple tips will keep you safe in the sun this summer. Remember to plan ahead and prioritize your health over a tan. Do you have any other tips for staying safe in the summer heat?

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Anti-Inflammatory Pudding

Step away from the sugar-filled treats and head straight to the store for the ingredients in this recipe.
It’s packed with fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a perfect dessert and it’s not too heavy so you won’t be left with that awful feeling less healthy treats sometimes leave behind.

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Ingredients
1/2 C almond milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 C chia seeds
1/8 C maple syrup or honey- start with less and add, you may find that you personally want less
4 oz fresh raspberries

Directions
Blend almond milk and raspberries until smooth
Add chia seeds, sweetener of choice and vanilla to the mixture
Mix to stir well
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours

Remember that you can try different berries if you prefer. You could also add some delicious toppings like shredded coconut or slivered almonds.

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