Thursday, July 4, 2013

Diet-KEEPING: Independence Day Style!

Proud of my two nephews, currently serving in the Navy!
It's Independence Day!!!  A day of picnics, parades and parties!  A day of family fun and celebrations!  

But most importantly, the 4th of July is a day when I often find myself getting choked up thinking about the men and women who have given their lives, and their hearts in order to make my life peaceful.  To give me the opportunity to follow my dreams and to never have to see the horror they have lived.  How blessed are we to live in a country where men and women give of themselves FREELY?

That being said... today is a day of celebration, and I have done a little research and came up with some desserts that are both healthy and full of the good ole red, white and blue!

Stars and Stripes 
Watermelon Fruit Bowl

When I saw this fruit basket, I thought, YES!  Something fun I can do with my kiddos, and at the same time, enjoy a yummy healthy 4th of July snack!

We've decided to hang out as a family today and party it up as a tight unit of seven :)  After a quick run to the grocery store, we'll be carving watermelon and whipping up a variety of salads to enjoy in the afternoon and evening.

Red White and Blue Quinoa Salad

How about some protein?  This fruit salad with "staying power" will get you through the afternoon or evening as a balanced snack or dessert!

Quinoa Almond Berry Salad
Serves: 4
3/4 cup dry quinoa
2 1/2 to 3 cups (1 pint) strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 to 2 cups (16 ounces) fresh blueberries
1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place fruit in a large bowl.
2. Mix maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, and salt in a small jar and adjust to taste if necessary.
3. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and add to fruit. Stir to combine. Pour on dressing, add almonds, and mix well. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator until serving time.
Nutrition score per serving: 322 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated), 58g carbs, 9g protein, 9g fiber, 80mg calcium, 65mg sodium, 27g sugars

A kiddo favorite!  Fruit on a mini spear! :)
During soccer season, one of our players brought the mid-game snack, and it was fruit on skewers.  Needless to say, before the game was over, the kiddos on the sidelines were coming up with all sorts of "dangerous" sword-play!  LOL
That being said, kids just love virtually anything skewered on to a stick.  Of course, we all know the marshallow favs... but this a great way have a fun and healthy snack in the spirit of the holiday.

One of my favs!  Anything with granola, yogurt and fresh berries... YUM!  Love country look of the glass jars and the fruit layers in this dessert :)
I'm signing off to spend the rest of the day with my hubby and kiddos!  
I hope you have an amazing Independence Day and don't forget to stop for a minute and remember every man and woman and family who has given their lives, their family members, and their own sense of peace and well-being to give us our freedom.


(If you know of any military families who are suffering as a result of the affects of deployment, please tell them about Camp Better America, a civilian run organization with a heart and a mission to give back!  And if you really want to help these families, please consider making a one-time donation, or donating on a monthly basis in order to help these families to stay together.  Donation information is on the front page of their website,  THANK YOU!!!  :)

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