By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
TGIALW (... A Long Weekend). We SO need this break.
Many SELF staffers are heading to the beach, and planning Fourth of July picnics. And while the typical BBQ fare -- burgers, chips, potato salad, etc. -- isn't exactly diet-friendly, we can't resist. So, we're going to follow these rules for indulging without sabotaging our waistlines.
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1. Use condiments with caution. We announced the winners of our Healthy Food Awards in the July issue, and many of them were condiments. Add these three low-cal picks to your picnic table:
* Simply Heinz (20 calories, 0g fat per tbsp)
* Hellman's Light (25 calories, 3.5g fat per tbsp)
* Annie's Naturals Organic Yellow Mustard (0 calories, 0g fat per tbsp)
2. Choose beer wisely. Used to be impossible to find a beer under 100 calories -- now they're everywhere. Our fave: Budweiser Select 55 (55 calories, 0g fat per bottle). This beer has a nice, full-bodied taste, but if your guests prefer a darker brew, go for Yuengling Light Lager (96 calories).
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3. Find a better chip. We're big fans of Garden of Eatin' Multigrain With Sea Salt (140 calories, 7g fat per oz). They're fortified with heart-healthy flax and the sea salt makes them satisfying for even the most salt-obsessed staffer.
4. Step away from the creamy dip. Salsa is a good choice (we love Herr's Mild Chunky Salsa, which is just 10 calories for 2 tablespoons), but guac (with heart-healthy avocado) is best. This recipe even mixes in nutritious grapes and peaches (which are perfectly in-season right now!)
5. Skip the super-heavy potato salad. Sub-in low-fat yogurt (such as Dannon All Natural Nonfat Yogurt, Plain) for mayo, or use half low-fat mayo and half mustard.
6. Make healthy burgers that don't taste healthy at all. Use extra lean ground beef (We love ground turkey but it feels sac-relig at a July 4 BBQ!). The secret to low-fat juiciness and flavor: Mix a couple of tablespoons of chopped onion and chili sauce, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Top with a slice of Cracker Barrel 2% Milk Extra Sharp cheddar (another Healthy Food Award winner!) and serve on a whole wheat bun.
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7. Dessert. It's a holiday, it's hot, you can't deprive yourself of ice cream! Our nutrition editors and experts can easily justify...
* Skinny Cow Low Fat Ice Cream Sandwich, Vanilla (140 calories, 1.5g fat per sandwich.
* Edy's/Dreyer's Slow Churned Double Fudge Brownie (120 calories, 4g fat per 1/2 cup)
* Edy's Frozen Yogurt Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Yogurt Blend, Berry Granola Crunch (120 calories, 3.5g fat per 1/2 cup)
Have a safe, fun (guiltlessly indulgent!) 4th, all!
MORE FROM SELF:
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- SELF's annual healthy food awards showcases 66 fast fix foods you'll love to eat!
- Beat the heat with one of these no-cook meals tonight
- Find the best swimsuit for your body type now!
Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio