We celebrate Independence Day to symbolize our freedom as Americans. With freedom comes responsibility. Today let’s remember the words of Abraham Lincoln – “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people”.

July 4th to most Americans means BBQs and parades, plenty of food and fireworks and relaxing with family and friends. Unfortunately it also includes an excess of alcohol consumption.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4th of July is the deadliest holiday of the year related to DUI. As a trauma nurse, it was my least favorite day to work. Instead of celebrating our hard won freedom, I began associating the 4th of July with the screams of devastated families affected by bad choices.

As Brain Warriors this doesn’t have to be a day to forget everything you’ve learned about healthy living only to regret it the next day, or into the future. Let’s take responsibility and set an example for our families to follow in order to strengthen our bodies and brains, and ultimately the strength of generations to come.

Instead of falling for peer pressure and accepting a bottle of beer which comes with a myriad of health risks, or a can of soda that is packed with sugar that feeds cancer, try real fruit-flavored water, just like you have at a spa. My favorite drink is water with lemon juice and a little lemon-flavored stevia, a healthier natural sweetener. It has no calories and it tastes like lemonade. This also works well with oranges, limes, watermelon, strawberries, etc.

Replace sugar laden desserts that leave your brain foggy (and body lethargic after an hour). Try some Choco-tentment Mousse or Amazing Avocado Gelato that taste delicious but are also full of brain healthy nutrients to help keep your mind sharp.

Trade your standard nutritionally devoid American hotdog-with-ketchup, for kabobs made with lean, organic, antibiotic/hormone free meat and fresh vegetables. This will supply your body with antioxidants, immune support and vitamins to keep you energized. Pair your kabob with grilled veggies or a healthful salad and fresh berries which feed the good bacteria in your stomach, and helps you stay looking and also feeling younger.

Lastly, remember when fireworks are around to keep pets indoors, supervise children at all times, do not walk around barefoot, and adhere to all fireworks safety instructions.

As a trauma nurse I have seen the results of too many July 4ths gone wrong, whether with fireworks, bad food or too much of the wrong type of drink. Be a responsible Brain Warrior with the help of my recipes and have a great holiday with your tribe. Happy 4th of July!

 

Red White & Blue Popsicles

Roasted Red White & Blue Crisps

Roasted Red White & Blue Crisps

Almond Cream French Onion Dip

 

Red White & Blue Salad with Chicken

 

Sizzling Chicken Kabobs

Choco-tentment Mousse

Amazing Avocado Gelato