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Red, White, and Blue Independence Day Weight Loss Fare

Skinny Starters

There is sure to be food out from the second you arrive at the party. Munch on chips and dip for the minutes or hours as soon as you get there, and you will probably down more carbs and calories than you should have in a day. Instead, try munching on Protein Chips, Cheese Crisps, or any kind of cut, raw vegetables. You can up the gourmet factor by making open-faced bruschetta-like appetizers with tomatoes and feta or mozzarella on Protein Rusk Bread.

Skinnier Side: Purple Cabbage Salad

Try making a red, white, and blue salad using shredded purple cabbage as your “blue” base. The red can come from strawberries, and you can dot it with white pieces of tofu. Dress your coleslaw with lite Asian vinaigrette, and each serving will have over 100 calories less than regular coleslaw.

High-Protein Semi-Soft Foods Side: Egg Salad WLS-Style

If cabbage is a little beyond where you are after WLS, opt instead for a low-calorie version of egg salad. Use hard-boiled eggs or egg whites and the usual seasonings such as paprika, lemon juice, pepper, hot sauce, or mustard. Then, save over 100 calories per portion by using Calorie-Free Mayo instead of regular. It even comes in flavors such as Chipotle, Honey Mustard, and Ranch.

Protein Centerpiece: Sugar-Free Barbeque

A barbecue has the potential to yield the ideal WLS-friendly main course if you get a lean protein, but a grilling occasion can go terribly wrong, too. Consider barbecue ribs with nearly 1,000 calories, or beef patties with over half their calories from fat. Instead, try chicken breast, shrimp, or fish with calorie-free, sugar-free BBQ Sauce for a punch that is nearly pure protein. Of course, skip the bun to save more calories and carbs.

Instead of buttery grilled corn, almost any grilled vegetable makes a better choice. Try eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus tips, or mushrooms. If you want to marinate them first, use a low-fat, sugar-free option, such as balsamic vinegar or Cajun seasoning.

Red, White, and Blue Dessert

Aren’t those July 4 cakes decorated to look like an American flag beautiful? Here’s an idea: keep the cake intact and get your red, white, and blue dessert from a more healthful source. Try strawberries or raspberries and blueberries in creamy Vanilla Protein Pudding to get a satisfying dose of antioxidants, fiber, and protein without any added sugar.

Your Independence Day barbecue can be just as celebratory as ever, but a lot healthier this year with some planning. Look for the high-protein, low-carb choices, but make sure they have the flavors you love, because loving life is part of being healthy!

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