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Vacation Eats.

Kelly Woolfe

Fireworks, friends, families ----- and franks???

Wow! How is it possible that it is already Fourth of July week!? The summer is flying by WAY too fast! Love that I'm finally in my groove with my kids and our summer craziness, enjoying the fun summertime activities together, and now having the opportunity to travel and see family.

But holidays and traveling are NOT easy when you are trying to stay on track! So, I was thinking back to last year's 4th of July. We spent the day with family, and as holidays tend to be, a lot of the day centered around what we were going to eat. We took the kids to the pool early in the day and had lunch there. To make things easy, we ordered pizza. Later in the day, we headed to my parents house for a cookout. Although there were plenty of healthy options available, like fruit, turkey burgers, hummus and veggies, there were unhealthy options, too -- chips, cookies, ice cream.....
Okay, so are you wondering if I partook in the eating festivities and if I stayed on track? I cannot tell a lie -- as much as I had mapped out in my mind beforehand about how I was going to stay on track (and hey, the turkey burgers were even MY idea!), I did not. Yes, I ate pizza at the pool with the kiddos, yes, I ate chips and Mexican layered dip (I mean, c'mon!), and of course, if you know me at all, then you know that I ATE THE SWEETS. Yes, I ATE them, gosh darn it!
The question is, where did this leave me? Feeling good about my choices and feeling physically well? Well, no, of course not. I ended up with a stomach ache after the pizza lunch at the pool, and my stomach continued to tell me to stop as I ate the chips and topped it off with dessert. Bottom line, I KNOW my body doesn't respond well to this type of eating, but it can be very challenging when put in that situation, with all of that yummy deliciousness staring you in the face. 
The good news is, you live and you learn. When temptation stares me in the face, I try to remember back to moments like this and remember what it felt like AFTER. I HATE having an upset stomach and paying for it that day and sometimes, well into the next. The memories alone of feeling rotten SHOULD be enough for me to never do it again, but let's face it, I'm a REAL person, I'm HUMAN. I often fail, then pick myself up, dust myself off, and fail all over again.  As much as I'd like to be perfect in my eating, its just not realistic to be on point ALL the time.
So, what have I learned over the past year? Well, I've learned to think through my choices a little bit more. I've learned to TAKE IT EASY!!! Instead of going nuts over the cookie plate and giving myself a stomachache, I can now be more reasonable, and if I have a cheat, it doesn't mean that my whole day should start spiraling downward. And you know what else I have learned? That sometimes, the cheat IS worth it, but I also have to be willing to pay the consequences after the fact.
So, back to the Fourth of July. Will it be franks this year? Heck no! I don't promise to be perfect, but I do believe that finding a balance IS possible.
Here are a few tips for having a healthy fourth of July weekend!

  • Swap the high fat burger or chemical-filled hot dog with a leaner option - a 3.5 ounce, 93% lean beef burger is 150 calories, half the calories of a full fat burger, and a lean turkey burger is 180 calories. There are also some great veggie burger options. I love Annies organic veggie burgers.
  • Swap out the dessert for fruit salad -- if you want a little sweet with it, try vanilla Greek yogurt with cinnamon -- it makes a delicious fruit dip (add in peanut butter, too, and you had me at hello!)
  • Go bunless and skip the cheese! Have you ever tried a lettuce wrapped burger? Delish!
  • Eat something before your party so you aren't ravenous. That usually leads to poor choices! I almost always drink a shake before an event because it fills me up and helps keep my cravings at bay during the event so I can say NO to the pie table without feeling like I want to cry. :)
  • Eat in moderation, enjoy yourself, and yes, if you decide that its worth it, eat some of those foods you want - just make sure you can reel it in before it turns into a downward spiral!

Don't know what to bring to your Fourth of July BBQ? This is one of my all-time favorite summer salad recipes. Give it a try, I think it might quickly become one of your healthy favorites and go-to sumer BBQ recipes!

Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, or wrap in foil and roast in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The corn should have some brown spots and be tender and not mushy. Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices. Set aside and let cool. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.

And the best part? This dressing!

Honey Lime Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Combine the sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn and honey lime dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle. Enjoy!


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