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Five Healthy Labor Day Recipes Beyond the Barbecue

If you feel like your diet is stuck in a summer rut, don’t wait until after Labor Day to detox. Similar to Memorial Day parties and the Fourth of July cookouts, Labor Day often means an indulgent outdoor gathering featuring rich grilled meats and high-fat side dishes.

This year, to keep things on the lighter side, think beyond the barbecue when you’re planning your menu. Since Labor Day typically marks the unofficial end to summer and the beginning of the school year, it’s a great time to celebrate the season with some of your favorite fresh summer fruits and vegetables.

If you’re tired of turning on the grill to entertain, spend this Labor Day with five delicious healthy recipes for your Labor Day party from food bloggers across the country who plan to get in touch with their patriotic side using plenty of seasonal produce.


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Healthy Main Dishes for Picnics and Parties

Summer is in full swing and many of us have the sunburn and mosquito bites to prove it. If you’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors then odds are, you’ve attended a picnic, backyard party or cook out under the sun and are beginning to tire of hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken.

Next time you’re planning the menu, look for inventive new dishes that will kick off your party on the right note. Whether you’re in the mood for light lunch fare like salads or sandwiches, something hot off the grill or a stick-t0-your ribs meal that will stand up to the heat, you don’t need to ditch your diet to have fun this summer.

Salads & Sandwiches:

Arroz con Pollo Salad: Chicken and rice sounds like a heavy meal but not when you put it into a refreshing salad form. If you’re entertaining in your back yard this is a great option for anyone who wants to indulge without the guilt.


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Healthy and Fresh Picnic Side Dishes

On picnics and at barbecues, it isn’t often the main dishes that contribute the most calories to the meal. Side dishes, picnic salads and desserts can all be heavy and high-calorie if you aren’t careful to limit the oil, dairy and other indulgent ingredients.

Make a few simple swaps next time you plan a picnic or outdoor dinner party to shave hundreds off calories off your summer meals.

Dips

Carrot Hummus: Baby carrots are often used as a dipping vehicle for this chickpea-packed Middle Eastern spread, but this recipe incorporates carrots within. Serve over whole grain crackers or whole wheat pita bread – or even with raw veggie sticks for even more nutrition.

Herbed Dip for Veggies: If you want to up your veggie intake at your next picnic, ditch the chips and whip up a dip for your favorite vegetables that uses light sour cream and silken tofu.


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3 Easy Ways to Boost Your BBQ’s Nutrition

When you’re manning the grill during a backyard barbecue, it’s still important to keep your healthy diet in the forefront of your mind.

We chatted with David Venable, host of QVC’s In the Kitchen with David, about how to slim down and add more nutrition to your meals when you’re grilling this summer.

Choose Turkey:

If you eat burgers frequently during the summertime, choose turkey once in a while. Turkey has a wonderful flavor and less fat than most beef burgers.

“There are two kinds of ground turkey you can buy,” said Venable. “One is all turkey breast meat and the other is a blend of white and dark turkey meat. If you want to go very lean, choose all white meat.”


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Avoid Packing on the New Relationship Pounds

Dating – either as a single person or half of a committed couplecan make for a very exciting time. When you think of going on a date, most often you might envision dinner, maybe a movie, or coffee and dessert.

New relationships always seem to pack on the pounds. Many experts say it is because once you are comfortable, happy and secure in a relationship, you are not as diligent about your physical appearance. While in the beginning it is a nice feeling to be able to relax in a new and exciting relationship, a few months in, you may look in the mirror and wonder where all your hard work went.

Especially in the summer, dating can often involve activities and foods to keep your temperature down, but summer time dating doesn’t have to be a body buster. Instead of curling up with your cutie in a dark room, some ice cream and watching TV, here are some terrific summer date activities that will help you keep your cool, but won’t leave you running for a mu-mu to cover up your not quite ready for close up body.


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