Healthy 4th of July Recipes


One of my favorite holidays is here so that means it’s time to plan some healthy but delicious snack foods.

Yes, healthy food can have a wonderful flavor. It just takes a few more minutes to prepare.

What’s more important, healthy foods mean guilt-free you and me.

I enjoy eating and socializing, like any other person and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Making or preparing a meal and inviting friends over or bringing the feed to the lake is enjoyable, especially when it’s food that’s full of flavor. Anyone can pop a bag of potato chips and eat empty calories, but it takes a special kind of person to make 4th of July Recipes that will stand out.

A meal doesn’t always need to be perfect, as far as completely healthy, but eating potato chips, drinking pop, and slamming down quick meals all Summer can leave you sluggish, bloated, and ready to put a little more effort into your dinner.

Healthy 4th of July recipes are the perfect solution to starting your Summer off right. Why not add a little pep into your picnic and enjoy your celebration of our great country along with your excellent cooking? Need some recipes?

Well, here you go. Here are my top Healthy 4th of July recipes.


Fresh Guacamole

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
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Guacamole

Ingredients:

  1. 3 avocados, ripe.
  2. 1/2 small onion, finely diced.
  3. 2 Roma tomatoes, diced.
  4. 3 tbsp, fresh cilantro, chopped. (Optional)
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced.
  6. 1 lime, juiced.
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  • Pick three ripe avocados and slice them in half,
  • remove the pit and scoop the inside meat out, removing everything up to the skin.
  • Put the tender insides into a mixing bowl.
  • Once all of your avocados are cleaned out, gently mash them until you have reached your desired level of smoothness.
  • Now, add the onions, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, and salt.
  • Stir everything together.

That’s it. You now have a delicious, healthy, and easy to make 4th of July guacamole.


Yogurt

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
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Why is yogurt good for you?https://heatherearles.com/yogurt/

Whether it’s homemade or you are buying it from the store, yogurt feels good going down on a hot summer day.

Ingredients:

  1. Plain yogurt
  2. Fresh Strawberries
  3. Frozen blueberries
  4. Granola
  5. Any other choice topping.

Directions:

  • Make your yogurt or buy it from the store.
  • Keep cool until use.
  • Choose your topping or toppings (perhaps blueberries and strawberries for the 4th), layer them in a jar or bowl and serve.

Lemon Water instead of Lemonade

What are some different types of water?
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Why should I care what I drink?https://heatherearles.com/drinking-water/

What you drink is just as important as what you eat. Drinking fresh lemon or lime water instead of dumping in powdered lemonade will taste a lot better especially in hot temperatures. Freshwater will also quench your thirst, unlike surgery drinks that will leave you wanting more.

Ingredients:

  • Freshwater
  • Ice
  • Fresh lemons
  • Fresh Lime
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Directions:

  1. Take your desired pitcher or water jug and fill it with water and ice.
  2. Squeeze your lemons and limes and pour in.
  3. Now, slice extra lemon and lime to garnish the sides of your glasses or pitcher.
  4. Add fresh mint leaves if desired and serve.

Patriotic Vegetable Tray

Healthy 4th of July Recipes.
#veggietray #4thofJulyrecipes #HeatherEarles #herbnwisdom #4thofJuly #foodie #holidayrecipes
God Bless America

Nothing says 4th of July then the American Flag. Although this is not the type of flag you fly and salute, this is the type you eat. I love it because you can change the vegetables around every time you make it. Just be sure to keep your stripes in order and eat from the end :).

Ingredients:

For the white stripes use:

  • cauliflower,
  • water chestnuts,
  • cucumbers,
  • kohlrabi,
  • parsnips, or
  • onion.

For the red stripes use:

  • Radishes,
  • tomatoes,
  • beets,
  • and red bell peppers.

Directions:

  1. Take a large cookie sheet,
  2. slice your desired veggies and
  3. arrange them in order to match the colors of an American flag.

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

I promise, this is a recipe that you'll LOVE and want to include in your 4th of July snacks.
#HeatherEarles #ranchdip #healthyyogurtdip #herbnwisdom
Guilt-free ranch dip

This is the dip you will use for the section where the stars go:

Recipe by wellplated.com

yield: 1 CUP, APPROX. prep time:  3 MINS total time:  3 MINS

A quick and easy creamy ranch dip that is completely guilt-free and tastes just as indulgent as the original!

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  •  3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  •  1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  Fresh chopped chives — for garnish (when not using it for an American Flag dip.)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients: Greek yogurt, garlic, onion, dill, salt, Worcestershire, and cayenne.
  2. Add blue food coloring until you have a nice hue.
  3. Finish by cutting radishes or kohlrabi with a small star fondant cutter and placing the stars on top of the dip.
  4. Serve.

Notes:

  • When you are using the dip for any other occasion, garnish the top with your freshly cut chives.
  • Refrigerate the leftover ranch dip in an airtight container for up to three days.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
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Creamy Pasta Salad

Recipe by – barefeetinthekitchen.com

Prep Time 10 mins. Cook Time 1 min. Total Time 11 mins 

 6 servings, Calories: 297

This is a fresh, slightly tangy pasta salad with plenty of different flavors.

Ingredients:

  • SALAD INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 ounces salad macaroni or ditalini pasta
  • 1 cup tiny broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine or plain vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the noodles are done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large colander. Rinse well with cold water.
  2.  Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the bowl and stir well to coat. Add the cucumber, pepper, and onions and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving. Enjoy!

Notes:

If you forget to toss the broccoli in the boiling water at the end of the pasta’s cooking time, you can also steam it in the microwave. Place the broccoli in a glass bowl along with a tablespoon of water. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until the broccoli, is bright green and barely softened.


So there you have it, a few healthy 4th of July recipes to add to your Summer cooking.

If you have a favorite recipe and would like to have it highlighted on my blog, then send me an email to heather@heatherearles.com.

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
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Happy 4th of July friends and thank you to all the men and women who have served to make our country free. – Heather Earles

10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries

Top 10 Benefits of Blueberries
#HeatherEarles #herbnwisdom #blueberries #healthyfruits #healthysnacks
blueberries

Blueberries are one of those fruits that not only look good, and taste good, but are good for you.

In the early 20th century, people didn’t think blueberries could be domesticated, but Elizabeth White, the daughter of a New Jersey farmer, was determined to grow a flourishing industry for cultivated blueberries. In 1911, she teamed up with USDA botanist Frederick Coville to identify wild plants with the most desirable properties, crossbreed the bushes and create vibrant new blueberry varieties. Coville and White harvested and sold the first commercial crop of blueberries out of Whitesbog, N.J., in 1916.

U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

That’s a little history but doesn’t explain how the blueberry is beneficial. Like any fruit, vegetable, or herb that’s been around for centuries, blueberries stand out as a fruit that can help with your health. In otherwords, they are time old for a reason.

Want to know why? Well, here you go.


1. Blueberries are Low in Calories

We all try to watch what we eat to avoid packing on the weight, so any tasty food that’s low in calories is a winner.

“Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries. A 1-cup (148-gram) serving of blueberries contains:
Fiber: 4 grams
Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
Manganese: 25% of the RDI
Small amounts of various other nutrients
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.”-healthline.com

Top 10 Benefits of Blueberries
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wild blueberries

2.Wild Blueberries Promote Vascular Health

Just by eating a cup or less of blueberries, you can help your heart. Your heart has to work harder when your vascular system isn’t working correctly, so one way to keep circulating your blood is to choose to eat these blue gems.

3. Cancer Reducer

I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned how to prevent and or help cure cancer on my blog. I know you can’t prevent every form, but by eating foods that are high in antioxidants, like blueberries, watching your stress level, and drinking pure water, you CAN prevent cancer of many forms.

“Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, atoms that contain an odd number of electrons and are highly unstable. Free radicals can cause the type of cellular damage that is a big factor in cancer development.” -Foodrevolution.org.

4. They are a Good Source of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a clotting agent that our bodies need to help stem the flow of blood when we suffer from a wound. It also helps with bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels.

5.Diabetes

This wonderful berry helps with insulin sensitivity not only in Type 1 diabetes but also type 2.

Studies have found that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have low blood glucose levels, and people with type 2 diabetes who consume the same may have improved blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels. One cup of blueberries contributes 3.6 grams (g) of fiber.
large 2013 cohort study published in the BMJ suggested that certain fruits may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults.
Over the course of the study, 6.5 percent of the participants developed diabetes. However, the researchers found that consuming three servings per week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples or pears reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7 percent.

Medical News Today
Top 10 Reasons You Should Eat 1 Cup of Blueberries Each Day.
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Eat a cup a day

6. Rich in Antioxidants.

Did you know, according to certain studies, that blueberries are rated number one among fruit when it comes to antioxidants? Just 100 grams of blueberries can contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants.

7. Boosts and Improves Brain Function

Antioxidants can counteract stress, which helps slow the process of aging in your brain. They also help with areas of the brain associated with intelligence, according to certain studies.

8. Help Fight Urinary Tract Infection

Because of the close relation to cranberries and similar substances labeled anti-adhesives, blueberries can help fight a urinary tract infection. Certain types of bacteria like E. coli bind to the wall of your bladder and anti-adhesives help prevent that.

9. Heart Disease

“The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in blueberries supports heart health. The absence of cholesterol from blueberries is also beneficial to the heart. The fiber content helps to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.”

Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. Excessive buildup of homocysteine in the body can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.

Medical News Today

10. Skin Health

Based on the high amount of Vitamin C, which helps to build collagen, this fruit is priceless. Damage to your skin caused by the sun, smoke or other pollutants sometimes leaves you cringing when you look in the mirror. Don’t worry though, just remember to eat a cup of blueberries which will provide you with 24% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

The Bottom Line

Blueberries are healthy for you due to a flavonoid called anthocyanin, which is a compound full of antioxidants. Anthocyanin is also the reason this fruit is blue and offers the multiple benefits listed above.


“The word anthocyanin comes from the Greek words anthos (meaning flower) and kyanos (meaning blue). Anthocyanins are natural pigments that run the range from dark red to blue, to indigo, and deep violet depending on the acidity level of the pigment itself. The pH level runs the gamut in anthocyanins, the lower the pH level, the redder the pigments get, but when it increases it goes from red to purple, to blue, to green and then yellow.

When mashed up or cooked, a chemical reaction takes place and the pH level increases, hence why the berries turn deep indigo or violet color as opposed to remaining in their raw, blue state.”-The Spruce Eats

Wild blueberries are particularly potent. They are smaller than the cultivated versions most often found in your supermarket, with about twice the number of berries per pound. They also have less water and a higher skin-to-pulp ratio. That means the wild versions have a more intense flavor and double the antioxidant content.” -Foodrevolution.org

In closing…

Blueberry Smoothie
#HeatherEarles #herbnwisdom #blueberries #healthysnacks

There are many ways to eat a blueberry. Frozen, fresh, in jelly or jams, blended in smoothies, baked in muffins, waffles I could go on and on.

The point is, start adding blueberries to your meal plan. Not only will you benefit as far as your health is concerned, but you will be able to enjoy something delicious and beautiful.

-Heather Earles

Top 20 Books to Help You Succeed


If you want to succeed, read these top 20 books.
#HeatherEarles #bookworthreading #books #johncmaxwell #halelrod #JeffOlson ##theslightedge #thinkandgrowrich #threefeetfromgold

A reading list was so helpful to me when I decided to schedule time specifically for learning, growing, and improving in certain areas.  

It’s amazing how by changing what you decide to read can improve your life.

I love so many things about this top 20 book list. Each title has helped in some way with the development and forward progress of my life. Huge goals were met and new ones formed due to the knowledge gained from other people and their passion for sharing.

What you spend your time doing is what you will become. Because of this a long time ago, I chose to devote my time to learning from great minds, whether they be in the past or present.

And… if you are reading this, then I assume you want to do the same thing. People and decisions mold us, and by you choosing to read quality material and words of wise authors, you are taking a significant step in the right direction of your future.

Top 20 books you should read to succeed.
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A library is an open treasure box.

Just by reading one maybe two books on this reading list, you will have gone through some impactful life changes, mental and physical. These books were written for ordinary people and have the power, if you listen, to change the future for yourself and your families.

Some of these are more in-depth and require extra brain power, and some are easy reads.

Mentally we are not always prepared to read an in-depth book, so I would suggest alternating between an easy read and a more thorough read. This way you will stay motivated and relaxed, so you retain the information you are reading. 

Another suggestion would be to read a book a month.  Count the pages or chapters and divide that by the days of the month so each time you begin reading, you know how far you need to go.

It is always important to set goals if you wish to follow through or succeed at anything. Whether it’s a book a month or a book every two months you should set a goal so you feel a sense of accomplishment when you have finished.

Now that we have gone through why it’s important to not only read but choose carefully what you read I will give you what you came for, your top 20 list of books.

Note: You don’t have to read the books below in a certain order to obtain the wealth of knowledge they provide. Unless you have a compulsive side and wish to check them off starting from the top you may read them in any order.

You will also note that I include health books in my top 20. I feel you should consider your health as part of your successful equation in life. 

  1. Think and Grow Rich– By Napoleon Hill
  2. How To Win Friends and Influence People– By Dale Carnegie
  3. Three Feet From Gold– By Sharon L. Lechter & Greg S. Reid
  4. The Bible
  5. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People– By Les Giblin
  6. The Miracle Morning– By Hal Elrod
  7. Everyone Communicates Few Connect– By John Maxwell
  8. The Miracle of Right Thought– By Orison Swett Marden
  9. He Can Who Thinks He Can– By Orison Swett Marden
  10. The Five Second Rule– By Mel Robbins 
  11. The Slight Edge– By Jeff Olson
  12. The Case Against Sugar– By Gary Taubes
  13. The Richest Man in Babylon– By George S. Clason
  14. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership– By John Maxwell
  15. The Power of Positive Thinking– By Norman Vincent Peale
  16. Dare to Win– By Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
  17. Cultivating an Unshakable Character– By Jim Rohn
  18. Breaking the Rules– By Kurt Wright
  19. Hung by the Tongue– By Francis P. Martin
  20. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies– By  M.D., Ph.D. Shealy (author) C. Norman 
Top 20 books to read to achieve success.
#HeatherEarles #books #reading #Breakingtherules #DareToWin #Leadership
Create your success one book at a time.

So… where do you go from here? Pick a title then order it. Many of these books are available on audio, kindle, at the library, you name it. I have my collection in print because I LOVE to highlight, but to each their own.

Successful people never blame circumstances or other people; instead, they take full responsibility for their lives. They use the past as a lesson but do not dwell in it, and instead, let themselves be pulled up and forward by the compelling force of the future. They know that the path that leads to the success curve and the one that leads to the failure curve are only a hair’s breadth apart, separated only by the distinction of simple, “insignificant” actions that are just as easy not to do as they are to do—and that this difference will ultimately make all the difference.

The Slight Edge- By Jeff Olson

Ultimately, “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” 
― Napoleon Hill

Top 20 books you must read!
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Which one will you choose?

So, take the first step. Remember this list is only a list. You have to pick a book, read it, and then apply the knowledge within for it to help you — a simple positive action which will impact your life forever.

What are you waiting for? Pick and Click :).

-Heather Earles

Top Travel Tips for Summer

Top Travel Tips 
#HeatherEarles #roadtrips #travel
Ready, set, go…

Summer is a time for fun but also a time for traveling since school is out.

Parents, at last, can relax and take a break from the norm, and the kids can see their cousins, friends, or parts of the world that are new.

Yes, to travel is a grand adventure, but it can also be a little stressful to plan or keep people occupied in the car. I have just returned from a 26-hour car ride and am well aware of the do’s and don’ts when traveling.

  1. Travel light. Whether you are traveling as a couple or with children, the vehicle can become very small the farther you need to go. To avoid feeling claustrophobic or stressed, keep your car clean, travel light, and use your trunk or storage area when you do not need something.
  2. Stop and get some fresh air. By stopping you give your legs and body a chance to get the circulation moving. You also help prevent accidents by clearing your head. We all want to get to our destination, but it’s not healthy to sit for an extended length of time. Get out, stretch, and exchange stale air for fresh reviving your brain and helping to prevent headaches.
  3. Pack healthy snacks. People like to snack, that is nothing new, but when you are stuck in a vehicle plan ahead and take something that will not leave you feeling guilty. If it’s healthy, snack away enjoying the freshness of veggies, fruits, and nuts.
  4. Bring activities for the children. There is nothing a parent dislikes more than to hear the dreaded words, “Are we there yet?” Children, depending on their age, do not understand time as well as we would like. An hour to them seems like an eternity, which is why an activity is helpful. I don’t encourage electronics, I’m old school and like to promote games like what type of shape do you see in the clouds, the movie game where someone has to sing a chorus and another has to guess which movie it is from, a coloring or reading book, or an old-time classic, road kill bingo.
  5. Keep it positive. Someone is going to get tired, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to start snapping at each other. Words are powerful and can leave a deep wound. Stopping or turning on music or audios are all good ideas that will prevent you from having to apologize.
  6. Don’t be one of those people that demands silence or curses when someone has to go to the bathroom. People like to talk and pee and if you have a problem with that you should plan on taking a trip very close to home. Or go by yourself.
  7. If you see something interesting along the road, then pull over. Traveling can be so exciting when you deviate from the plan. I’m not talking about stopping every mile but hard-charging it until you reach your hotel doesn’t allow you to enjoy the beauty you might see along the way.
  8. Always have a plan B. You never know when a place you usually stop at will be sold out because of a softball tournament or whatever. Have a couple of towns in mind and check on hotels before you start.
  9. Keep your gas tank half full. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a dead stop with road construction looking at my gas gage.
  10. Carry a first aid bag or container. When you are on the road, unexpected things will happen, and you need to prepare for them. Not just for your safety but in the case you need to help someone else.
  11. Check your tires, fluids, and before you ever begin, check your spare. A well-oiled machine is more likely to get you to your destination.
  12. If you carry a concealed weapon, know the laws in the states where you will be traveling.
Travel
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Enjoy your surroundings

Traveling is half planning; the other half is enjoying. Using these Top Travel Tips will help you and your passengers have a memorable time and not stress.

Happy Trails!

-Heather Earles