Lunden Souza: Be mindful of your body during holiday

05/26/2012 1:29 AM

05/26/2012 2:04 AM

Memorial Day is a day for us to remember all of the fallen soldiers who have courageously and unquestionably fought for every single one of our freedoms. The sad part is, many don't take the time to reflect on the real reason for this three day weekend -- instead, it is a time for pool parties, alcohol, hamburgers and hot dogs.

While this can be an awesome weekend extension to spend with loved ones, never ever forget to remember the brave soldiers who have passed and those that put their lives on the line every single day so that we can live the lives we emjoy. This Memorial Day, take the time to really remember, thank and pray for lost soldiers, current soldiers and their families.

So what's on this weekend's menu? Likely things like chips, hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, chicken wings, soda and pizza. There really is not anything good about sitting in the sun all day, drinking non-hydrating beverages and devouring salty and preserved foods. This Memorial Day, take time to be thankful for our soldiers and for your body. Do not just throw trash into your mouth because you think you have an excuse.

Here are some great tips for healthy food on Memorial Day:

One of the easiest things to make for an outdoor event are skewers. You can make fruit skewers with watermelon, pineapple, grapes, oranges, strawberries and kiwi -- or any other fruit that you desire. You can also make meat and vegetable skewers (or just vegetable for those of you who are vegetarian) with steak or chicken, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and zucchini. These skewers are easy to make, and the kids can help, and they are also very easy to just throw on the grill and serve. When everyone is playing in the yard or in and out of the pool, grabbing onto a skewer and eating can be a lot more convenient than sitting down with a plate, fork and knife. Plus you are getting a lot better nutrients from fruit, meat, and vegetables.

Another refreshing idea is to put strawberries and sliced cucumber in water. Water can taste plain and a sugary drink may sound more appealing, but when it is hot outside and you are exposed to the sun for long periods, it is crucial that you drink a lot of water so you don't dehydrate.

Instead of going for the five-layer bean dip, choose guacamole or salsa. Homemade is best, but usually I strive to make just the guacamole homemade if I have time. All you need is five avocados, half an onion, one clove of garlic, one medium tomato, one jalapeno, one fresh lime, and light salt and pepper. You can even add a cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt to the mixture for some added protein. Just mash the avocados and chop up all the ingredients and mix it up. Sometimes you can find the produce packaged and already chopped up, which can save you some time. Then, find some whole-grain tortilla chips and dip away.

This Memorial Day weekend let's stray from the norm and restore the commemoration as well as feed our bodies healthily, not intensely.

Lunden Souza can be reached at

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