Get great tips on how to feel and look better this Independence Day.

Between the fried chicken, hamburgers, beer, ice cream and intense summer heat, family picnics can cause havoc on your health. Follow the below tips to feel and look better this July 4th:

Eat Your Water – With the sun beating down on you at this summer’s backyard picnic, it is more important than ever to stay hydrated. Luckily, you don’t just have to rely on liquids to hydrate you. Many foods like melons, leafy greens and tomatoes have a high water content that can help quench your thirst. As an added bonus, these foods are low calorie so you can load up on them without wrecking your diet. Watermelon seed spitting contest anyone?

Mother Nature’s AC – According to Ayurvedic medicine, in order to stay cool during the summer months you must minimize pitta (or fire) in the body. One way to do this is to eat LOTS of nature’s bounty - fruits and vegetables. To stock up on fresh produce to keep you cool at your July 4th BBQ, check out on Tuesday, July 3 from 1-6 p.m.

Good Ole Fashioned Backyard Games – At your family picnic this Independence Day, challenge the guests (young and old) to some good old-fashioned wheel barrel and potato sack races. Not only will you have a blast playing, you will get a fantastic workout without even knowing it (Note: the moms at my class will be doing this same thing).

Sun Safe Salads – Break free from traditional mayonnaise based salads and try using dressings made with small amounts of oil, vinegar, and citrus juices. These acidic ingredients keep foods safer at room temperature and offer a great tangy low fat compliment to your grilled foods. Try this Summer Corn Salad with BBQ chicken.

An American Staple Goes Regional – For a heart healthy version of corn on the cob, swap butter for a little olive oil. Simply brush on the oil and sprinkle with either lime zest and salt, or go for a Southwestern mix of chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, and salt.

Happy July 4th! Be safe and healthy.