10 summer lawn games that burn 150+ calories

Between hot dogs on the grill, beer in the cooler, and chips on the picnic table, we all know how easy it can be to take in excess calories at those summer BBQs. But how about shedding a few extra calories instead? That can be easy too, and just as social as clinking glasses with your neighbor next door. With the 10 lawn games below, we guarantee you’ll fit in a few laughs while sizzling away some calories. Do an energetic victory dance once you win, and you’ll burn even more. And probably add another laugh to your day, too.

So as August kicks off this weekend, forget spending summer sitting around stagnate in lawn chairs. Invite a few friends over or meet at the park. And whether you want to become a croquet champ or you’re more of a frisbee fan, let the games begin.

Oh, and if you’re ready to play with the big boys, we also recommend considering this.

10 summer lawn games that burn an easy 150+ calories

summer lawn games that burn calories

Meatless Monday: Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad

Watermelon health

Watermelons are synonymous with summer.

Like the first jump into a lake or pool, the fruit creates a cool, crisp and refreshing experience for the hottest of days. And since it’s made up of 92% water, that experience is a light and hydrating one, too.

These latter traits are ones ice cream just can’t match. Hence why when it comes to choosing between watermelon juice vs. sticky vanilla dripping down our hands, 9 times out of 10 you’ll find us reaching for the melon. That little bicep workout we get from doing so is just an added benefit. (The average melon is 20 pounds, 14 of those pounds being sweet, juicy deliciousness.)

Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping watermelon your summer snack of choice, below are 3 other reasons to chow down. Click here to keep reading…

Meatless Monday: Collard Wraps

Collard Wraps

Put down that tortilla. Stash away that boring white bread. And bring out those summer greens to your kitchen counter. It’s time to reinvent your lunch, starting from the base level — the wrapper.

Late July calls for light fare that will cool you down, not weigh you down. It calls for meals you can easily pack up and head with to the park, and ones that are every bit as fresh as they make you feel. What’s our go-to for that? Meet the Collard Wrap.

Collard leaves provide the perfect green plate for packaging up your favorite flavorful ingredients. They’re sturdy, come at a 5-calorie-per-leaf price, and have way more vitamins and nutrients than your traditional wrapper can boast. They’re also our current topic of discussion for today’s Meatless Monday, and while we’ll relish them for dinner tonight, our minds are already traveling to this weekend with our cooler on the beach. We’ll have these waiting inside. Portable wraps are a meal made for traveling adventures, and these are adventurous as they come. (I.e., goodbye peanut butter and jelly. We appreciate your willingness to travel, but you are simply no fun. Nor do you make us feel fresh on the beach.)

Collard Leaf


So as you plan out your next traveling trip, picnic, or simply tomorrow’s workday lunch, consider trying something new and calling on the collard leaf. It’ll provide the platform for a fun and healthful lunch, in which you can really roll up any of your favorite savory sandwich materials. Just make sure to include a little healthy fat, such as avocado or olive oil, to loosen up those leaves, and pull all the flavors together. Our food blogging LifeVester, Grace, brings us a roundup of unique ideas to get you started in the event you’d like to extend beyond your standard sandwich fare.

Click here for recipes…

5 Tips for a Better Burger for Your 4th of July

Burger on the grill

Cut loose this 4th and let your freedom flag fly by joining us in a little (Indepen)dance celebration. Dancing burns around 440 calories per hour, so get grooving. First, however, we’ve got some suggestions on how you can healthify your burger so you feel every bit as good as it will look on your plate

  • Ground control – be mindful of your meat: Packages labeled as “regular ground beef” can contain as much as 30% fat. Opt for leaner cuts like ground sirloin or chuck, and/or packages labeled 90%. Ground chicken and turkey can be even better choices, but me sure to choose ones labeled with “white” or “breast” meat only, or dark, fattier cuts may end up in your grounds.
  • Bring a bun with a benefit: You’d be surprised at the amount of excess sugar and sodium in an empty-calorie white bun. Opt for whole wheat instead. WW buns pack in fiber to make you feel fuller for longer.
  • Size matters: Your patty shouldn’t be bigger than your palm, or about 3-oz., the standard serving size for beef. Mini sliders like this make sizing even easier.
  • Pile on the veg: Like whole wheat buns, the fiber in veggies will fill you up and keep you from snacking later on. Consider also adding in items like diced carrots or greens into the actual patties for a boost of flavor and nutrition. To go all veg., try one of these tasty options.
  • Topping swap: Skip the cheddar and bacon, and swap them for equally flavorful ingredients. Heart-healthy, creamy avocado replaces any need for cheese, while ingredients like arugula or marinated mushrooms power up the flavor.

Today’s typical burger weighs in at 600 calories, and holds more fat than we even want to add up. Luckily, the suggestions above can help you build a better burger for your body and cut back on both of these. Cheers to doing things homemade and executing your freedom to make a smarter choice.

2 Salads to Lighten Up the Memorial Day Menu


By Emma Fogt

As soon as Memorial Day passes, pools open and beach side-bathers return for another summer of fun in the sun. The anticipation of skinny clothes attracts a desire for skinny food and what better way to lighten up Memorial Day than with a few salads on the table.

These salad recipes are heavy on flavor and light on junk, so you can feel good about what’s going on your plate, and your taste buds can too. Pair them with a veggie burger or lean cut of meat from the grill. Then sit back and savor the first few (unofficial) days of summer.

Susan’s Turbulent Watermelon Salad

Jan’s Strawberry Spinach Salad

Recipes here…

3 Recipes to Drink Light This Memorial Day Weekend

Light Blueberry Cocktail

Memorial Day marks the (un)official start of summer. Hooray for the onset of BBQ season, picnicked Saturday lunches, sandwiches on the sand, and farmers’ market Sundays! ‘Tis the season for outdoor dining and drinking.

With that in mind, it’s important to be mindful of not letting your diet go to the bayside. Instead, we want to see you make smart choices to get your body ready for the beach! Let’s kick off the season with a focus to keep mealtimes light this weekend by loading up on the first seasonal items of summer.

Hit up your local farmers’ market so you can party down on a basket full of produce. Whether it means making a road trip for a mini Memorial Day weekend adventure, grilling in your own backyard, or heading to the park, fruits and vegetables make for the most refreshing summertime snacks and sides. In honor of the warmer temps, as you utilize the season’s bounty to lighten up your meals, we’re bringing you some recipes so you can do the same with your drinks!

Below, find three simple summertime favorites, including classics like iced tea spruced up with a sophisticated twist of lavender and Earl Grey, and a fun, antioxidant-laced blueberry cocktail. Light and iced, you’ll find these are refreshing to the last drop.

Click here for recipes…