National Holidays (especially summertime holidays) can be great reasons to get together with friends and family, plan a trip or a great party.. but they can often also end up becoming detail-drowned, mayhem-layden opportunities for stress. And that's no way to celebrate!
So why not simplify the experience by finding a cool alternative to the chaos? There are so many ways to celebrate the true meaning of these national holidays that can easily be forgotten in all the hype. For example, The 4th of July, at its core, is about community, land, and gratitude.
Here are 3 awesome alternative ways to celebrate the 4th of July to help you celebrate the things that truly matter most:
1) Throw a Locavore Potluck
Gathering friends and family around amazing fresh food is a great way to celebrate the real foundation of our country, the earth! Rally some friends together and head over to a local farmers market (day-of or a few days prior) or a natural food store where, in the very least, you can be sure to source some organic, fresh produce. If you do live locally in Santa Barbara, check out the weekly Farmers Market schedule. This week, you could score fresh goods almost any day of the week leading up to the 4th, or even the day-of and the downtown market location. Alternatively you could look into a produce delivery service like Local Harvest Delivery who could bring a curated box of yummy farmer-market fresh goods to your door! This is a model cropping up more and more around the country, so google produce deliveries in your area to find out and start the trend!
2) Host a Superfood Soiree
If you are opting out of booze and BBQ, but still want to get amped-up, there's no better way to get a natural high than indulging in your favorite superfood snacks. Once you have these nutrient-rich foods fueling you, your practice might go to a whole new level..
Superfoods are foods that are nutrient dense and often calorie sparse that are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients. Check out these examples of basic superfoods. Ideas for yummy dishes to be made from superfoods are: Raw chocolates, raw pies (like this wild "Green Cream Pie") or maybe these raw oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bites or nutrient-packed smoothies. Or go to town creating your own juice recipes with fresh vegetable and fruit juices. Just invite your people over and select a few dishes to make in advance. Make the event about mixing, sampling and creating of these epic treats. You may find that clean, high-vibe food gets people stoked in a way tequila just cant :) The one drawback - it can get a little expensive to feed a crew with superfoods on your own, so consider inviting each of your friends to bring one of the raw ingredients, like raw cacao powder (the basis of raw chocolate), macadamia nuts (raw food pie crust essential) or lots of cucumbers, kale and apples for fresh juice. (You'll need a juicer for this, either purchase a basic one like the Jack La Lanne Power Juicer or have a friend who already has one bring one as her contribution!) You can source various superfoods online at places like locally-owned Sun Potion (a great source for your raw cacao) or go by Kotuku elixir bar if you are here in Santa Barbara to pick up the ingredients.
3) Find a remote camping spot at elevation to watch the fireworks from
Yes, it can be fun to get in the mix and hoot and holler with everyone as each firework is let off one by one. And it can be equally fun to "ooo" and "ah" where you may be the only one who hears it! Taking the opportunity to get out of the crowds and watch the show from afar, can be just as fun and give that beautiful starry sky some prime-time viewing as well! Bring a great bottle of local wine, pack a picnic dinner and throw some Drishti yoga blankets in the car and hit the road with a secret spot in mind thats not too far away from home. Here in Santa Barbara we are blessed with the ability to take a twenty minute drive into the mountains to get a great view of the whole city. For SB locals, you can check out this local hiking guide for some location ideas. And if your location is more limited, you can search for the tallest hill in your hood, building top...or even a tree! You can also forgo the fireworks all together and just cruise out to your favorite nearby camping spots and take a breather while the rest of the country gets wild, crazy and uber-patriotic.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a blast, stay healthy and remember how cool it is to get back to the basics of celebration, Family, Friends, Food and Fun!
xoxox -The Drishti Team