Metro Man & Metro Home

By Dian Mills

July is here to kick off a season of sunshine and celebration. It’s not easy to keep your energy up and your swimsuit size down while ringing in another epic barbecue season, so here are a few tips to keep your Independence Day menu light and healthy without sacrificing a single taste bud’s worth of flavor.

There’s nothing more refreshing than a glass of cold soda on a hot day. Unfortunately, the brands we tend to grab most often are filled with sugar, chemicals or both. One way to keep your fizzy refreshments healthier (for your body, your wallet and the environment) is to invest in a KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker. Powered by SodaStream, this awesomely retro all-metal machine quickly and easily carbonates plain water to your desired level. Just add a few squirts of Sodamix flavoring, available in a terrific array of flavors and formulations (with no high fructose corn syrup in regular flavors or aspartame in diet), and you’ve got a super-fresh, delicious concoction to either drink or use to brighten your favorite recipe. Choose from eight gorgeous color options at

Let’s talk about food, baby! The 4th of July just isn’t right until somebody fires up a grill. Make sure you get the biggest flavor bang for your protein buck with Cameron’s Professional Cookware Smoker Bags. These roomy, triple-layer bags are pre-loaded with everything it takes to cook and infuse fish, chicken, ribs and game meats with mesquite, alder or hickory flavor. All you have to do is fill one up, toss it on the grill (or in the oven, campfire or on a hot plate) and enjoy intense flavor in no time without having to slather your food in calorie-laden sauces. Stock up for the summer at

Another classic American party food is fried chicken. There’s nothing like a platter of wings to keep your guests smiling, but just a few can really send a person’s diet into freefall! My new favorite solution: the Good Cooking Air Fryer. Easy to use and clean (the fry basket is dishwasher safe), this health-saving machine produces fried food that’s crispy and bursting with flavor without adding a drop of oil. It’s also got a pre-programmed option to ensure that even a frying novice can produce delicious, sin-free food. Treat yourself to one at

Now that you can fizz, smoke and sizzle yourself and your guests into an Independence-worthy state of bliss, go forth and enjoy the 4th!

Originally published July 2014
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