Labor Day

Labor Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the first Monday of September in honor of the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well being of America, according to!

Sand Harbor State Park at Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Photo: Sand Harbor State Park at Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Photo Credit: Leigh Storz, Owner of

It is traditionally a day of rest, but some other fun facts that you might not know about it are:

  • Signifies the end of summer (boo-hoo)

  • The last weekend to plan summer trips (Unless your kids are all grown up)

  • Party weekend

  • Football season starts around this time, unofficially that is

  • Airports and highways are super congested

  • White clothes are sort of banned from this time on and winter colors are in (Not such a rule now, but my Grammie was really into it)

  • Time to put away your straw cowboy hat in favor of a felt one (I am sure this was no surprise)

  • Became a federal holiday in 1894, but was first celebrated in 1882 with a parade

  • Chosen for September to break up the long gap between July 4th and Thanksgiving holidays

  • Celebrated in Seattle, by Bumpershoot, which is a Music and Arts festival at the Seattle Center

  • The holiday is celebrated with swimming, camping and picnics usually

  • Schools usually start after this holiday (kids booing amid parent’s cheers)

  • We copied the idea of Labor Day from Canada

  • The first Labor Day rally was held to gain support for the 8 hour workday rather than the 12 hour one.

Donner Memorial State Park in Truckee, California

Photo: Donner Memorial State Park at Donner Lake in Truckee, California
Photo Credit: Leigh Storz, Owner of

Healthy Diet Tips for Labor Day

Many of us will celebrate this holiday of no work, with a picnic, party, beach day, Lake Day, or barbeque with friends and family! The day will be centered on food because that is how we love to celebrate! We like our tummies full of awesome foods!

Here are a few ideas to add healthy diet habits to your Labor Day Meals:

  • Choose low fat meat choices that are not full of additives. Hot Dogs are full of all kinds of junk, but there are choices now that are more conducive to health! Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods offer many nitrate and chemical free choices. Just be sure and check out the food label and if something sounds chemically, it is! See my Organic Protein page for some ideas!

  • Grill your meat on lower temperatures to limit charring which has been linked to cancer!

  • Make meat a side dish and not the main entrée! We are portion challenged! Hamburgers need not be Costco sized! Choose smaller 100% whole grain buns or just go with the patty!

  • Keep Carbs in check! You know the American picnic of Burger, Potato Salad, Mac Salad, Bun, Chips, Corn, Baked beans and Dessert is way too Starch filled. Make it your goal to add some new salads that are veggie and fruit filled. Limit your starch choice to one or two choices! If you want beans, maybe choose grilled fresh non starchy veggies rather than corn. If you want Corn, skip the potato and Mac salad. It is not that hard. Just get out of the same old, same old rut!

  • Provide lower calorie choices for desserts! I hate it when I go to a picnic and there is the Costco chocolate cake (you know the giant one) that I know has over 900 calories for a small slice! Your friends will not miss that. Find a great lower calorie fruit filled recipe or maybe a fruity home-made sorbet! See my Sweet Substitutions page for some lower calorie options!

  • Keep appetizers and dips to a minimum! They are so caloric! Many people eat a day’s worth of calories before the meal begins! Provide a huge veggie platter with a lower calorie dip!

  • Change your mindset! Healthy never means boring! Most of my favorite salads are healthy and loved by everyone! I can hardly eat the gloppy potato salad anymore! Get educated!

  • Add Veggies in everywhere!!!

Sample Menu Plan for Labor Day

Veggie Kabobs

  • Meat and Veggie Skewers: Add a selection of meats and fresh produce! Encourage your guests to skewer what they love and barbeque away! Get creative! Use chopped meats, shrimp, fresh pineapple, different colored peppers, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, different squashes, mushrooms, peaches, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, your choices!

  • Quinoa, Brown Rice, or really great crusty Artisan bread! Pick two if you have a large group!

  • Chopped Veggie Salad with vinaigrette (Leave out the noodle types because you already picked your starches)

  • Chopped fruit salad or fruit platter

  • Sorbet

Farmer's Market's are still going on at this time of year, so pick up some fresh organic fruits and vegetables for your Labor Day Meal!!

This would be a very simple, delicious meal that would not leave people thinking "Oh, I hate going to their house because they are health nuts!" It would be healthy and keep your plate half full of produce, which is a great lifestyle solution for weight control!

The Skewers would be fun for everyone, especially kids! That is what Labor Day is all about! Having Fun, before summer ends, school begins, and we happily trudge back to work on Tuesday, after watching our favorite NFL team that is!!!

Happy Labor Day to all!

Lake Tahoe, on the California Side

Photo: Lake Tahoe - on the California side
Photo Credit: Leigh Storz, Owner of

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