With bathing suit season just around the corner, you may be more motivated than ever to eat healthier. But as carnivals, ice cream socials and campfire s’mores beckon to you, how can you focus on eating healthier in the summer? Here are ten ideas:
1. Consider planting a garden – If you have a garden in your yard, you’re that much more interested in eating the healthy fruits, greens and vegetables that come out of that garden. If you plant your favorite foods, you’ll have an abundant supply of zucchini, kale, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and everything you need to make your own salsa.
2. Lemon water – Many diet gurus swear by starting the day with lemon in your water. There seems to be some evidence that a little squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning helps with metabolism. Other dieters feel that simply starting out the day with a zero calorie healthy item will get them on track for a healthy rest of the day.
3. Green juice – With all the summer produce in season, this is the best time of year to consider trying some of those green juices and smoothies you’ve read about. Chunk up a cucumber, some kale, an apple and maybe a banana, zap it in your blender or juicer, and drink it down. Many people say a shot of healthy green vitamin-rich juice first thing in the morning puts them on track for a healthy day.
4. Ice cream alternatives – Heading to the ice cream parlor? Consider a non-fat or low-fat alternative. Frozen yogurt is a healthy choice, and many ice cream parlors also offer sorbet, which is often non-fat.
5. Feel the heat – Some people notice that in the air conditioning they’re more likely to eat heavy foods. Staying out of the A/C can make us feel full on simple salads, fruits and veggies rather than bulkier meals.
6. Campfire alternatives – Going camping with the family? Rather than gobbling up sugary s’mores, consider a somewhat healthier alternative – banana boats. Take a banana, slit it down the middle, fill the inside with mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips, cover the whole thing in aluminum foil, and toss it in the coals. After 5-10 minutes, you’ll have a warm and tasty treat – it may not feel 100% healthy, but there’s nutrients in it including potassium and your kids will love it.
7. Grill – With warm weather, you can grill outside. Consider trying lean meats like chicken or soak in the omega-3s by grilling a salmon. Squeeze just a bit of lemon over the top or add spices like paprika, Italian spices or cumin and ancho chili for a variety of options to please your taste buds.
8. Make fruit juice popsicles – Instead of eating ice cream or sugary popsicles, consider making your own out of orange juice, healthy green juice, or even a carrot juice blend. It’s healthy and will keep you cool.
9. Frozen grapes – Wash a bunch of grapes, dry them and stick them in your freezer. You’ll have a tasty, low-calorie snack you can eat by the handful.
10. Consider drinking more water – It’s hot out. You need hydration. Experts say you need to drink at least six eight-ounce glasses of water per day. For a spa treat, slice up cucumbers, muddle some blackberries, or add lemon and mint to your water. You’ll feel like royalty as you sip your way to better health.
With so many fresh fruits and vegetables available in the summer, there are many ways to easily eat healthier.