After a cold winter and rainy spring, many of us are probably wanting to kick the winter depression out the door. Sunshine and the great outdoors are a perfect way to pull you out of that slump… and healthy eating of course. The summer time brings a perfect opportunity to incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables from your local Farmer’s Market is a great way to boost your mood and health.
Here are a few tips for staying healthy this summer:
- Drink green tea or coconut water instead of sweet tea. It’s so important to stay hydrated during the hot summer when you’re losing fluids and electrolytes. Instead of drinking sugary beverages, try green tea, which is full of antioxidants and metabolism boosting compounds. Or for some natural electrolytes, try coconut water.
- Serve seafood. Summer is the ideal time to get the freshest catch from your local grocer. Grill salmon, tuna, lobster, steamer clams, and calamari for a low-calorie, protein-packed lunch or dinner.
- Don’t skip breakfast. When you wake up in the morning, your body is running on fumes. Eating a breakfast with protein, carbs, and healthy fat kicks your metabolism into high gear and provides energy for the day.
- Enjoy summer fruits and veggies. It’s easy to sink into a vegetable rut, eating the same boring veggies week after week, but with summer comes fresh choices. Including a mix of in-season colorful veggies in your meals gives your body a nutrient kick.
- Hydrate often. The summer heat makes you more susceptible to dehydration. Start off your day by drinking two glasses of water and keep drinking at regular times throughout the day, as well as before and after your workout, to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you as a reminder to stay hydrated.
- Cook meals together. Summer time is a great opportunity to take advantage of the nice weather and socialize with family and friends. Involve your friends and family in your healthy lifestyle this summer. Instead of BBQ and chips, try grilling kabobs, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, pineapple and more! A simple way to start: Plan meals, shop, and cook with your spouse and kids.
- Downsize your dinnerware. We’re not talking about buying new plates, just using the smaller ones in your set for meals like lunch and dinner. Cornell University researchers found that by switching from 12- to 10-inch plates anyone can reduce calorie consumption by 20 to 22 percent and lose nearly two pounds per month. And that’s without changing any other aspect of your diet.
- Recover with a post-workout shake. After exercising, blend your favorite summer fruits and a scoop of whey protein into a shake to kick start the muscle-building process, help your body recover from training, and boost your energy levels.
- Pre-plan your meals. You plan your weekend getaways and activities for summer. Why not your meals? Make it easy by preparing all of your food on Sunday so that you have enough meals for the week. You’ll save time later in the week, calories and money. If you don’t know what you’re going to make for meals, or don’t have your healthy foods prepped and easily assessable, you are more likely to get to Monday night and not know what to eat and grab fast food. Plan. Prep. Prosper.
- Eat healthy at the beach. Ice cream stands and high-calorie barbecues are bound to put a damper on your diet, so stay clear of these temptations by being prepared. Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, sandwiches on whole grain breads, pita chips, hummus, yogurt and lots of fruit. You’ll feel healthier and happier after your day at the beach.
- Give your house a summer cleaning. You need an environment that reflects your healthy way of living and your summer fitness goals. To start, remove unhealthy foods from your home (so you’re not tempted). While you’re at it, stock your office with fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks.
- Build a better burger. Create a healthier burger with whole-wheat buns, lean meats, and delicious toppings like pineapple, wasabi, guacamole, and feta cheese.