Healthy Summer Eating
I hope you are enjoying the summer! It sure is flying! With the abundance of fruits and vegetables available this time of year, there is no time like the present to shape up your eating habits. Maybe you've decided to cut back on the hot dogs and peel the skin from the BBQ chicken, or even limit the mayo-laden macaroni and potato salads. If so, good job! Cutting back on high fat meats and mayo drenched salads is a great way to start. But, along with limiting those foods you know aren't good for you, it is just as important to think about what to add to your meals. To make healthy eating habits stick, it is better to think about enjoying your food and less about what to avoid. Here are some easy ideas to try that won't expand your waistline as you enjoy the lazy days of summer. Keep in mind, making simple substitution is what it takes. You do not need to make radical changes or follow complicated recipes.
*Exchange creamy sauces and dressings with marinades or dressings that are vinegar based or made with olive oil or canola oil (heart healthy fats) and herbs.
*Instead of serving a classic potato salad with creamy mayo, try steaming new potatoes and drizzling them with olive oil, garlic powder and chopped chives.
*Look for chicken or turkey sausages to grill instead of pork. They taste delicious and often offer great savings on fat and calories.
*Try wholesome barley or quinoa for a grain-based salad instead of pasta or potatoes. Add lots of raw, cut-up veggies such as red peppers, carrots, red onion and celery.
*Go for sorbets and fruits instead of heavy cakes if you crave dessert.
*Drink plenty of water in lieu of sports drinks and sodas. Add fresh lemon or orange slices to your water if regular water is too boring for you.
*Downsize what you put on your plate. Fill two-thirds of it with fruits, vegetables or grains, and one-third with poultry, fish or meat. Take advantage of the fresh produce available.
*Try grilling vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, zucchini and bell peppers. Most vegetables can be grilled by cutting them into bite-sized pieces and threading them onto skewers. Grilled fruit kabobs are also a great summertime dessert!
*At your next barbecue, skip the chips and serve crunchy carrot sticks, bell pepper strips and broccoli with a low-fat dip.
*Head to the beach with a veggie-filled picnic lunch. In addition to turkey or lean ham on wholewheat bread, pack fruits and vegetables such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, grapes, plums and cherries.
*If you are going camping or hiking, unsweetened dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, apricots and figs are easy to carry in your backpack.
*Keep containers of fruits and vegetables washed and cut into bite sized pieces in the refrigerator. Have then instead of chips and cookies.
*Avoid food dyes and excess sugar by making your own frozen fruit pops at home. Freeze 100 percent fruit juice in small paper cups (add diced up fruit to the juice before freezing for extra fiber and nutrients). Insert wooden sticks when the juice is slushy enough to hold the stick upright. When the juice is frozen solid, peel the paper off and serve.
Have you tried any of these ideas? How did it go? Is there something you do during the summer months to keep your diet healthy that I didn't list here? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.
Enjoy the sunshine and be good to yourself!