Summer is here, which means vacations aren’t far behind. We all know that drinking lots of water, sticking to fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats, and exercising as much as possible are the keys to a healthy life. So why is it so easy to fall into bad habits during the summer? I know for me that it’s especially easy when I travel to indulge way too much on treats and let exercise plans fall to the wayside. Let’s be honest, too much free time means extra time to be lazy!
1. Load up on healthy summer fruits and veggies.
Blueberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, corn, eggplant and green beans are all at their peak. Use the fruits frozen in smoothies with Greek yogurt, or with just a dollop of whipped cream for dessert. Veggies are perfect for grilling, seasoned with just a little olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
2. Swap iced green tea in for sugary sweet tea.
As delicious as sweet tea can be in the summer, all that sugary tea leads to empty calories. Green tea is full of antioxidants and has been shown to speed up metabolism.
3. Keep hydrated!
One of my favorite ways to remind myself to drink water is to use technology to my benefit. Use a smartphone app to track the amount of water you’re drinking each day. Some even let you set an alarm reminder.
4. Pack your beach cooler full of healthy snacks.
Beach time can be super tempting with barbecue, ice cream, hot dogs, and so many more temptations that lurk near the sand. Pack a cooler full of better-for-you alternatives such as hummus and veggies, yogurt, fruit, sandwiches on whole grain bread, nut butter and celery, and of course, lots of water.
5. Trade your beef burger for lean turkey.
This grilling staple can be easily transformed to a much healthier alternative. Lean ground turkey dramatically decreases the fat and calorie content and still tastes great. Pair it with a whole-grain bun to up the nutrition factor. Pile on the veggies, or be daring and try some fruit toppings. Grilled pineapple is a favorite!
6. Don’t skip breakfast, even if you’re sleeping in!
When you’re sleeping in an hour or two, it’s easy to let the most important meal of the day slide. Greek yogurt & frozen fruit smoothies, overnight oats, or nut butter on whole grain bread are easy go-to breakfasts.
7. Keep a food journal.
Download an app for your phone or keep a small notebook with you. If you write everything down, along with calories per serving, you’ll think twice before eating that triple scoop ice cream sundae with all the fixings.
8. Stay active!
Outdoor activities abound during the summer months. There’s so much to choose from. Summer is perfect for Frisbee, walks around the park, and the obvious choice-swimming!
9. Put that grill to work!
Grilled food (when seasoned with just fresh herbs and lemon/lime juice) is low in calories and fat. Serve your BBQ sauce on the side instead of slathering it on top and you’ll save some extra calories there, too.
10. Stay balanced.
Should you completely deprive yourself of all those fun summer treats? Not at all! If you’re on vacation in Hawaii, by all means, indulge in some local favorites. Visiting Italy? Definitely try the pasta and gelato!