Get Ready for Healthy Summer Eating by Lori Skurbe

Get Ready for Healthy Summer Eating

 

Summer is a time for getting out and loving the warmer weather and with that often comes more social events – picnics, BBQs, poolside cocktails, and family vacations. These events do not have to sabotage your healthy eating plan. Here are some tips to keep you on track and still enjoy your summer:

 

  1. Take advantage of locally grown produce.  Purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables to make fruit and vegetable dishes for parties and other social gatherings. Keep things interesting by making fruit kabobs instead of fruit salad. Vegetables can be used as side dishes and appetizers. These foods are filling, nutritious, colorful, and usually a big hit at parties.
  2. Avoid mindless eating. At a party, it is easy to get caught up in the event and not pay attention to what or how much we eat. Try to avoid standing near the food to limit grazing. Take what you want and walk away. 
  3. Hydrate! Hot summer means we will be perspiring more and losing water. It is very important to stay hydrated with calorie-free beverages. Do not wait until you feel thirsty to drink, sip on fluids all day long. Add fresh lemon, lime, and orange slices to water, club soda, or seltzers to spice things up. You can also add cucumber slices, berries, ginger, and mint for added flavor.  Unsweetened iced teas can be refreshing and hydrating.  Make the calorie-free drinks interesting.
  4. BBQs. Grilling is a healthy way to cook meat, chicken, fish, seafood, and vegetables. It requires little or no oil/fat, which keeps calories low. You can add dry seasonings to protein foods and vegetables. Use an olive oil or avocado oil spray on vegetables before grilling and when adding seasonings. Grilled vegetables can make a great side dish instead of heavier potato or macaroni salads.
  5. Watch the alcohol. Summer parties usually mean more social drinking. Alcohol contains significant calories and can sabotage healthy eating goals. Try to limit how much you drink by having a non-alcoholic beverage between alcoholic ones to slow the pace of drinking. Add some club soda to white wine to make the drink last longer. Alcohol also causes dehydration so it is important to drink a lot of calorie-free fluids. 
  6. Don’t make food the focus. It is easy to make food and beverages the main event at social gatherings. You can still plan an amazing menu, but also plan fun games, and activities to get people up, active, and having fun.