Maintaining A Healthy Diet During The Summer

It may not be as hard as you think

Things can get a little topsy turvy once summer hits. Routines are all over the place. You’re trying to balance work and vacation time. And mealtimes get disrupted.

That can make it hard to maintain a nutritional diet. Luckily, there are some easy ways to keep up with a healthy summer diet. 

5 Tips To Maintain That Healthy Summer Diet

When life gets busy in the Summer, it’s really easy to let the healthy habits slide … especially when there seems to be an endless supply of BBQs, chip trucks, and ice cream stands.

Here are 5 tips that are easy to implement in your own life.

1. Take Advantage Of Fresh Produce 

Hamburgers and hot dogs on the barbecue are a staple this time of year. But summer is also a good opportunity to get into a new groove. An excellent way to do this is to introduce more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Produce is at its peak when the weather is warm. Not only is there a great selection, you can also take advantage of local produce and enjoy farm to table freshness. 

“My recommendation would always be to go to a farmer’s market, or even your grocery store, see what’s fresh, see what’s local and build off of those things,” explains Registered Dietician Abby Langer.

Healthy Summer Food Favourites To Eat 

  • Watermelon – This refreshing fruit is 92% water, which makes it a great snack on hot summer days. It also contains powerful antioxidants that may help provide sun protection. 
  • Corn – Corn is a source of fiber, protein and important vitamins. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect your eyes. 
  • Tomatoes – Tomatoes are a great addition to salads and burgers. They also contain the same sun protecting antioxidants as watermelon. 
  • Blueberries – This superfood is packed full of powerful antioxidants. Better yet, you can pick your own at local farms from late July into August, guaranteeing freshness. 

2. Grill Up Leaner Meets

When picking meats to cook for dinner, opt for leaner alternatives. Instead of beef, consider a ground turkey burger. Or try low-calorie, protein packed fish like salmon, tuna, lobster, clams or calamari. Skinless chicken breasts are also a good choice. 

If you’re craving beef, try to find extra lean cuts and pair them with healthier side dishes. 

Some nights, you can even skip the meat and just grill up some of those fresh veggies you picked up. 

3. Make Your Own Iced Tea

Iced tea is a refreshing summer drink! The problem is many of the pre-made teas are either full of added sugar and other ingredients or they’re expensive to buy. The good news is, iced tea is very easy to make! 

Start by brewing a large batch of tea. Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan or a kettle. Add the water and 6 tea bags to a heat proof container. 

Steep for 15 minutes and then remove the tea bags. Add 4 more cups of cool water to the container and mix. Let the liquid cool to room temperature then put it in the fridge until cold (or pour over ice to enjoy right away). 

You can choose to add sugar to the hot liquid, or you can stir it into the cold tea. It will dissolve slower in cold tea but that way everyone can add the amount of sugar they like. 

Have fun and experiment with different kinds of tea.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Keep It Simple

Summer days can get busy fast. By the time you get home, the idea of cooking a meal can be daunting. A lot of people will avoid the whole ordeal and grab take out. But takeout can add up quickly and isn’t always the healthiest option.  

The thing is, dinner doesn’t have to be a complicated meal. There are lots of easy ways to serve up a tasty meal without devoting hours to it. 

Langer explains dinner can be a simple salad with chickpeas or hard-boiled eggs for protein. Or maybe you can serve leftover roasted chicken and lots of vegetables.

Plan ahead and stock your kitchen with leftovers and easy to combine ingredients. That will help make the decision to eat at home more appealing, even after a busy day. 

RELATED: Must-try summer food and cocktail pairings …

5. Eat Healthy When You Eat Out

When you do decide to eat out or order takeout, look for healthy options. 

Start by making a short list of restaurants you know have healthy options. You can do this by reviewing their menus and nutritional information online. 

Choose foods that are prepared in healthier ways. This includes raw, baked, grilled, broiled and poached foods. Also look for healthier ingredients like seasonal veggies and leaner meats. 

Also be considerate of portions. Sometimes restaurants fill up their plates, which is great value. But don’t feel like you have to finish it. If you’re full after half a plate, bring the rest home. It will be a great snack or meal when you’re looking for an easy option later in the week. 

Maintaining a healthy summer diet doesn’t need to be hard. As Langer explains, there are no more excuses to not eat healthy … any time of year.

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