Are there summer foods and drinks that can help you stick to your diet and fitness plan? Yes. The summer is a great time for eating healthy, you just need to remember two things.
One...Which foods are already healthy?
Two...What foods can you make healthier?
Here are some of my favorite healthy foods that might even help you lose some weight and stick to your diet this summer. Let's start with keeping cool and well-hydrated.
It's so important to always stay hydrated and drink enough water (especially in the summer). Here are five ways to make water more palatable and festive for hot summer days.
- Peel cucumbers and slice them into a pitcher of cold water.
- Add slices of lemon and lime to a glass of ice water.
- Add strawberries, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, or cherries to a pitcher of ice water.
- Add frozen fruit to a pitcher or glass of water instead of ice cubes.
- Add fresh mint to a glass of cold water.
When water just isn't enough.
- Fruit smoothies are delicious and you can easily make them with any of your favorite fruits. Here are some low-calorie smoothie recipes.
- 100% fruit juice with additional slices of fruit (instead of ice cubes, use frozen fruit).
- Iced green tea with a slice of lemon or fresh mint leaves.
Boneless chicken breast on the grill.
I like to make several pieces of boneless chicken breast on the grill at once. This way, I can use it in several different ways over a few days.
- Make it with some grilled or steamed veggies for a healthy dinner.
- Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and wrap in a tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa for a yummy lunch.
- Make a caesar salad (with a light dressing), and top with sliced "chilled" chicken breast.
- Cut into cubes and make a light summer chicken salad.
Salmon is healthy, low-calorie, high protein, and makes a great summer dish.
This is so easy. Just place a serving-sized portion of salmon on a sheet of foil, add your favorite vegetables, sprinkle with "salt-free" seasoning, wrap it up and grill. Best part, no mess.
Here are some tips for grilling salmon and more salmon recipes.
Grilled veggies are yummy.
Summer is a great time of the year to introduce some new vegetables into your diet.
- I've never been fond of vegetables like zucchini, squash, and eggplant in the winter, but in the summer, I love them. I cut them into 1/2 inch slices, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with "salt-free" seasoning, then toss them right on the grill. It's funny how everything tastes better when you cook it on the grill.
- You can grill just about any vegetable, and the ones that could fall through the rack can be wrapped in foil.
- Here are some tips and recipes for grilling vegetables.
Can hamburgers be a healthy summer food?
If you're unable to give up your summer hamburgers on the grill and switching to a veggie burger is out of the question, why not try making your burger as healthy and tasty as possible? Here are a few tips that can help you do that.
- Lower the fat by making the hamburgers yourself using extra lean ground beef.
- Increase your intake of fiber and whole grains by adding some uncooked oatmeal and/or flaxseed to ground beef before you make your patties.
- Reduce the calories and up the nutrition by adding finely chopped vegetables to your hamburger meat just before you make them into patties. You can do this with almost any vegetable, and it's also a great (and sneaky) way to add some veggies to your child's diet.
- In addition to lettuce, tomatoes and onions to dress your burgers, try some other vegetables too (like bell peppers, mushrooms, grilled zucchini, shredded carrots, etc).
- Lower your sodium intake by seasoning your burger with "salt-free" seasonings. If you can limit or reduce your use of ketchup, that's a big help too.
- Use a whole wheat bun rather than a traditional hamburger bun.
Even when we are trying to eat healthy, we still get our cravings for something sweet. When that happens in the summer, I reach for frozen fruit.
- You can either buy fruit already frozen (some is better than others), or you can buy fruit fresh and freeze it yourself.
- Frozen pitted cherries and frozen wild blueberries are my favorites.
- I cut and freeze my own bananas to make a low-calorie, low-fat version of banana cream pie.
- Watermelon is known to be helpful for weight loss, and it's also my favorite summer fruit.
These are just some of the many healthy foods you can enjoy this summer and still stick to a weight-loss and fitness plan. Do you have a favorite healthy summer food? If so, share it with us in the comments.
Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at Catherine-Morgan.com
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