Warmer weather is finallyhere! With higher temps come fun outings, social get-togethers, and trips. Don’t let your health goals spoil your fun or vice versa! Here are ten tips on how to enjoy your summer while staying the course.
1. Be the bearer of veggies and fruit. If you’ve met me, you know how much I love food and sharing my love of food. When it comes to potluck meals, I always volunteer (or am volunteered!) to bring a fun salad, veggie side dish, or fruit salad. That way, I know that there will be a delicious veggie or fruit dish to fill half my plate. Show your family and friends that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. Try a spiralized Greek cucumber and tomato salad with feta cheese and red wine vinaigrette or a stone fruit salad.
2. Along those lines, fill half your plate with vegetables. That leaves the other half for whatever fun dishes you want to try. This rule works really well for potlucks or meals at restaurants. It’s all about balance!
3. Drink water!A good rule of thumb as to how much water you should drink is to take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half. Drink at leastthat many ounces of water. So a woman weighing 140 pounds should aim for 70 oz. water. Do you get tired of plain water? Try adding some crushed mint, cucumber and lime, watermelon and crushed mint, or pineapple and muddled basil for a fun twist! Find more ideas for infused water here.
4. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.This tried-and-true guideline allows you to still enjoy yourself, watch what you’re eating and drinking, and stay hydrated on hot summer days.
5. Enjoy summer produce. Summer’s fruits and vegetables are bountiful, beautiful and delicious! Even self-proclaimed produce-haters can find somethingthey love about berries, melon, zucchini, summer squash, sun-ripened tomatoes, and peaches! Aim to have at least 2 servings of fruits a day and at least 4 servings of vegetables a day.
6. Ask yourself: Is it really worth it? We are constantly surrounded and bombarded by foods all day long. Going shopping? You can find food at the register! At the gas station! Ask yourself if a food is really delicious and really worth it. If it is, please have at it and enjoy!
7. Bring snacks.When you’re headed out for a bike ride or a road trip, pack healthy snacks to come with you! You’ll have a better chance of sticking to healthy eating habits when you’re prepared and healthy eating is convenient. A piece of fruit, veggies and to-go packs of hummus and guacamole, a Larabar or RXBAR, or a peanut butter jelly sandwich on whole grain bread are all good options.
8. Get outside! Why not take your summer fun outside and get active? Enjoy the warmer temperatures and sun with an outdoor hike or walk, bike ride, swim at the lake, or jog. Going somewhere close to home? Opt for a walk instead of a car ride.
9. Visit your local farmers’ market. One of my family’s favorite weekly summertime rituals is walking to our town’s farmers’ market, scoping out the scene and produce, and buying fun fruits and vegetables. Don’t know how to prepare something? Ask the farmers! They’re experts in how to feature their produce so it’s beautiful, tasty, and nutritious.
10.Wear sunscreen each day. Enjoy the sun and reduce your risk of skin cancer by applying at least two ounces of SPF30 each day. If you’re sweating or swimming, remember to reapply every couple hours. Looking to simplify your sunscreen routine? Use a spray (but don’t forget to rub it in!) or Neutrogena Dry Touch, which applies easily and doesn’t leave a residue.
Are you interested to learn how nutrition counseling can help you reach your health goals? Contact our nutrition team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.786.6079. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Tufts Health Plan and most United Health Care and Cigna insurances accepted.