There are so many enticing foods to access during the summer months! Some we need to enjoy in moderation and others may be thoroughly enjoyed in larger quantities. While the same rule applies year round in terms of portion and quality control, during the summertime there are many foods available that are generally not available in many regions of the country the rest of the year. So, it is time to take advantage of the availability of these foods and keep the good fuel in the tank for all of your outdoor pursuits.
This week, check out these ten pathways to creating healthy summertime eating, combine that with consistently performed exercise programs and you may have the healthiest summer of your life! As always, prior to beginning any new eating regimen or exercise program, please consult your physician.
Pathway #1: Think fresh! Attend farmer’s markets and focus upon the freshly harvested and picked fruits and vegetables. These foods are chock full of nutrients, both macronutrients and micronutrients which may be eaten raw in many cases, or prepared simply over the grill for a delicious healthy summer side dish or main course.
Pathway #2: Your area may have access to prepared produce baskets that you may purchase weekly which the providers stock with fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farms. A great investment, usually an excellent quantity and variety of foods at an economic price point.
Pathway #3: While it is so wonderful outside, get outside and grill. It is worth the investment to purchase good quality grills and grilling tools if possible, including a meat/poultry thermometer to ensure food safety.
Pathway #4: Lightly marinate your meats, fish, poultry and pork and be a good chef by understanding how to safely and effectively cook the food on the grill.
Pathway #5: Try preparing veggies on the grill such as corn on the cob, summer squash, bell peppers and pair these on a skewer with your favorite fish or shell fish. Add a small serving of whole grain pasta or rice on the side and viola’, an amazing, fresh summertime meal.
Pathway #6: Even though this was mentioned in last week’s column, remember to stay well hydrated with cool, clean water.
Pathway #7: Create desserts for your picnics that include summer treats such as cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries/blue berries, honey dew, etc. A simple serving of berries and a light homemade whipped cream or ice cream is delicious.
Pathway #8: Prepare a fresh fruit or veggie protein shake after your outdoor activities and take whole fruits and veggies with you on your hikes that will keep safely.
Pathway #9 Don’t cook at all! Prepare a fresh, dark, green leafy salad with every imaginable vegetable, throw in a little bit of light feta cheese or your cheese of choice (a little bit means a small serving size), a simple. light dressing on the side and you have a great meal without the stove top, oven or grill!
Pathway #10 Prepare foods in advance when possible. So, if you are able to wash, chop and store veggies and fruits ahead of time, do it. This will not only save you time when you are ready to prepare the feast, it will encourage you to do so!