Motherhood Defined Blog asked us for some summer healthy eating tips.
By: Dr. Keith Kantor
Summer is a great time of year, the days are long, vacations are booked, and relation mode is in full effect. We tend to eat out more especially when on vacation and the tempting seasonal treats are always available. We have some simple strategies to get you through summer while staying healthy and fit.
Before you head out to eat think ahead about what would be a healthy choice, instead of letting your hungry stomach decide for you once you arrive to the restaurant. Most menus are online and you can look at them before you even arrive to the restaurant. Always try to have at least half of your plate full of vegetables, it could be salad, double vegetables as a side instead of fries and include protein that is grilled or baked like fish, chicken, beef or pork. If you feel like there are no healthy options order a grilled fish or chicken sandwich and toss half or the entire bun.
It’s easy to get into a unhealthy summer routine of sweet and cold desserts or cocktails. Try to limit those indulgences to the weekends and come up with healthy alternatives like homemade popsicles with fresh fruit, or yogurt parfaits, etc.
The top foods to avoid include fried foods, sugary foods and processed foods like hot dogs, chips, ice cream, etc. All of these foods are highly available at summer time activities like baseball games, theme parks, and vacation spots.
Try to consume foods that are unprocessed and as close to their natural form as possible. Choose foods that are in summer season like watermelon, tomatoes, berries, and peppers. These healthy plant based foods can be a great snack or side to any main course of grilled fish, chicken, steak or pork.
The most important summer nutrition tips we can give it to stay hydrated, the first sign of hunger may not actually be hunger, it could be thirst. By consuming at least half of your body weight in ounces of high quality hydroxide alkaline water per day, it will reduce cravings, will reduce acid in the body, which reduces acidosis and drastically reduces inflammation which adversely affects 85% of all diseases and promotes an alkaline metabolic state. This is overall a better option for the metabolism and health during the hot summer months. My research shows the best one is AQUA-OH!. It is made from pure limestone, is 100% natural, has no added minerals and uses no electrolysis or magnetism. It eliminates acid by forming water instead of just buffering it like other alkaline waters. It also comes as a concentrate so it is at least 250% cheaper than other alkaline waters.
Berry, feta, spinach chicken salad
The berries are in season and at their peak of flavor, this salad is cool and can be a main course or side.
Number of servings -8-12
Serving size 1-2 c
1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breast cooked and sliced thin
1 bag or tub of baby spinach leaves or spring mix if you prefer
Fresh strawberries and blue berries
Homemade vinaigrette dressing –
½ c olive oil
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. honey
salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together in bowl and serve. Dressing can be served on side or tossed into salad.
Simple Fruit and Cheese Platter
With July 4th coming up, this is a great option to have out at a party instead of chips and dip. The fats from the cheese and the antioxidants from the berries makes this a great duo.
*Photo credit www.youthlitreviews.com
Simple get an assortment of blue, black, and red berries and some cubed while cheese and lay out in flag formation.
Sometimes we forget about the lighter options over a burger. Crab cakes are a great healthy alternative to the traditional hamburger. Eat them without a bun on the side of a large salad or even homemade sweet potato fries.
3 tbsp. Olive oil mayo
1 tbsp. Finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. Green onions
1-2 tsp. Siracha
1/4-1/2 c Panko
Combine all ingredients and pan sear in coconut or olive oil for gold crust on low.
Makes 3-4 cakes
Recap of foods to avoid this summer.
Processed meats like hot dogs- these meats contain several fillers and preservatives instead eat grass fed beef/ turkey burgers, grilled chicken, fish or shrimp.
Sugary Mixers- If you are going to have some alcoholic beverages at your 4th of July party avoid sugary mixers like mojito, margarita, or other fruity cocktail options. Instead use sparkling water, and a squeeze of fresh lime, lemon, orange juice and your choice of alcohol.
Chips- Chips are made to make you want more, they are broken down on your tongue, leaving you wanting more and never satisfied. Instead choose fresh fruit and vegetables as your option for dipping.
Cheese/ sausage- these are common appetizer options that are very calorie dense and can add up quickly. A snack plate of sausage, cheese and crackers can be over 1000 calories.