Do you struggle to eat healthy in the summer? In this post I uncover my best tips to eating healthy during the summer break!
The best part is, you won’t have to be stuck in the kitchen all day. You’ll actually be able to enjoy the summer with the rest of you family.
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How to Eat Healthy
Summer is near and the kids are almost out on break. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen!
While it tends to be a little easier to eat healthy during the summer, since there are lots of fruits and veggies in your meals, it still requires a bit of planning.
The tips below will help you get prepared and have the healthiest summer yet.
Always keep produce available
Summer is the perfect time to indulge in all the fresh produce available. It’s so easy to add something fresh to every meal or just as a snack.
To save money and take advantage of seasonal produce, try heading to a nearby farmer’s market. these tend to have local farmers that grew the produce right out of their very own backyard.
A lot of them do so organically too, which means they don’t use any harsh chemicals, and you get that farm-to-table freshness.
BONUS: This is also a really fun (and budget friendly) activity for the summer that the whole family can enjoy!
Put that fresh produce to use and make at home smoothies! Before you go running out to the nearest Jamba Juice, remember that those often are full of added sugars.
So just put your blender to good use and make your own drinks at home. Smoothies are a great way to get hidden veggies into your kids diet and they are so refreshing in the summer.
It gives you that sweet, sugary flavor you like during the summer, without all that added sugar a store bought one will have. When you make it at home, you have full control over every ingredient.
Alternatively, you can get a juicer or use the one you already have to make fresh juice. YUM!
Buy Lean Protein
Sometimes in the summer we can gravitate to barbecues and steak but red meat can be harmful if ate in large amounts.
Lean protein is also important to add to your diet so that it is well-balanced and provides enough nutrients to give you energy during the day.
During the summer, poultry and fish are your best friends. Not only does it tend to be less expensive than red meat, but it is lighter while still leaving you full.
Get some chicken breasts, or cook whole chickens, and get a good amount of fish and seafood. Shrimp, salmon, tuna, and halibut are all great for the summer.
Time Saving Tips
While Summer is known to be full of fun activities it’s really hot and sticky. No one wants to cook on a hot day in a hot kitchen!
The good news is, there are so many ways to eat healthy in summer without slaving away in the kitchen all day.
Here are six tips that can help you plan for when the weather is at its hottest.
1. Freezer Meals
There are many ways to create quick and easy summer meals and freezer meals has to be #1 for me.
This technique is called Batch Cooking.
When you are preparing for a meal, make an extra portion (or two) and put it in the freezer. Another way to make a bunch of freezer meals that are healthy is to create them on a schedule like with meal prepping.
You can freeze so many things from rice to noodles. You might be thinking those don’t take long to cook, but when you’ve got a soup or casserole and you want to add something quickly to it – having those types of foods in the freezer can come in handy.
Some of the most popular freezer meals are casseroles, and dump bags for the slow cooker.
2. Slow Cooker
You might think of the slow cooker as a winter appliance, but you’re missing out on wonderful meals, especially those easy freezer meals you prepared ahead of time. 😉
Dump them into the slow cooker insert and turn it on low. Let it cook while you’re out for a day of fun and by the time you get home you will have dinner waiting.
3. Left overs
One of the easiest ways to save time in the kitchen is to have left overs.
A good way to ensure left overs is cook a double batch. So instead of freezing a meal, you’d cook an extra or half portion.
You’ll already be cooking so adding a second dish to the oven won’t take any extra time at all. The next day you’ll be glad you did!
4. Meal Planning
Nothing is worse then being paralyzed in front of your fridge not knowing what to cook.
Plan your weekly meals ahead, that way prepping is easier and faster.
If you are just horrible at making meal plans, there are apps that will do it for you. My favorite is Mealime.
They include the menu for the week, plus the grocery list to go with the recipes. You then print off the list, as well as the recipes and you are good to go. You can customize your food preferences as well as the type of diet you are on.
5. Meal Prep
Similar to freezer meals, with meal prep you can prepare food ahead of time.
The big difference between the two is that freezer meals are complete ready to go meals while meal prep can be ingredients that can be used in many ways.
There are several easy foods that can be precooked or prepped before, so that you can grab something quickly and throw it together for a meal.
Grilled chicken can go with so many dishes and is easy to prep during the weekend.
Cook, cut and prepare all the meals for the week ahead. This can include the salads, grilling chicken, cooking beans or marinating meat.
Prepping saves you time and is a great way to make an easy meal.
6. Cold Meals
My most favorite thing to do is to find recipes where I don’t have to cook at all. 😂
These can include pasta salads, green salads, sandwiches and fruit salads. By boiling the pasta ahead of time you can save time with that.
Even a whole bunch of finger foods or appetizers for dinner on occasion would be fun for the family and easy on you.
Eating healthy during the summer can be challenging when the weather is hot. By planning ahead, you can create a better food choice than going to get some fast food.
One easy way to make fun, flavorful and healthy meals is to use the grill. Not only are you getting outside, but whatever you cook will be healthier for you.
Grilling is a huge past time and many people enjoy preparing food on it during the weekend. But, you can definitely make use of the grill during the week as well.
Not only will it keep your house from getting warm while using it, but grilling is a healthy way to eat food.
Pick lean meats for added benefits, but the great thing about grills is that they don’t hold the fats in the pan while it is being cooked. They liquefy and drip down into the BBQ, producing naturally low-fat meals.
Grilling takes very little time to prepare. Put your vegetables in foil or right on the grill, then the side dish can also be something simple like potatoes or corn with seasoning in foil.
5 Reasons to Grill
There are a lot of reasons to use the grill for your dinner. Grilling provides a unique taste that people love and it’s also fun to cook your meal outdoors.
When cooking outdoors people are generally more active and that means socializing in the backyard while the grill is cooking. Kids can be playing and getting their exercise, while also having fun.
Did you know that grilling can be a really healthy way to cook? Here are five reasons you should consider cooking on the grill all year long if you’re able to:
1. You can grill Fruit
It can be a lot of fun making more interesting vegetable dishes when you are using a barbecue grill.
Aside from the standard produce that is often grilled, such as corn on the cob and potatoes, think a little outside the box.
For example, you might want to grill up fruit like peaches, pineapple, and mango slices. You can throw just about any vegetable you like on the grill, such as zucchini and other squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
It’s a great way to make fruits and veggies fun to eat.
2. Vegetables Keep Nutrition
Another thing to keep in mind with grilling, is that vegetables have the ability to retain more of their vitamins and nutrients when they are cooked slower.
When you try to rapidly cook your meals with vegetables in them, a lot of those nutrients are cooked away due to the speed at which you are preparing the meals. This is very common with vegetable dishes that are microwaved, sautéed, or baked.
On a grill, the cooking process takes longer, so you end up with a healthier meal by the end of it.
3. Less Fat
Because of the way the grill is made, all the fat that comes off from the meat will liquefy and drip down. This means, all of that fat which the meat normally cooks in, is filtered away from the food.
Don’t forget to look for the leanest cuts available when eating a healthy diet.
Even though the meat has less fat when it is cooked on the grill, that doesn’t mean you should buy the fattiest piece. Portions should still be taken into consideration.
4. Use Less Butter & Oil
Think of the fact that when you grill your food, you are getting enough grease naturally off your meats and vegetables, plus plenty of natural seasonings. This means butter or oil is rarely necessary.
5. Meat Tastes Great
Since you are not using as much butter or sauces on the grill, you are getting delicious meat that is also better for you!
With the grill, all you really need is some seasoning and herbs, and maybe a very light marinade. You get that full meaty taste along with those spices you used for your food.
These are just 5 reasons to grill for a healthier diet. Grilling is super quick and easy too, so if you’re looking to reduce effort, as well as eat healthier, grilling is definitely worth doing.
Try them all out and see which ones work best for you and your family.