Summer Survival Guide
This time of the year is always a great one. We are dipping our toes in the exciting edge of summer, and man does it feel great!
But I always get nervous about my patients. Optimism runs high: “We are going to be so active! We love grilling! And all of the fruit!
True, it should be easy to eat well and be active all summer. But too often, the opposite is true. Between lounging by the pool, sleeping late, and indulging in chips, ice cream, and burgers, so many of my patients gain unwanted weight.
Here are my top 5 tips for making the summer healthy (and fun, and delicious!):
Stop baking, start slicing. Who wants to be in front of a hot stove anyway? Take a break from cookies and brownies and make some amazing creations with your chef’s knife. Bring a melon salad to your next party and stand back for rave reviews! Or slice some gorgeous berries for a show-stopping dessert. Remember, kids eat 90 percent more fruit when it is sliced and handed to them!
Add fruit to your grilling menu. Sounds crazy but grilled pineapple is an amazing addition to so many meals. Try it on top of fajitas. You can also grill up some stone fruit – nectarines and plums are my favorites - to top a beautiful piece of halibut. It is a great way to make your meals more fruit-forward!
For side dishes this summer, consider swapping pasta for farro, my new favorite grain. It is a perfect base for a summer salad like this one: farro with pistachio-parsley pesto (say that 10 times fast!). I love this salad with some feta and sliced tomatoes. Plus, the leftover pesto was delicious on eggs the next day!
Eat a salad a day. Nothing fancy, people! Zip up a fresh vinaigrette to top those beautiful summer lettuces and tomatoes. So simple and delicious!
As always, steer clear of soda and sugary drinks. These are the biggest drivers of unwanted weight gain. If you are hosting, offer big pitchers of water with fresh slices of lemon. For our last party, I served water in a big sangria jar filled with ice cubes, lemon slices, and raspberry ice cubes. It was a huge hit and nobody missed the soda.
Most of all, enjoy your summer. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins will help you enjoy all of the adventures to come!