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Summer Eats: The Do's and Don't of This Season's Food

As we break out of our winter hibernation and begin to bask in the glorious sun, we may find it difficult to avoid the temptations that summer brings. Warm weather means flip flops, swimming, and tan (or in some cases, burned) skin; however, it also means barbecues, beers, and ice cream outings. Here are some tips to help you avoid (or moderate) the hard-to-resist summer foods and replace them with healthier, fresher options:

1.) Away from: fried dough (full of trans fat aka. bad fat)

Instead: roasted nuts (a good source of healthy fats and protein!)

2.) Away from: ice cream

Instead: sorbets, frozen yogurt with fresh fruit

3.) Away from: corn dogs (lots of fat and sodium)

Instead: turkey dogs, “Not Dogs”, or low calorie hot dogs on a whole wheat bun and limited         toppings

4.) Away from: triple mocha frappuccino with extra cream and sugar

Instead: plain ice coffee (with low fat milk and/or Trivia sweetener)

5.) Away from: beefy burgers, steaks, ribs, or pulled pork with sauces (red meat = high fat!)

Instead: leaner white meats/fish with dry rub (chicken breast, turkey burgers, salmon, etc.)

6.) Away from: strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas, etc.

Instead: a refreshing gin and tonic, vodka soda with lime, mojito, gimlet, etc.

7.) Away from: creamy potato/pasta salads (mayonnaise = high in saturated fat)

Instead: replace the mayo with a vinegarette dressing or consider some whole grain salads 

Other fresh and healthy summer foods: 

  • Grilled corn
  • Watermelon
  • Unsweetened ice tea with lemon
  • A colorful fruit salad
  • Grilled veggies (zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, etc.)

Of course, this does not mean you have to avoid these foods at all costs - moderation is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Moral of the story? Do your best to replace these “dont’s” with “do’s,” but don’t be afraid to treat yourself every once in awhile! 

Stephanie Spoto, CSCS

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