Summer is here, and with the scorching heat comes time for some of our favorite activities, such as travel, barbeques, and social activities with friends and family. However, with so much going on, it can be easy to fall out of healthy habits, so I’m sharing my top 8 tips for a healthier summer — check them out below!
1. Eat seafood. The perfect time to fire up the grill, summer is when people immediately think of burgers, but grilled salmon is just as tasty. This fish is chock-full of heart- and brain-healthy EPA and DHA omega-3 fats, and the American Heart Association recommends that healthy people eat at least two servings of fatty fish per week for optimal health. Try my fish tacos or grilled salmon salad for an easy summer meal that is as nutritious as it is beautiful!
For your most healthful seafood options by state, check out this Sustainable Seafood Guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
2. Cook family meals together. Summer is the perfect time to sit outside and eat delicious food, so why not make it a family thing? Even though it’s hot, cooking (and eating) together increases the family bond, creates memories, and increases laughter — all of which are vital for healthy relationships. In fact, data on family meals matter is positively overwhelming in terms of nourishing the spirit, brain, and health of all family members. Get the whole family cooking with my kebabs — everyone can participate in assembling the recipe.
3. Hydrate often. During these hot summer months, you lose a lot of water through your sweat, so it’s important to replenish your stores by staying hydrated. The National Academy of Medicine recommends drinking 3.7 liters (15 cups) for men and 2.7 liters (11 cups) for women. To help achieve that goal, try drinking 8 ounces of water when you first wake up, carrying a BPA-free water bottle, or tracking your water intake on your phone.
4. Enjoy summer produce. Seasonal produce options are often the most popular this time of year so, if you can, try to stop by a farmer’s market. Berries, watermelon, tomatoes, green beans, peaches, beets, cherries, cucumbers, and summer squash are just a few of the many in-season produce, beaming with nutrients. For a summer recipe that’s bursting with flavor, check out my grilled peach and watermelon salad.
5. Pack a healthy picnic. Picnics are a great way to spend time together while enjoying delicious food, but some go-to picnic foods can be laden with calories and added sugar. For some healthier options, try packing fresh fruit, crunchy veggies with homemade dip, a fresh potato salad with healthy fats, and an easy dessert (like these blueberry muffins).
6. Swap your beverages. When the temperature skyrockets, there is nothing more refreshing than a cool beverage. But many drink choices can be laden with added sugars and unnecessary calories, so the next time you find yourself reaching for something other than water, try drinking green tea instead of sweetened tea, or berry-infused water instead of soda. This is a great way to increase hydration levels while reducing sugar consumption.
Check out my TV segment “Health Experts Searching for Ways to Cut Sugar Intake” with ABC-7 Los Angeles.
7. Sharing is caring. If you’re eating out, chances are the portion sizes are too large. Instead of wasting food, try sharing your meal with your companion; this will leave you satisfied without overloading on the calories. If you’re still hungry, order a small salad or a side of mixed vegetables.
8. Go outside. Even though it’s hot, summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the weather, so try soaking up the sun (using sunscreen, of course) with some fun activities. Whether it’s taking your kids to the playground, outdoor fountains, or a nearby park, there is always something fun and active to do during the summer months. Plus, you can always go on a hike or longer bike ride if you want to explore some nature.
What are some of the things you do to have a healthy summer? Leave me a message. I’d love to hear from you!