Here’s how to eat healthy at the pool, beach, lake, park or on the road this summer.
Hello, summer! School-age kids are on summer break and college kids are home. Moms and dads are busy TRYING to prepare food that is fast, summer friendly and delicious. And, if I’m being honest, we are shooting for SOMETIMES—not perfectly every day, every night.
Summertime food is arguably different from the rest of the year for most households: More crunchy and raw, more salads, more grilling, and overall less structured or planned. We tend to be busier people in the summer with our days filled up with lots of extra fun commitments — meeting friends on their backyard patio, going out to patio bars, baseball games, concerts, park time, pool time, etc. If we’re not careful, we eat more than our fair share of chips and salsa, pizza and takeout and not enough colorful real food.
A good strategy for this is to plan or pick-up.
MAKE A PLAN
Planning is the key to easy weeknight dinners. If the salad fixings are present, they will become a delicious salad. If food is not easily accessible in the fridge, there will be no salad for dinner.
Some super easy salad combos include:
- Cucumber Salad: sliced cucumbers, scallions, 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp sesame seeds. Delicious!
- Carrot Salad: grated colorful carrots, top with salt and pepper to taste, and a delicious vinaigrette. Easy Peasy.
- Colorful Chop: Chop yellow peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes, top with salt and pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil and a spritz of lemon. Fresh and yummy!
Then, throw something on the grill. That’s it. Dinner is done.
HEALTHIER PICK UP
Here are a couple of ideas for do-able and fast pick-up food for busy summer days:
- Prep chicken/tuna/egg salad (or pick up from the deli counter) and serve with crunchy crackers, cucumber rounds or butter lettuce leaves. Such a fantastic summer dinner!
- Be the one that brings the crudité and yummy Bitchin’ sauce (pick up both items at upscale markets in town). The more veggies, the better!
- Get an organic rotisserie chicken (or a container of pulled chicken), and a family-sized salad. Combine and enjoy!
It seems we are all back to summer vacations, visiting family, adventuring to the mountains, the beach, or further. I get a lot of questions around eating while away from your own kitchen. And, I agree, eating while on vacation/trips can be tricky. I say, enjoy your celebration, but don’t forget about your fuel. Don’t completely lose your food compass.
Indulge, yet continue to eat what works for you and your family. Literally, this might mean, grill or order grilled fish/chicken/tofu (some protein) and then make delicious veggie sides. After that, enjoy some ice cream or another favorite summer dessert. Instead of ordering fried foods and French fries and then ice cream. NOBODY will feel great after THAT meal.
In sum, moderate your celebration food moments and really enjoy them alongside a variety of colorful, flavorful, delicious whole foods.
AND PACK SNACKS! Because fried foods and chips happen when we all get overly hungry/hangry. Jerky, dried fruit and nuts are my favorite non-perishable travel snacks.
Enjoy your summer! AND enjoy your summer food!
Stay in touch this summer! Schedule a free 20-minute consult with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist. Let’s chat family nutrition, digestive repair or natural weight loss.
Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!