A person 's feet in the grass with yellow flowers.

How to Stay Focused on Healthy While Having Summer Fun

The summer struggle is real. Chips and margaritas are everywhere.

We’re traveling, out of our normal routines and taking on LOTS of extra activities – concerts, ballgames, camping weekends, patio get-togethers with friends, family, neighbors and anyone else you can pull off the street, it seems.

Many think that summer is the easiest time to eat healthy. Veggies are fresh, farmer’s markets are plentiful, the crunch and texture and coolness of salads are welcomed. So why is it so hard to eat those salads, and NOT eat the convenience foods that creep up this time of year?

We all start the summer with the best intentions: lots of salads, limit the chips. But, here we are, half way through summer and, for many of us, the chips and margaritas are winning, and the salads are losing. What to do?

Summer Tips and Tricks

Here are some of our favorite ways to savor the bounty of the season, enjoy the veggies and feel better about your meals and snacks.

More Fruits + Veggies. Less Chips and Margs.

  1. Go get veggies!Bring them home. Wash them, cut them. Eat them. If you’ve bought them, you’re more likely to eat them. Sounds simple, but it is actually not that simple. It takes energy to get veggies regularly. If it helps, schedule ‘get veggies’ in your calendar on the regular.
  2. Let the veggies and dips shine.If you serve cold colorful veggies and dips on the patio, everyone will love and appreciate it. Really, there’s no need to add the chips and dip. Everyone is sick of those anyway. Cucumber rounds, sugar snap peas, purple carrots and halved colorful mini peppers are hits.
  3. Add some pizazz. Sometimes vegetables can be boring. Pick up a dip or sauce to jazz them up. Make them as appealing as the chips and dip. A new hummus, Bitchin’ sauce, guacamole, white bean dip, etc. Trader Joes has lots of yummy dips to try.
  4. Fruit for dessert. Its sweetness competes with ice cream. Buy it, cut it up and serve it for dessert. Berries, cherries, plums, peaches, melons! It’s all in season and so delicious.
  5. Add fruit to salads. Chopped romaine lettuce, berries or peaches, slivered almonds/walnuts/pecans and a basic vinaigrette. Chop in chicken, or serve with fish, tofu or other protein. Reliably good and so easy.
  6. Smoothies for breakfast. 1 cup almond milk (or other nut based), 1/2 cup chopped fruit, 2 tbsp hemp hearts, a couple of shakes of cinnamon, handful of spinach, 2 scoops of collagen peptides OR vegan based protein powder, handful of ice. Simple and yummy every time. A grab and go.
  7. Egg bake for the win to start the day.Sauté lots of veggies (3-4 cups), let cool. Add eggs (2 per person), set burner to med/low, cover and let cook til cooked through. So easy and makes multiple servings. Veggie combos to try: onions + peppers, broccoli + onion, asparagus + leeks, spinach + mushroom. Can add Canadian bacon, bacon or sausage as well, if desired.
  8. Shoot for a main dish salad every day.It’s a great goal and will definitely add veggies to your overall diet.
  9. Use the grill.Have you ever grilled veggies? It’s so easy, yet many have not. Chop and toss them in some avocado oil, salt + pepper, create a foil packet and add to hot grill until softened.
  10. Add a salad. As most of you know, I LOVE a side salad with pizza. If you must order pizza, add a big salad. It’s such a good combo. But that rule works for lots of different orders. ALWAYS add the salad.

We view summer with a “do the best you can” lens. With so many changes in schedules, it is hard to eat well. We get it. But, you can if you put your mind to it. Give some of these a try and you’ll feel better and will end summer on a healthy, positive, feel-good note.

Good luck and have fun. Summer is joyful. We want you to enjoy it, but to also fuel your body with real whole food.


For more tips on healthy summer eating, visit us at healthynestnutrition.com/blog. For info on feeling your best through smarter food choices, contact our holistic nutritionists. Book a complimentary 20-minute consultation with Healthy Nest Nutrition owner Robin Hutchinson to see if our programs are right for you.