Fresh produce is abundant, beautiful, and more affordable. The weather (at least in most parts of the country) is perfect for outdoor walking, biking, hiking, and swimming, and the days are longer so you have more time to fit in physical activity. Vacations also give you time to relax, de-stress, and get active with friends and family, giving you more time to focus on healthy habits.
Summer is the perfect time to set some health goals and embrace new opportunities to eat smart and get fit.
Ideas to motivate and inspire you throughout the Summer
Head to the farmers’ market.
Loading up on summer’s best and most fresh farm produce, including green leaves, tomatoes, corn, green beans, berries, and stone fruits which will make it easier to gobble up more vegetable and fruit servings. Visit the local markets in your area for fresh farm produce.
Swap sugary desserts for delicious seasonal fruits.
Instead of taking beverages after dinner,take naturally sweet, ripe fruit. Example includes, watermelon, cucumber, carrots, pineapple, and others.
Take salad few times a week.
Take advantage of farm-fresh lettuce and the bounty of seasonal produce to prepare bowls of salad. For a quintessential summer meal, top your greens with sweet corn, diced tomato, avocado, and crumbled feta.
Lay out a healthy lifestyle by eating veggies.
If it’s too hot to cook, put together, a sliced raw veggies (carrots, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, etc.) with hummus, sliced whole-grain bread or crackers, cheeses, olives, fruit, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and other tasty nibbles.
Cool down with fruit smoothies.
Blend your favorite summer fruits — and veggies like carrots, spinach, and beets — with yogurt and your milk of a choice for a hydrating breakfast or snack. The fruit will add plenty of sweetness, so you can skip added sugars like maple syrup and honey. Make extra and pour into ice pop molds or small paper cups with popsicle sticks for a fun frozen dessert.
Start your day with a hearty, refreshing breakfast.
Sip on iced tea.
To help you stay hydrated in the hot weather, I suggest keeping a pitcher or two of unsweetened iced tea in the fridge at all times. Switching up the flavor from week to week will prevent you from getting bored in the beverage department. Mint green tea is a classic summertime brew, but I also love fruity.
Plant something ……. anything!
If you never grown anything edible before? Don’t let that stop you; starting a simple garden in pots or other containers is actually really easy. Go to the nearest store and pick up a large planter, a bag of potting soil, and a small potted plant, like any fresh herb or one of the vegetables listed here. Consider starting with basil or a cherry tomato varietal; they’re both easy to grow and versatile in the kitchen.
Go on a pick-your-own adventure! Don’t wait for apple picking in the fall. Make a date with family or friends to harvest summer produce at a local farm. If you’re willing to put in the labor, you can buy buckets of berries, stone fruit, and other seasonal items at a great price.
Master a few healthy recipes for yourself.