Staying Healthy In Summer

It's Memorial Day Weekend- the unofficial start to summer. The thought of summer just makes me so HAPPY. Longer days mean more time for taking walks with my dog, and lounging on our (newly painted) back deck while chatting with our new lovely neighbors. Weekends bring trips to my parent's beach house and last minute barbeques. Mid week I am scouting the local farmer's market for FRESH summer produce like strawberries, melon, tomatoes, and corn, and more!

In some ways, it's easy to be healthy during summer. Produce is amazingly ripe. The days are longer, meaning more time can be spent outdoors being active. It's also a time where midweek cocktail hour happen regularly, fruity frozen drinks are always on special, and the grill is fired up with burgers, hotdogs, ribs, and buttery corn on the cob.

So how do you find a balance between indulging and choosing healthier options? Here are some tips:

1. Offer to make a side, salad, or appetizer that is on the lighter side if you are invited to an outdoor BBQ or event. Here is one of my go-to salads that incorporates seasonal berries and healthy fats by making my own dressing, Just be light on the gorgonzola because it is a high fat cheese.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with sliced strawberries, sliced red onion, honey roasted almond slivers, and homemade poppy seed balsamic dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with sliced strawberries, sliced red onion, honey roasted almond slivers, and homemade poppy seed balsamic dressing

Ingredients:
baby spinach
sliced strawberries
crumbled gorgonzola cheese
sliced red onion
honey roasted slivered almonds

Dressing:
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup EVOO

2. Choose lower calorie cocktails or alcoholic beverages, or stick to water. If you choose to drink, set a limit for the amount of alcoholic drinks you will consume. Alternate an alcoholic beverage with water to stick to your schedule. Avoid the fruity frozen drinks and colorful cocktails as much as you can, as these a high in sugar from added mixers. Opt for lower calorie options like light beer (8 oz), red or white wine (4 oz) or light or clear spirits like vodka and rum. Choose lighter mixers like club soda, diet soda, or diet tonic.

3. Spend as much time outside as you can. Take your dog for a long walk. Walk to Wawa or the pharmacy instead of driving. Read your book in the backyard. Take a walk during your lunch break. Just make sure to wear sunscreen- SPF 30 is the best bet.

4. Eat what's in season for the most nutrients and tastier options. Produce in season right now are apricots, avocados, blackberries, blueberries, cactus pears, cherries, figs, grapes, lemons, melons, nectarines, oranges, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, and strawberries.

I'd love to know, what are your tips for staying healthy in the summer time? Let me know in the comments.