By: Dr. Keith Kantor
Summer can be a time of long lazy afternoons near the water and we tend to grab convenient foods or cold food like ice cream. Not putting much thought into summer nutrition can lead to weight gain, poor energy and increased risk for health problems. Instead plan out snacks, easy grilled options, and you will not miss a beat this summer.
Playing at the pool, lake, beach or anything outside in the summer can dehydrate us without even realizing it. They need to drink at least half our body weight in ounces or more of hydroxide alkaline water per day. Avoid juices and sports drinks due to high sugar and sodium content, unless you are extremely active in sports not simply playing around. Consider drinking hydroxide rich water that reduces acid in the body can reduce fatigue and inflammation.
Remain active, sneak in tiny workouts throughout the day, like treading water at the pool, an evening walk, try to get in at least 10,000 steps daily, do body weight exercises at home like push ups, squats, lunges, planks, etc. If going to the gym is less of an option with family activities, vacations and events try online fitness videos for accountability.
Summer weight gain can be avoided by making healthy choices when you eat and snack. It is best to have fresh fruits and vegetables available to avoid tempting treats that are super convenient; make homemade smoothies with yogurt, fruit, leafy greens and coconut water. Since kids tend to eat similar items in their school lunches during the school year, get them involved with cooking during the summer and try new healthy recipes to give them an opportunity to get exposed to new foods. If parents don’t want to heat up the house, here are some grilling or fit pit options that are healthy and fun!
Limit alcohol, this can be difficult due to the laid back long summer days, but consuming excessive alcohol can hold your body back from burning fat and will cause weight gain and low energy. Limit alcohol to special occasions and/or the weekends rather then mindlessly drinking during the week.
A healthy grilled snack or meal free of refined sugar and high in protein.
Use fresh pineapple and chemically pure ham.
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 skewer
1 lb. Nitrate free deli ham
3 cups fresh pineapple cut into large chunks
2 cups of red onions and bell peppers cut into chunk slices
6 long skewers for grill
Poke ham, onions, peppers and pineapple onto skewers leaving approximately 1.5” on each end. Each skewer should have approximately 3 oz. of ham and ½ c pineapple. Grill until marks appear and serve right away.
GRILLED BANANA BOATS
This is a healthy alternative to s’mores. Same great flavor with a little less guilt.
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 banana
¼ c shredded coconut
1 c dark chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips
1 c mini marshmallows
Peel banana and slice down the middle. Stuff with approximately ¼ c marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and place on grill for 3-5 minutes or until chocolate melts slightly. Eat with spoon and ENJOY!
ALMOND BUTTER APPLE SANDWICHES
Prep- 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 apple sandwich
Sneaking in an extra serving of fruit will not be hard with these treats, this is perfect for a might lunch or snack option.
- 2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
- 3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
- 2 tablespoons dark semi sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.
The Hulk Smoothie
Prep- 5 min.
Serving size- 1 shake (12-16 oz.)
This is a great way to sneak in both veggies and fruits.
1 handful spinach (fresh)
1 kiwi (peeled)
¼ – ½ cup berries
½ cup coconut or organic yogurt
½ c unsweet vanilla almond milk
¼ c pure pomegranate juice
5 ice cubes
Directions: Blend till smooth and serve