Choosing to live a healthier life can be a game changer. Many times with the summer months comes a desire to eat junk food and leave healthy living for other parts of the year. However, summer time can be the perfect time to lean into nutritious eating. Not only will it help your overall health, there are some incredible foods that can be found in the summer months. We want to share some tips for developing healthier eating habits and make our case why healthy eating is “in” this summer.
Tips for Eating Your Way to Healthy
Summer is the perfect time to tweak your eating habits toward more nutrient-dense, delicious decisions. Not only do you have a variety of foods that are more plentiful during the warmer months, but you have the freedom to be outdoors exploring new places, restaurants, farmer’s markets, and other food sources. Taking time during the summer months to develop healthier eating habits can set you up for a higher quality of life throughout the whole year. It’s also a great time to do this with friends… road trip!
Start with small changes
Many people look at healthy eating as an all or nothing approach. For some, that may work. Transitioning to a completely new diet works better for some people. However, there are many who don’t start because they get overwhelmed at the thought of moving to more nutritious eating choices. Here are a few tips for starting with small changes to help improve your eating habits.
3 Small changes you can make to start eating healthier
- Eliminate sugary drinks - Sugary drinks have become a summer staple. However, with many of these sugary drinks you will find a higher calorie count, additives that aren’t beneficial to you, and a lower hydration possibility. Start by eliminating sugary drinks and replace them with infused waters, tea, or other natural drinks with less sugars.
- Change out sauces and marinades - Sauces and marinades are a must have when adding flavor to recipes in a simple way. However, many of these sauces are filled with sugars, higher sodium counts, and other additives that can be harmful to your health. Instead, switch out for healthier sauces and marinades made from quality ingredients. You can definitely choose one that has a lower sugar count without sacrificing taste. By making this simple switch, you can cut down on the unhealthy items you put into your body.
- Replaced cakes/sweet treats - Cakes and sweet treats can be a summer must but they are also packed with ingredients that aren’t that great. Many of these treats are high sugar, carbs, and other unhealthy components. You can still feed your sweet tooth this summer. Instead of these cakes and sweet treats, opt for a fruit tray or cut up a watermelon. Fruit can offer the sweet treat that many want without the health limitations of other cakes and sweet treats.
Grilling can be a fantastic place to start
Summertime grilling can become common place for so many, but not if you switch up the food prep. Cooking on the grill can be a fun family activity but it is also a fantastic way to make healthier choices in the process. Grilling can be a great time to spend time together on the family while making healthier choices. Vegetables, grass-fed meats, fresh seafood are all delectable options that can taste even better when grilled. We have some tips for using summer grilling as a way to encourage healthier eating habits.
3 Ways to eat healthier with summer grilling
- Choose quality meat - Not all meats are equal. Some meat choices such as hot dogs are packed with more fillers than are healthy. Choosing a quality meat can make a world of difference. Cooking on the grill is already a leaner way to cook but adding in quality meat choices can help so much.
- Use better sauces and marinades - While many sauces and marinades can add some fantastic flavor to a meal, they are not all good for you. Many sauces and marinades are packed with sugars and other additives. When you are grilling quality meat with a better for you sauce you get to enjoy the high-quality flavors without any of the negative implications of other sauces.
- Cook your vegetables on the grill - Vegetables have a unique flavor when cooked on the grill. Whether wrapping them in foil to cook or cooking them in a different way, cooking vegetables on the grill can give them more flavor than other cooking methods. Just add a little olive oil and some choice seasonings and you are sure to tickle your family’s taste buds. Choosing quality vegetables and cooking them on the grill can be a great way to prepare healthier foods in a simple way.
Seek guidance from friends/family
When working to make healthier eating habits a part of your day-to-day life it can be tempting to do it all on your own. However, reaching out to friends and family can give you a chance to find the best possible option for you. This might mean asking a friend who has already been choosing to live in a healthier way or asking someone who has shown positive changes in their eating habits. Here are a few tips for asking friends and family about making healthier choices.
3 Questions to ask family/friends about healthy eating
- What was your biggest struggle? - When starting with healthy eating, some will struggle to adjust. It may be that foods that are better for them are a new experience. It also might mean a change in overall lifestyle. Whatever the case may be, holding a conversation with friends/family about them can help you to navigate these struggles more effectively.
- What changes did you make? - For some this might mean moving to an eating plan such as Whole30. For others, this might look like removing gluten or dairy. Some even say they found the greatest success by eliminating sugars or stopping sodas as a part of their daily consumption. Whatever the case may be, hearing more about what your friends have found success with can help you to adjust.
- What was your favorite replacement? - When moving to a healthier diet, it can be hard to change things up because not all “healthy” foods are created equal. Some lack in taste or hide sugars or other unhealthy ingredients. Talk to your friends and family about the options they found to replace a less healthy option. They may tell you about a cleaner brand of beef jerky or offer you a new snack solution you didn’t consider before.
Bring healthy eating on adventures with you
Summer is the time for adventures big and small. Whether it’s a trip out to the lake, a family vacation, or a family hiking trip, adventure is waiting for you during the summer months. While it can be tempting to stop at a gas station for some quick snacks on the road, there are some simple ways to avoid some of the less healthy food options there. While some gas stations might stock healthier options, many will not. Here are a few ways to bring healthy snacks on adventures with you this summer.
3 Ways to bring healthy food options along
- Choose healthy snack alternatives - Items like grass-fed beef jerky, dried fruit, and some trail mixes can be the perfect option for many summer adventures. Bring along some of your favorite snacks in a small bag to enjoy while you are on the go. Fresh fruit can also be a fantastic addition to a cooler or beach bag.
- Cook up something healthy - Who said a camping trip had to mean hot dogs and smores? Maybe it means marinating ribs in a clean healthy marinade and cooking those instead. Plan ahead to bring along items that you can easily prepare while out and about. One of the biggest hindrances to healthy eating is a lack of planning. Spend some time planning your meals and you’ll find that you can keep things healthier more easily.
- Pick up a variety of carrying containers - While it might not be practical to bring along a full bottle of your favorite sauce, it isn’t as unreasonable to pack up a single serving size to enjoy in place of unhealthy options. Pick up a variety of carrying containers to store healthier food options on the go. This could mean getting a small cooler or having a Tupperware bowl for some of your fresh fruit and vegetables. Bring along containers that will simplify the process of eating healthy.