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Summer Grazing

Summer Grazing

Summer is almost here and we’re looking forward to spending more time in the sun and shaking off our winter shells. Perhaps our most favorite summer pastimes are grilling and eating al fresco with friends and family or traveling and vacationing where we can explore new dining experiences.

 

We’re finally able to enjoy the abundant fresh fruits and vegetables becoming available everywhere. The price of produce is coming down as farms recover from the deep-freeze of winter. “Row-crops”, such as green beans, lettuces, peppers and broccoli are dropping as much as 50 percent in price from the winter.

 

So what better way is there to trim down for bathing-suit season without sacrificing nutrition then with heaping plates of colorful veggies?

 

We should be composing our meals with as much fresh produce as possible. Typically, two-thirds of your plate should be veggies, and only one-third should be meat.

 

veggieplatter

 

The wonderful thing about fruits and vegetables is that you don’t have to do a lot to make them tasty. The fresher the produce the simplest way to prepare them is best, such as raw or steamed. If you opt to grill your veggies, simply brush them lightly with a little olive or avocado oil and a sprinkling of fresh herbs when finished.

 

Remember to also keep your fruits and veggies away from cross-contamination with raw meat juices and never put them on the plate where raw meats once were.

 

But what happens when you eat away from house, either in restaurants or the homes of friends and family? It is possible to be your healthiest self by following these simple suggestions.

 

 

In Restaurants or away from home

 

restveggieplatter

 

 

  • Scan the menu well before ordering and be creative. Good restaurants will be happy to accommodate you.
  • Ask for a combo of veggies from the various menu options and enjoy with grilled wild fish. Avoid added sauces or creamy dressings.
  • Use lettuce (romaine/green/red leaf) or endive as wraps instead of bread on burgers or tortillas made from processed ingredients.
  • Ask that the bread basket or bowl of chips not be served. Opt for fresh veggie sticks or a green salad with colorful add-ins and a light lemon-y topping.
  • Always choose the leanest cuts of meat with minimal handling.
  • Choose fresh fruits for dessert.

 

Snacks when traveling

 

travel

 

 

  • Pack serving-size baggies with raw nuts and seeds, dried fruits…
  • Kale chips are great and rich in calcium and protein and can also help to hold off hunger.
  • Apple chips are a nice ‘crunch’ food if you can find organic, preservative-free brands.
  • Cherry tomatoes and grapes are a quick bite size snack. Try them frozen!
  • Candied ginger slices – great for digestive woes (Trader Joe’s, natural food stores)

 

The options are endless if you plan ahead. Find the best items you can and keep them on hand so you are never at the mercy of fast food.

 

Whether in the home or on the go incorporating healthy foods into your summer meals in order to stay on track to hit your goals is easy. With a little planning ahead and some thoughtful considerations to food choices you can eat an endless amount of foods that are just as good for you as they taste!

 

This article was written by Judith Samuels

M.A.Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant for Onelife Fitness