25 Healthy Alternatives & Tips to Beat Summer Junk Food

25 Healthy Alternatives & Tips to Beat Summer Junk Food

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By Randa Ragy

Holistic Nutritionist at Oasis Clinics

With summer comes a lot of beach days and laid back hanging out, and that can only mean one thing, munching on junk! Fret not, we have your back with some great tips on how to keep things under control!

SATURATED FATS

 With warmer temperatures, it’s easy to be tempted by ice cream, sodas, canned juices and ice teas loaded with sugars and saturated fats.

SWAP ice cream for frozen yoghurt or sorbet. Homemade hydrating ice popsicles with your favourite summer fruits are a great alternative too.

SWAP sodas for homemade smoothies.  Dig into fruits of various colours and flavours. You are effectively fortifying your body with a wide array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Use water, coconut water or nut milk as your base. For an added bonus, sneak in a handful of greens with benefits of huge fiber content and barely detectable subtle flavors.

A QUICK ICE-CREAM! If you freeze pieces of peeled banana, then blend them with just a bit of non-dairy milk, you have an instant banana “ice cream” frozen treat.

SWAP canned ice-tea for homemade ice-tea. Brew your green tea at home. Let it cool then throw in slices of different fruits, herbs and spices. Sweeten it up with some raw honey or coconut sugar.

TRANS FATS

 Fried foods, donuts, French fries… need we go on? These are the worst sources of trans fat that can lead to inflammation in the body, a root cause of many chronic diseases.

SWAP fried foods for grills. It’s ok to enjoy a few fried calamari but don’t make a meal out of it. A better bet is to throw in the barbecue skewers of chicken, shrimp, fish, squid and veggies for extra fiber and antioxidants.

SWAP store-bought chips for baked chips. You can also switch to a “faux fry” by spritzing your potato chips with oil and baking them in the oven. Want to do even better? Go for kale, sweet potato or beet chips.

SWAP mayonnaise for yogurt. Don’t fall for creamy mayonnaise based salads like Caesar salads or potato salads.  Swap the mayo for light mayo or substitute half the mayo with yoghurt. Try lighter thinner dressings to withstand the summer heat and reduce the calories.

KEEP UP YOUR WORKOUT

Don’t let the heat trap put your exercise plans on hold. Move your workout schedule to the early morning or evening. Enjoy cooling summer activities like swimming, kayaking or surfing and just keep moving to stay fit and healthy. No matter how you schedule your day, keep busy to avoid shifting from couch to computer and limit your time in front of TV. Balance is your key, make sure to plan some time to relax and unwind.

EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR SALAD

What’s for dinner? Summer is the time to break away from traditional cooking and the heat of the kitchen. Take advantage of the abundance of fruits and veggies in summer, they are nature’s best.  Besides their unlimited benefits, they are very hydrating. Experiment with different salad ingredients. Throw in leafy greens, veggies, some cheese maybe? Add quinoa, lentils, beans, mushrooms, beets and even add some nuts or seeds for extra texture and crunchiness. Top with your favorite grilled protein and finish it up with a touch of healthy fats (avocado, olives…) and a simple olive oil vinaigrette or tahini dressing.  For a sweet touch, add some berries or sliced apples.

SUMMER MEAL TIPS

Summer means open flame cooking, so get grilling whenever you can. Get your barbecue out and grill seafood, meats, veggies, mushrooms and even fruits like pineapple. You might even use a griddle, which works just as well. Flavor with healthy marinades as mustard and herbs.

 

Poke bowls are another great summer dish. Try them with a quinoa or brown rice base instead of white rice, add greens, seafood and chunks of mango or pineapple, dress and enjoy.

Feeling like Mexican food? Reinvent the fajita using lettuce as your wrap and go for fish tacos with lots of greens.

SUMMER SNACKING

To help you improve your summer snacking habits, here are some healthy snack ideas, both sweet and savory, that deliver solid nutrition with each bite, you need to be creative to make them specifically kid friendly.

  • Watermelon is 90% water with a low calorie count. Make watermelon pizza by slicing circles of watermelon and topping with basil and crumbled feta cheese. Also try watermelon slush simply from 3 ingredients (watermelon, lime & coconut sugar)
  • A fruit salad of different melon balls and/or berries.
  • Impress your kids with a frozen grape necklace.
  • Bake a sweet potato and top with some yoghurt.
  • Bake kale and beetroot chips.
  • Enjoy butter free popcorn.
  • A handful of raw unsalted nuts.
  • Veggie sticks like cucumber, carrot and celery with a tablespoon of hummus, guacamole dip or olive tapenade.
  • Enjoy a protein-packed plain Greek yogurt and top with some fresh fruits.
  • Sliced apples topped with some melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.
  • Corn on the cob (but ditch the butter!).
  • Banana on a stick dipped in chocolate and nuts.
  • Skewers of strawberries and cheese cubes or caprese skewers (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil)
  • Homemade no bake granola bars.

REPLENISH THOSE ELECTROLYTES

Staying hydrated is crucial in summer. You might not realize how easy it is to become dehydrated. High temperatures and sweating lead to a loss of electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals as sodium, calcium potassium and magnesium essential in maintaining the proper functionality of major body systems. We must replenish the lost electrolytes to avoid unwanted effects as nausea, muscle cramps and dizziness.  Drinking water alone can make the problem worse and dilute electrolytes further in your body. Replenish your electrolytes by drinking coconut water or adding a teaspoon of Celtic sea salt to any of your drinks. In addition, up your intake of foods rich in electrolytes like, dark leafy greens, melons, bananas, oranges, broccoli, figs, celery and seeds.

Randa Ragy
Oasis Clinics
Address: Karma 1 Office Buildings 2nd Floor Sheikh Zayed
Tel: 0100 400 0777 / 8
Web: www.oasisclinics.com