By Amira Azmi
Health & Fitness Consultant
Who doesn’t love summer? The breezy days, the golden tan, the beach sunsets … the snacks? Summer is a lot more enjoyable with your nutrition in check. Although an occasional pizza won’t kill you, it won’t leave you feeling light and at your best. Enjoy your summer – eat what you love – just tweak it in a healthy way! Keep in mind that our bodies crave refreshing and hydrating goodies in this heat and you’ll eat accordingly. No one wants to feel bloated at the beach, right?
Keep it simple, keep it light and eat for fuel! Pack healthy beach snacks so you’re not tempted to binge on the junk food that is easily available at the beach. Here are my picks for summer eats that can be easily made.
Refreshing Watermelon Salad
The ultimate hydrating summer fruit to have on hand during the hot summer months is watermelon! Whether eaten alone, frozen in slices or in a salad.
- 5 cups arugula, roughly chopped
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled*
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, halved
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 small onion chopped
- Low sodium salt and black pepper, to taste
- Combine arugula, watermelon cut into cubes, feta cheese and olives
- Prepare the vinaigrette separately. Combine all ingredients and whisk until blended.
- Drizzle half the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss the salad and add more vinaigrette if necessary.
* You can replace the feta with more olives if you want to make it vegan or dairy free.
Stay hydrated and boost your metabolism while getting a tan! Try this yummy smoothie packed with vitamin A, C and antioxidants. It protects your skin from UV rays and boosts your collagen production.
Ingredients (makes 4 cups)
- 1 grapefruit
- 3-4 slices of pineapple
- 2 peaches
- 4-6 carrots
- 6 apricots
- 4 oranges
- A handful of sliced raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Chop all fruits and place them in the blender and blend.
- Add almonds and cinnamon.
- Serve chilled.
Bananas actually fight bloating because of the potassium they contain. Always choose whole wheat bread, or foods that are packed with fiber, as they keep you full for longer.
- 2 whole wheat/low carb toast slices
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ sliced banana
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon coconut flakes
- Spread honey thoroughly on both bread slices
- Add sliced banana
- Add chia seeds and coconut flakes
Energy Protein Balls!
Packed with protein, minimal prep time, and keeps you energized for longer.
- 1 ½ cups oats
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened peanut butter
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 cups zero fat milk
- Mix peanut butter, honey, cocoa powder in a food processor
- Add milk
- In a separate bowl add oats, chia seeds, dark chocolate chips
- Add all ingredients together. Mixture should be slightly sticky
- Add more low fat milk if the mixture is dry. Be careful not to add so much that it won’t hold shape
- Roll into balls using hands
- Set in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes
- Bite and enjoy! Try to not eat them all at once though.
If you don’t want to prep anything, you can still have some handy eats!
- Grapes: Freeze them for extra cool! Super easy beach snack and rich in antioxidants.
- Almonds: Craving some protein after your beach swim? Get a handful of unsalted almonds. A quarter cup of almonds has about 5 g of protein and 5 g of fiber.
- Granola Bars: Choose the right ones though, avoid added sugars, corn syrup or ingredients your body doesn’t need.
- Dried fruits and nuts: Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants provide you with a healthy nutritional combination.
Certified Health & Fitness Consultant