Think it’s too hot to eat healthy? Think again!
With temperatures nearing the 100s, it’s no wonder that many of us in Utah don’t want to be heating up our ovens to make dinner. Drive thrus seem to beckon us with ready-prepared meals, and the promise of not having to heat up the kitchen (and the house!). However, eating well is still important even when it’s hot outside, and it can be just as easy, convenient and delicious to eat well as it is to eat “junk food.” Here are a few tips to help you stay cool and healthfully filled up during this hot summer season.
Use the grill
When it’s hot outside, grilling is an excellent way to make delicious food that is healthy, and also won’t heat up your house. Grab a couple of our pre-made chicken or beef kabobs in our meat case for an easy, quick meal, or get some of our fresh ground turkey to make turkey burgers.
Use vegetables as side dishes – and snacks
Vegetables are easy to eat in the summer since they are light and refreshing. I love keeping a container of already cleaned and chopped veggies in my refrigerator to munch on, or to quickly top a salad. If you need a dip for your veggies, I recommend mixing a 16 ounce container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with a packet of dry ranch dressing mix; it makes a perfect ranch dip, and no one can ever tell that it’s actually made with Greek yogurt!
Fill up on fruits
It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables all year long, but summer is the perfect time to fill up your cart with produce. Plenty of fruits are in season, making them less expensive, more nutritious, and tastier. Keep your fruits in the fridge for a tasty, cold snack. For a fun twist, try freezing your fruit to create popsicle-like healthy treats. Have you ever tried frozen grapes? Freezing grapes creates a sorbet-like texture, and a sweeter taste. However, almost any fruit tastes delicious when frozen. Grab a bag of frozen pineapple for a sweet treat, or cut up your favorite fruit and pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
When we’re hot, our bodies release water (aka sweat) to help cool us down. While this is effective for cooling us off, it does make us lose water and can cause you to become dehydrated, if you don’t replace the water you’ve lost. Be sure to keep a water bottle with you when you leave the house; if you have it with you, you’ll be much more likely to actually drink water. A good way to tell if you’re well hydrated is by taking a look at the color of your urine. Clear to pale yellow urine is ideal; the darker your urine, the less hydrated you are.
Buy healthier convenience foods
There’s nothing worse than feeling hot and bloated. Fast food tends to be packed with bloat causing salt, and is also usually high in empty calories that don’t provide a lot of nutrition. Eating healthier foods will make you feel cooler, and will also give you more energy. If you’re crunched for time, try grabbing some of our pre-made Dietitian’s Choice deli options. Our chipotle turkey salad makes a fabulous sandwich when put on a 7 Grain Roll from our bakery; serve with some cold, raw veggies, and you have a balanced and cool meal.