It’s officially summer which means if they haven’t already the parties, BBQs, graduations, and wedding are in full swing. You know I’m a fall girl but I do love this time of year when the weather is nice, the days are longer and my tan is happening!
It’s also a time when our eating habits change, we crave refreshing drinks, watermelon and s’mores on that family vacation to the lake. We’re traveling for long weekends, hitting happy hours, and sleeping less because it’s still light out at night. Ovens are used less and al fresco dining is the new norm on a Saturday night. We’re so excited to finally get to do all of these things and at the same time I realize many people struggle with “balancing” it all of the fun with their healthy habits.
When the weekends fill up with all these fun things it’s harder to prioritize a workout or go grocery shopping and plan for the week ahead. I get it because I too struggle with the annoying voice in my head saying “we have food at home” and the feeling of being torn to go out and be social or come home and rest. Daytime events, nighttime parties and weekends away can make it hard to make healthy choices. You’re surrounded by friends and family and food is such a huge part of that, which is why I hate seeing the guilt and feeling of “badness” that people associate with a weekend of making less healthy choices. Or the stress that comes with attending an event and navigating the food choices that may not fit with the normal way that person would eat.
That’s why I created this Guide to Summer Eating Done Smarter to help you make small changes when you are faced with different, new, or challenging food choices. I’m taking the stress out of it for you so that you can fully enjoy where you are, with the people you are with in that moment of summer joy. And I hope I am putting the FUN back into it! Making healthy choices is possible even when you’re in the middle of nowhere driving up a mountain. You just need to plan ahead a little, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
I also asked some of my fellow registered dietitian colleagues to offer up their best advice for healthy summer travel, parties and adventures. Think you can’t have a bachelorette party and still involve an aspect of health and fitness?! Think again! Incorporate some of these ideas into your next party or trip and focus on the memories you’re making this summer rather than the stress you feel about making unhealthy food choices
Mary Ellen Phipps, RDN from Milkandhoneynutrition.com says: “It doesn’t matter the type of trip, we always pack our own snacks and breakfast foods… and then we’ll usually hit up a local grocery store wherever we’re going once we get there for produce. Saves us money and helps us start the day with foods we’re used to and know will keep us energized and not sluggish!”
Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT creator of the couple nutrition blog and podcast and Nutritionnuptials.com says: “For Bachelorette Parties, consider doing a fun group activity that includes an element of fitness. I teach SUP Yoga and lead paddleboard outings near my home at the Jersey Shore and we do a ton of Bachelorette parties. It’s something fun, different, and not something many people will do on their own. Coming out with a group makes it a ton of fun and doesn’t feel like exercise is being forced on the group.”
Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, CLT of Nutritiontofit.com says: “I personally have food allergies, so I’m a big fan of bringing food with me because my options are often limited. If my family and friends are planning a potluck or barbecue, I offer to host or I’ll offer to bring a healthy dish with me that I know may be enjoyed by others and will be satisfying enough if it’s one of the only things I can consume. Even with trips, I always bring food with me! We’re going on vacation soon and I’m already stocking up on my essential allergy-friendly products, like my favorite bars, crackers, fruit, dehydrated veggie chips, and chocolate. Perfect for road trip, hiking, and cabin snacking!”
Anne Mauney RDN, of Fannetasticfood.com says: “Don’t let yourself get too hungry! Pack a bunch of snacks and keep them with you just in case meals end up being unexpectedly spaced out. It’s really hard to eat slowly and not to end up too full if you are going into a meal starved.”
And while were on the topic of all things summer, be sure to check out this post about summer grilling with my favorite beef!
And as always, if you have a specific question on a summer nutrition topic that wasn’t covered here please feel free to email me at onceuponapumpkinrd.com!