9 Simple Ways To Stay Healthy This Summer (And Still Have Fun)
We made it!
Summer is officially here! It’s the time of BBQs and swimming, weddings and vacations, sun and fun!
Summer is a wonderfully energetic, and sometimes chaotic time.
It’s feels good to be so busy and social, enjoying this season that we all look forward to for so long…
But it can also be hard to stay on track with your health!
Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.
Here are 9 SIMPLE WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY THIS SUMMER, without missing out on all the the fun. ;)
1. Skip the buns at the barbecue.
That white bread hotdog or hamburger bun is one of the least nutritious foods out there.
And on top of that, it increases your blood sugar and adds to weight gain!
Throw your burger on a bed of greens or just on a plate with your salad or coleslaw. It might seem less appealing at first but you’ll quickly learn to love feeling less stuffed after your meal....And who wants to be out at a BBQ feeling full and uncomfortable and tired? PASS!
2. Drink club soda with a squeeze of lemon or orange instead of sugary drinks.
Ok, let’s be honest here...
Soda is really bad. I think we can all agree on that...
But these days there are about a million other types of cold, tempting beverages on the shelves – energy drinks, juices, teas, things that defy categorization – and you know what most of them have in common?
A boat-load of sugar!
But it’s nice to have something cold and carbonated in the summer...
Go for club soda (soda water, sparkling water) with a squeeze of your favorite citrus!
It’s super refreshing and sugar-free!
Which means less weight gain, less cavities and less upset stomachs.
Win, win, win.
3. Put veggies on your kebabs.
This is a great way to incorporate more of our most important food group into your summer meals!
And more veggies = less bread, chips, sweets.
Cut up zucchini, onions, mushrooms, peppers and add some cherry tomatoes.
You can do full veggie skewers, or add lots of veggies to your meat skewers.
Marinated extra firm tofu (always organic/non-GMO) can go on a skewer too.
In the summer I love the ease of Meal On A Stick.
Also a great thing to bring to a BYO grill party.
Bonus tip: If you buy skewers that are already meat-only, just throw all the above veggies in a packet of foil with some seasonings and cook on the side.
Double bonus tip: Just cut a bell pepper in half, remove seeds, add oil & salt, and place directly on the grill.
Let’s make it easy to eat lots of veggies!
4. Carry a water bottle everywhere.
Summer is hot and dry. (Why thank you Doctor Obvious.)
Dehydration will make you tired, irritable, achey, dizzy and constipated.
How much should you drink?
Take your weight and cut in half. That’s roughly how many ounces of water you should try to drink per day. More if you’re in the heat or exercising.
Having a good water bottle that you take everywhere with you is crucial. If you’re driving somewhere and thirsty, there’s a decent chance that you will forget to drink water once you arrive.
We want easy, all-the-time access to water.
Go for glass or stainless steel. Sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference. And – YES! – soda water counts! :)
5. Switch up your iced coffee.
Ok, now hear me out – I’m not trying to take away your iced coffee! I promise! I just want to make it a healthier beverage for you…because you probably drink them quite often...
If you drink it black – great! Then no problem. (Unless you have anxiety, heartburn or insomnia but that’s for a different article!)
I’m more talking about the many pump caramel vanilla toffee macadamia chocolate lattes that keep getting more elaborate every season.
This is a huge source of unwanted sugar in your diet!
And, for most of us, a big cup of milk isn’t a great idea either. (And, no, skim is not better!)
Try making your iced coffee at home and instead add a splash of canned coconut milk and vanilla extract! The canned coconut milk is really creamy and contains medium-chain triglycerides which are good for you. The vanilla extract and coconut combo is a great flavor!
If you’re getting your iced coffee on the run, opt for coconut milk or another unsweetened non-dairy option like hemp, almond or cashew.
And cut way down on those flavor pumps. Instead of 4 try 1 or 2 as you are getting used to coffee that is less sweet. Or try stevia – a sweet-tasting herb with no sugar. You can even get packets of it.
6. Exercise first thing in the morning.
In the summer there is a lot going on and plans can turn on a dime.
New things to do pop up more spontaneously than in winter, and it’s fun to be able to go with the flow...
Get your exercise out of the way early, so that you don’t end up getting caught up and not making time for it. This sets you up for success.
Plus it’s cooler in the morning!
7. Protect yourself from the sun.
You hear it a lot but I would be a bad doctor if my summer health tips didn’t include a quick reminder about protecting yourself from the sun.
- Getting burned is bad for you.
- Hats are long sleeves are best.
- Mineral sun blocks are your next best choice.
Refer to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for safe sunscreen info: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen
8. Drink water between each alcoholic beverage.
If I told you not to drink alcohol this summer, would you listen to me?
Didn’t think so.
So here’s the thing with alcohol…
It’s not just that it’s a diuretic (makes you urinate and lose water). A lot of water is needed in the biochemical processes to clear alcohol from your system.
That’s why water is so, so important when you’re drinking alcohol!
So get in the habit of drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. Even something watery like beer.
It will slow down your alcohol consumption, keep you hydrated and make you less hungover.
Bonus tip: If you go out for drinks, get in the habit of ordering “tall” drinks if you drink hard alcohol. Not “doubles” - “talls”. And use soda water as your mixer, with a splash of juice if needed.
9. Supplement with a greens powder.
There are some really great greens powders that are chock full of veggies and superfoods!
These supplements have a cleansing effect on the body – which is good when we are having more alcohol and barbecued foods.
You also can pack in a bunch of extra nutrients really easily.
These powders aren’t a replacement for eating vegetables – but they can certainly help! You can even get them in individual packets so they are easy to take on trips.
One brand that I’ve always liked is Amazing Grass. You can find it at many health food stores or you can follow this link (http://www.npscript.com/drrebeccaprincipe) to my online medicinary and purchase there.
Create an account and use the following access code to get 15% off not just that product but all of the trustworthy doctor brands on the site.
Access Code: DR REBECCA
Bonus tip #10: Eat lots of salads.
Summer is salad time!
And it's all about the dressing!