As soon as I hear Will Smiths “Summertime” song on the radio (and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this song and know all the words) I know we’re close . Pool parties, boats, bbq’s and bikinis is like T-minus 30-40 days…yikes (as a Miami native, there’s no hiding behind shearlings and black tights- we’re in this all year).
Feeling overwhelmed by the endless social media trends of summer food do’s and don’ts? Allow me to help. Below is a carefully curated list of tips to help get your body right.
I’m not into quick fixes. Juicing, cleansing, eliminating bad rap carbs aren’t long term answers. The only way is to take in fewer calories than you burn. Let’s do this right.
1- Veggies and plant based diets are the new comfort foods (or at least it should be, especially in the summer). Farmers markets are at their peak and loaded with berries, melons, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, zucchini, pea pods. All low-cal and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They offer a cooler alternative to heavier foods – eat them raw, cooked, roasted, grilled, and pureed, your call. Steer clear of excess oils and dressings. Get healthy and trim, it’s a win-win!
2- Bowls of bowls. Does everything just taste better in a bowl? From açaí to poke to buddha bowls, we can’t seem to get enough. Here’s my take: it’s the definition of quick, healthy, and easy. Typically you start with veggie of choice (raw or cooked), then add grains or beans (again your choice: brown rice, quinoa, millet, sorghum) and topped with chopped nuts or seeds (I love toasted pumpkin seeds – nutritional powerhouse that offers a natural bump of energy). Top with a light vinaigrette and you are good-to-go. My secret, instead of a vinaigrette – I top it with a fried egg, over easy, something about the oozing yolk is just so good! And a dose of a perfect protein source is never a bad idea.
For breakfast: quinoa, avocado, spinach, and egg or plain greek yogurt, grape nuts with bananas and blueberries topped with a dollop of peanut or almond butter are two of my favs. Cut portions sizes in half for a healthy snack.
3- Lets talk alcohol for a minute. Don’t freak out, I’m not saying eliminate, but why not swap (or at least alternate) the calorie hoarding , dehydrating alcohol for a flavored seltzer. Restaurants are making it “in” with house made tonics and bitters and herbs and spices that mimic a cocktail minus the hangover. You and I both know this is a good idea. That summer body will never make a cameo with too much alcohol (you can not out exercise a bad diet should be your mantra). Don’t eliminate food calories to save for alcohol calories – you may think that’s a phenomenal idea but the body doesn’t see it that way.
4- Ok, this water craze has gotten out of hand. Organic water?? Too far, too far! Cactus water, alkaline water, black alkaline water. We will have reached all levels of insanity when gluten free water makes its way center shelf. The body often mistakes hunger for thirst. So pay attention to your body’s cues. The point is to stay hydrated and mother nature offers good old tap water, you feel me?
5- Gut check. While nothing new, the connection between gut/brain and gut/weight keeps growing. Research suggests a healthy dose of good bacteria in the body may help regulate weight and definitely decreases bloating. Yogurt with live or active cultures, fermented food like kimchee, miso and sauerkraut are great probiotic options.
Let’s face it, at this point 10 lbs in 30-40 days is probably not happening (no quick fixes). Small changes over time equals big results. Start with one small change, make it habitual, then add another and maintain all year. Will Smith is back every year with his subtle reminder. Don’t sweat it.