Summer meals can often be loaded with heavy carbs, unhealthy fats and empty calories. Try some of these healthy food swaps for easy and delicious options without all the added calories!
White buns – Instead of having the white refined buns that are often served at BBQ’s and pool parties, opt for a whole wheat bun, sprouted grain bun, or lettuce bun instead! Boston lettuce leaves work really well and you and you can still throw all your favourite condiments in.
Sugary drinks – Cut your sugar intake and opt for a white wine spritzer instead. This will cut both your sugar and alcohol intake, which will help to promote weight loss and keep you on track.
Fried foods – Avoid greasy, hydrogenated fried foods and opt for grilled options instead. When out for lunch or dinner, order the grilled calamari over the fried alternative to help reduce the unhealthy fats.
Starchy sides – Summer meals are often loaded with heavy, starchy side dishes such a potato salads, creamy coleslaw, and baked potatoes. Instead of filling your plate with these calorie dense foods, fill up with fresh vegetables and salads.
Ice cream – Ah yes, a favourite summer treat. Try cooling down this summer with a healthier, lower calorie option such as fruit based popsicles or even a homemade ice cream (see below for recipe). Remember, it is important to enjoy the summer with your kids so having an ice cream cup once or twice is completely fine, everything in moderation (just drop the guilt and enjoy it!). But having this treat too often can lead to summer weight gain so try and minimize where you can.
Dips and chips – Instead of filling up on creamy dips and fried chips, opt for a healthier, lighter dip option with veggie sticks for dipping for a lighter summer poolside snack. Dips like guacamole, hummus, and veggie dips (click here for a recipe) are much lighter and easier to digest. You can even bring some with you if you are going to a cottage or pool for the day you so know you have something yummy and healthy to snack on.
Red meat – Instead of having red meat at every summer BBQ, opt for a lighter, leaner option such as turkey burgers, chicken kabobs, veggie burgers, BBQ salmon, or shrimp skewers. One serving of red meat per week is okay but we don’t recommend over doing it in order to help with weight loss.
Marinades – Marinades are often loaded with unwanted, empty calories so always try and opt for no marinades or lighter amounts of it when possible. A good alternative could include flavourful seasoning such as oregano, Italian, paprika or cayenne pepper with some avocado oil.
White potatoes – These common summer sides are digested by the body as a white sugar and tend to spike our blood sugars, causing those unwanted sugar cravings. For a healthier alternative to baked potatoes or fries, try sweet potatoes or other root vegetables as a healthier option. Sweet potato fries are our go-to alternative!
A summer favourite – peanut butter banana ice cream!
- 4 large very ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Peel bananas and slice into ½ inch pieces. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a large plate or baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Place the frozen banana slices in a food processor or powerful blender. Puree banana slices, scraping down the bowl as needed. Puree until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Add the peanut butter and puree to combine.
- Then add the chocolate chips and pulse till small chips are apparent throughout ice creamy texture.
- Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream consistency or if you prefer harder ice cream, place in the freezer for a few hours and then serve.
Nutritional analysis: calories 160, fat 6g, carbohydrates 28g, fiber 3g, protein 3g