5 Ways to Eat Healthy Over the Summer

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We don’t know about you, but here at Tafford we find eating healthy over the summer to be both easier and harder.  The availability of fresh, in-season fruits and veggies makes it easier, but the summer is always a busy time with vacations and trips to the pool, etc.  We’ve put together 5 things you can do to make eating healthy over the summer both yummy and easy.

  1. Farmers Markets:  Farmers Markets are way more than just tomatoes.  In addition to the freshest fruits and vegetables, you can usually find fresh eggs, meats, cheeses (mmmmm… cheese), herbs, flowers and baked goods.  Meeting the farmers is part of the fun too, and unlike the high school kids working at the local grocery store, local farmers always have suggestions for how to prepare their foods in fun and exciting ways.  We once had a farmer talk to us about roasting his peaches on the grill with a little honey and goat cheese, both of which we could get fresh right there at the market.  A couple of tips:  go early as the best stuff may go quickly and take a bag.  They usually have plastic grocery bags but all the cool kids bring their own.  Not sure where your local farmers market is?  Here’s a link to help. http://www.localharvest.org/
  2. Summer is the time for vacations.  Whether it’s the beach, the mountains, or the amusement park it can be hard to eat healthy while traveling.  A little research and planning can go a long way towards helping you eat healthy this summer.  First, try to find a place to stay that has a kitchen.  Although not impossible, it’s harder to eat healthy out of a mini fridge and a microwave.  Once you’ve determined where you are staying, do a little research on the area.  Is there a local farmers market?  What about a health foods store?  What is the grocery store situation?  Knowing ahead of time what your options are will make it easier to avoid the drive thru window.  Additionally, if the options are limited you can bring your own food from home.
  3. Planning ahead can also help when you are at home.  For a day out in the warmth, pack some healthy snacks.  Baby carrots, celery sticks, grapes and pineapple make quick, easy and refreshing snacks on the go.  There are so many cute lunch bag and cooler options out there.  Bringing your own snacks is this summer’s must-have accessory.  Don’t forget lots of water, and a hat!
  4. Once you’ve got those great fresh fruits and veggies from the farmers market, it’s time to cook them!  The warmer temps make us crave light refreshing meals.  Heavy soups and stews just don’t seem appetizing after a long day spent in the hot sun.  Look for recipes that call for lightly sautéing or roasting or grilling.  You can cook just about anything on the grill these days.  Summer squash is one of our favorite summer vegetables.  Sautee with a little olive oil, onion, garlic and whatever herbs you have on hand.  Place on top of whole wheat pasta and sprinkle with parmesan or feta cheese and you’ll be wishing summer never ended.  Check out our Pinterest board for more summer recipes and ideas.
  5. Want to bring the spa home?  It’s easy!  Infuse your water with cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, lemon, lime, basil, or peppermint and you’ll think you are relaxing by the poshest beaches, even if you’re just sitting in your back yard in a lawn chair.  All you have to do is slice up whatever you want to flavor your water with and place it in a pitcher with fresh cold filtered water.  Place the pitcher in the fridge over night and let it steep.  In the morning you’ll have a refreshing, flavorful beverage without the sugar and chemical.  Just don’t tell the spas we told their secret!

What about you?  What are you favorite tips for eating healthy over the summer?  Have a favorite recipe?  We want to know!  Post to our Facebook, Twitter (@tafford), or Instagram (@tafford) and we might share!  Happy Summer, and don’t forget the sun screen!

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