Keeping Your Summer a Healthy One

Tips to help you eat healthier while you're on vacation, out at camp or on the road travelling this summer

July 4, 2013
Keeping Your Summer a Healthy One

Hello my Muscle & Fitness Hers friends! I know we are all guilty of the summer slumps and losing focus on our health. Whether it is a Friday night dinner, heading to the camp or taking that road trip… food and drinks come to mind. Many of us think “how can I stick to a clean eating plan and not fall off the wagon?” or “how will I be able to eat clean and not stop for fast food and pick at all those good treats?” It isn’t always easy, but it is a lifestyle and it’s your choice to stay on track with making the right choices.

It can be really tough when the summer ends and you have given into all those weaknesses and you’ve eaten all the wrong foods, feeling depleted, bloated, carrying a few extra pounds and a little more tired than normal. It happens too many of us. So starting now, before the camping, travelling and holidays begin, it is time for you to decide to make those better food choices. It will give you a more positive impact on your leisure time and feeling that much more energized once the summer comes to an end! As an athlete, I know that healthy foods and plenty of water sustain your energy levels, fuels those muscles, helps you rest better and recover quicker, and keeps you fuller in between meals.

Here are some tips to help you eat healthier while you're on vacation, out at camp or on the road travelling this summer:

Healthy eating starts where you stop
If you're on the road and stop at a fast-food restaurant, your food choices will be limited. I suggest you stop at a grocery store that offers whole foods or healthy snacks to choose from —fruits, bagged carrots, almonds, hummus— packing for your trip is always your best choice. Planning and packing will just reduce the junk-food temptations.

Eat more often, and in smaller amounts
Eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day sends a signal to your brain that the food supply is plentiful, so it's okay if you’re burning off those calories quickly. Limiting your calorie intake with each smaller meal also gives you a lot more energy. Eating too many calories in one meal—even if they're healthy calories—sends your brain the message that leaner times must be around the corner, so those calories will get stored as fat. Eating too much at one sitting can also make you sluggish and sleepy.

Eat plenty of protein
Eating the right amount of complete protein for your weight and activity level stabilizes blood sugar (preventing energy lows), enhances concentration, and keeps you lean and strong. A complete protein is any animal and dairy product or a grain plus vegetables (such whole grain pita’s with almond butter, or a salad with turkey and chicken or chick peas). When you need energy for a long hike, a long drive, or a day at the beach, fuel your body with high-quality, lean protein. You will feel much better!

Pack snacks so you're not skipping meals
Often when we're traveling, we don't have access to food at regular intervals. Or worse, we skip meals so we can have that big piece of pizza or desert later in the day. The problem is, your body responds as if it's facing a food shortage and your metabolism slows way down to prevent you from starving. To keep your mind and body burning, pack healthy snacks in your car or backpack. Examples are unsalted cashews, almonds, raw vegetables, cottage cheese, yogurt and berries, fresh or dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, hummus.

Avoid "feel bad" foods
You all know what they are: They're foods you crave, but after you eat them you feel bad, your energy is low and you feel sick or depleted. When you're on the road, it's particularly essential to avoid foods that drain your energy and bring down your mood. Foods to avoid:

1. Simple carbohydrates, such as fruit juices, sodas, refined grain products, sugary snacks
2. Anything that is deep fried
3. Nonfat desserts and sweeteners, which are loaded with chemicals that your body can't easily metabolize
4. Anything partially hydrogenated (this includes nondairy creamer, regular-style peanut butter, margarine, and most packaged baked goods); and of course
5. Excess alcohol.

Drink lots of water
Yes, water is extremely important. The body needs water for everything to functions properly. Drinking plenty of water will flush toxins, keep you hydrated, keeping your skin fresh, help feel fuller longer and of course eating less. It will also help with your energy, keep you hydrated for overexposure to the heat or sun, will help with junk-food cravings. I know for myself that any of the unhealthy cravings I have on the road can be satisfied with a keeping my water intake up!

Enjoy your summer~ make the right choice
Stay healthy!

Aleisha Hart xoxo