Summer can be a busy time with pool parties, outdoor movies and rooftop soirees that keep us running from one activity to the next. That’s why it’s important for us to take a moment to think about the way we eat.
The food that serves you in a quick and hurried fix may feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t truly feed you. The more you embrace food that actually gives your body power, the easier it will be to nix the empty calories you take in while noshing on the go.
Approach your summer eating as a challenge to redefine how food makes you feel. That’s not to say that you should never eat your comfort foods—but you should consider how your food actually benefits you. You might try some new things, and find out how much your body loves them. What a great summer gift.
Here are a few easy ideas to jump start transition.
Let’s say you are an eggs and bread in the morning kind of person. Instead, try making some overnight chia. Simply take your favorite non-dairy milk and puree it with your favorite fruit, then add one cup of chia to two or three cups of the milk and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you will have this amazing, delicious, healthy and energy-boosting pudding-like breakfast. Mix with your favorite granola, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit and you will be completely satiated until lunch. No cholesterol and as much Omega-3 as your eggs.
For quick go-to snacks in the afternoon, don’t just head to your local coffee shop. Make a green tea latte with a bit of agave and non-dairy milk, if you must have some caffeine. Hungry? Try crudite—but not your typical carrots and celery fare. All types of veggies are amazing chopped up and dipped into your hummus or veg puree. Fennel, cucumbers, radicchio, endive, watermelon radishes and jicama make snacking interesting again.
Evening can be a bit of a challenge as the temptations of cocktails and late-night bites with friends take over. Try eating your dinner as early as you can in the evening. Save sugary cocktails for weekends and, instead, opt for red wine. Keep your hands off the bread baskets until you have had at least half of your meal; then, only take a bite. To fulfill late-night cravings, try fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and a hot beverage.
Eating well this summer does not have to be a drastic change. Start out taking baby steps toward your food goals. Make it fun and do not take it too seriously. Everyone needs a slice of pizza and popcorn now and again.
Angela Lowe is a Brooklyn-based vegan chef and cheese-maker. She is working on a new series about sustainable vegan living launching soon. She lives with her many rescue animals. Visit her website at chefangelalowe.com.
This column is not a consultation with a medical professional or a licensed nutritionist and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with questions or concerns should seek the advice of a certified professional.