3 Food Hacks for a Healthier (and Leaner) Summer

Yawn, stretch and come out of hibernation. The heat is rising and its feeling like summer across the nation. Ready or not, its time for less clothing and if you think you’re not quite ready, I’ve got you covered. I’ve put together a list of foods that will help you stay trim and healthy while enjoying all the grilling, potlucks and poolside lounging your heart desires.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons for cooking and eating because there is a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Did you know that pineapple and watermelon taste amazing after coming off the grill! Yup, just try it out and  after that, put some green grapes in the freezer and see how satisfying and delicious those are. Loading up on fruit will keep you hydrated and since they are loaded with antioxidants your skin will literally glow!

Also, try these 3 hacks to cut unnecessary calories and fat without cutting flavor:

1. Switch out mayonnaise for vegenaise--you don’t have to be vegan to love vegenaise, it boasts less fat and less sodium than traditional mayonnaise and is made with grapeseed oil which is healthier and contains more omega 3s than soybean oil. In my opinion, it taste better, too.

How: use vegenaise anywhere you would use traditional mayonnaise, in coleslaw, potato salads and in dips for vegetables. For a vegetable dip to die for try combining 1/2 cup vegenaise, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon of spicy sriracha sauce. No crudite will be left behind with this recipe.

2. Switch out a traditional burger for a portabella mushroom–okay, I know you carnivores love your meat but once in a while, you can change out your beef burger for a portabella mushroom for variety sake and in the process load up on vitamin D which portabellas are chocked full of.

How: marinate the portabella mushroom and grill it the same way that you would a regular hamburger. Being vegetarian, I’ve perfected the marinade over the last 2 summers. Use 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.

3. Alternate beer and sparkling water— its easy to get carried away drinking beer (or any type of alcohol) on a hot day especially when you’re socializing and having a good time. At the same time. you’re loading up on empty calories and becoming more dehydrated with each drink.

How: drink one glass of sparkling water for each beer that you drink. As an extra bonus, bring a light beer like Amstel Light or Corona Light to the party which will save you anywhere from 40-60 calories per beer and you don’t have to skimp on taste. Alternating water will literally cut your calories in half.

So, here is to a happy and healthy summer for all my readers!

Are there any healthy food hacks that you love during the summer season? If so, please share below.

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