August is that month when we try to take in as much sun and fun as possible. Nothing speaks summer more than getting together with friends and family, driving to the cottage, or beach play time. It can quickly become overwhelming if you are on a program or simply are trying to eat better.  It can become especially frustrating, if you don’t plan your snacks ahead of time, and all that hard work in the gym may be at stake in just days. Eating clean while enjoying the gorgeous summer days can be easier with these four tips.

  1. Plan Ahead

    Things can stay under control when you prepare ahead of time. Being proactive and writing things down or doing the shopping a day before your travel day or big barbecue party is key, especially when we talk about overindulgence and diet commitments. I like to create a menu and a shopping list. This helps me stay on track and buy only what I need because if you don’t have healthy options you are more likely to reach out for some of the unhealthy ones. Have your ice packs and cooler ready the night before. Know ahead of time what you will need and avoid buying everything last-minute. Last minute shopping, just like shopping when hungry, may lead to overspending and you are less likely to stick to the healthier choices.

  2. Packaging and Portion Control

    Whether you are a fitness fanatic or starting on a new health journey you know that overindulging comes with consequences. For me, I feel less energetic the next day and I can see the immediate changes in my body as well. Have all your snacks like nuts and seeds, nut butters, and hummus measured and pre-packaged and if you can’t put the bag of almonds down after you’ve opened it, buy pre-sized portions of hummus, nuts, and dried fruit.

    Portion control
    Portion control
  3. Think Outside the Box

    Ditch the chips and cookies because you know that most people will show up with all of that anyway. Instead, go bold and have fun. Bring some roasted seaweed, make or buy some kale chips, and pack some sweet potato for grilling. Bananas, pineapples, apples, peaches, and blueberries can make for a really nice treat. Bananas, apples, and pineapples can also be used to create a healthy dessert later in the day when your sweet tooth awakens. You can also buy fruit chips, but make sure they are as natural as possible; many use unneeded sugars and preservatives. For bananas, keeping the peel on and slice lengthwise to place on the barbecue and get a warm sweet banana pudding. My favourite snack is hummus and veggies. It is light and easy to prepare and to store in a cooler. I like to experiment with most fruits and veggies and try to keep store packaged food to a minimum. Get out of your comfort zone and surprise your friends with some healthy goodness. Make it fun and exciting, but most importantly make it to your liking.

  4. Have Fun with Water

    Water is important for your health and yet overlooked when it comes to vacations and fun time. Pack some good quality water to save you from overeating and overindulging in all those summer drinks and snacks. I like to bring sparkling water everywhere I go when possible. I like to add some mint leaves, lemons, cucumber slices, blueberries, and strawberries to make my water fun and tempting. I tend to get picky sometimes and when that happens my glass water bottle comes with me. How can you crave water when it comes in a plastic water bottle? It’s unappealing and toxic for the environment. Buy glass or BPA free plastic water bottles that are safe and easy to use.

    Fruit infused water
    Fruit infused water

Let’s face it, advice is great but when it comes to that time in real life more than often we find ourselves stuck. If that is you, don’t panic. Instead stay focused and apply these four tips to stay in control. If you think you will really want to have a pastry or a cookie at that BBQ party why not buy some healthier options instead and have with you for when you need it most? Stay active and burn some calories, play some frisbee, volleyball, or go for a walk. Develop a strategy that works for you and soon enough this process will become easy and when it is easy, it will become a habit. You can still play, why not play safe?

Enjoy your way to great health,