Savor the Season with Advice from Sports Dietitian Leslie Bonci
Jackson, MI – The season’s picnics and back-yard barbecues can make it hard to eat right, but a healthy summer lifestyle doesn’t have to mean nibbling on bland fare. With strategic substitutions and smart snacking tips, you can still enjoy a helping of potato salad or a few campfire s’mores without compromising your nutritional goals.
“Eating healthy means enjoying a broad variety of foods,” says one of the country’s most recognized sports dietitians, Leslie Bonci, who consults for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Milwaukee Brewers. With smart food swaps that add nutrients and flavor, Bonci can help you enjoy the season without the extra pounds. Read on for her advice.
Smart Nutrition Tips
Stay hydrated –If you are on the go, drink cold water – it leaves your stomach and gets to the muscles faster, thus doing a better job of hydrating your body. Also, try swapping some of the foods on your menu for ones with liquid: Foods such as cold soups or applesauce take up more room in the stomach and can help keep you full longer.
Taste the color of the season – it will increase the nutrient richness of your diet, contribute to your daily fluid requirements and provide carbs for fuel. Here are some of the summer colors you should look for:
Dark green: Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are great sources of vitamin K for bone and eye health.
Orange: Peaches and cantaloupe contain natural carotenoid pigments for lung and skin health.
Deep red or purple: Plums, cherries, and berries all boost heart health.
Allow yourself some indulgences. Enjoying foods you love is important to long-term success, and making smart choices doesn’t mean sacrificing treats. Just opt for products that provide portion control and good calorie count. A pre-packaged better-for-you option like the one from Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods is a great choice. All of the Weight Watchers sweet baked treats have 4-5 grams of fiber, contributing to your daily fiber requirements, and few people actually get the daily fiber requirement of 20-35 grams.
Forget bland condiments – if you want to eat better, spice things up. Healthful spices include cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and oregano. You can use spices to add flavor to dishes or drinks while cutting the amount of calorie-rich ingredients such as oil and sugar.