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Nutrition & Good Eating

Nutrition 365 Includes Summer

Nutrition 365 includes Summer

To many people the summer reminds them of BBQ’s, burgers, beers and the beach. While these are wonderful memories for some, and weekly or daily occurrences for others, it is important to mention how there is a tendency to gain weight over the summer (contrary to what would seem to make sense). You may be thinking of all the bike rides, hikes and tennis games that you plan to do, but then find you didn’t get around to it. Before you know it, August arrives and it is time for school to start.

So what can you do to be healthier this summer? How can you eat healthy nourishing foods, exercise most days of the week, limit empty calorie drinks and feel great about yourself and your summer? I've put together a few ideas below so check them out and see how many you can try this summer.

Eat Healthy Nourishing Food
  • For the BBQ, instead of burgers and hot dogs, skewer the same size pieces of zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Add cubes of tuna or tofu for extra protein if you like. Lightly coat with olive oil and grill. 
  • Grill slices of eggplant coated lightly in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and make into sandwiches on toasted ciabatta bread and spread lightly with goat cheese.
  • Make a black bean and corn salad with fresh corn (which you can grill; soak in water, then grill with husks on). Add some olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and you have a nice side dish.
  • Make veggie burgers on the grill, either homemade or frozen. Top with slices of fresh tomato, pickles and red onion on a whole grain bun.
  • Make fish (or shrimp) tacos. Take your favorite fish; marinate it with olive oil, lime juice, lemon zest and some chili powder. Cook on the grill (may need a grill basket), then add to soft tortillas with cilantro dressing, guacamole, tomatoes, and lettuce.
  • Skip the high fat mayonnaise side dishes and opt for lower fat versions. Instead of potato salad with mayo, roast cubed potatoes and halved brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. When done and cooled, add vinaigrette and enjoy.
  • Make a salad with all your favorite greens then add grilled peach slices and vinaigrette for a sweet and tangy flavor.
  • So many fruits and vegetables are in season so try to have as many varieties and colors as possible. This makes it a great time to visit your local farmers markets if you haven’t been lately. Buy local to support your local farmers and our environment.
  • Make a nice cold soup like gazpacho or a chilled cucumber salad. Use your imagination; add pitted olives, peaches, beans, or strawberries, as a start.
  • Serve watermelon for dessert and for a twist squeeze lime wedges or sprinkle with chili pepper or sea salt.

Make Exercising a Priority
  • Set up an adult play date. Enlist a friend or neighbor, or your long lost friend you’ve been meaning to make plans with to do an activity together. Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride, or play tennis.
  • Get your kids or grandkids (or both) to be active with you. Take a sunset walk after dinner, look for seashells all along the beach, go to the park and play a game of Frisbee.
  • Pick something indoors to get out of the heat. This may be the time to finally try yoga, zumba, pilates, belly dancing, or karate.
  • Do your exercise early in the morning when its cooler. You'll be done early and can go about your day before you get sidetracked or talk yourself out of it. And if you have the time or the mood strikes, you have the option to exercise again later in the day. You will also have more energy for the day and feel better about what you have accomplished.  
  • Note: While exercise can help you get healthy and aid in weight loss, don't undo your progress by thinking you can eat whatever you want because you exercised. If you typically feel hungry post-workout, have quick and healthy snacks ready to grab instead of a double cheeseburger! 

Drink Low Calorie/No Calorie Drinks
  • Water, water, water: anyway you like it. Flavored with cucumbers, lemons or strawberries, this is what your body needs the most of these hot summer days.
  • Iced tea, or iced coffee are great but skip the cream and sugar. Use low fat or non-fat milk and a calorie free sweetener. Skip the frozen iced drinks, whether from a coffee place or a bar – these can wreck havoc on your weight loss and healthy living attempts.
  • Diet soda vs. regular soda: there is a lot in the news about both. Opt for Club Soda, or any bubbly water and add your own flavor if you like, lemon or orange slices, a raspberry or two.
  • You may have a taste for milkshakes, but trade a traditional version for a smoothie with fresh fruit, ice, non-fat milk or non-dairy alternative (like almond or soy milk), and a teaspoon of agave. Satisfies the urge without the bulge.
  • If you are going to have alcohol, limit it to 1 drink for women and 2 for men. Drink light beer or a wine spritzer and stay clear of pina coladas, margaritas, daiquiris and other drinks with sweeteners added.  Always follow up with drinking water as alcohol can be dehydrating.

All around good tips:
  • Take inventory of where you are in your life and what would best meet your needs for the summer. If you have been busy, busy, busy give yourself a much needed summer break. You will go back in the fall, or whenever you are ready. If you have been taking it too easy all year, then get moving. Exercise, eat right, watch what you drink, and do what you need to do.
  • Catch up on a good summer read or another hobby. It's good for your mind and will keep you away from the kitchen. Have you wanted to watch a movie but haven’t had the time? Go for it but bring your own snacks (veggies, air-popped popcorn, apple slices, grapes).
  • Clean out the clutter. This is the time to clean out your closets, your kids' rooms, the basement, and have a garage sale or donate the items to charity. I’m sure you have heard this before, but if you haven’t worn it in a year, in 3 years, in 5 years, in 20 years, you probably wont ever wear it again. Get rid of it.
  • Help someone out. Do you have an out-of-work friend? Offer to take him/her for coffee, help with a resume, practice interviewing questions, whatever s/he needs. Do you have grandkids? Offer to babysit them (yes, I know my parents will love this one). Foster or adopt a pet. There are countless organizations that list dogs daily that were rescued and need homes. Fostering is a nice way to see if it’s something for you and help save a dog’s life, plus it’s great encouragement to exercise.
  • Clean up after yourself, and others. Try to use recycled materials and recycle what you do use. Use less paper products and take a cup or water bottle with you each day. Bring a bagged lunch to work, it will save you money, be healthier, and save waste from being generated.  
  • Relax. Stress can be just as bad for you as not including physical activity or eating unhealthily. Try meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage. Whatever works for you will be great for you and those around you.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / AlessandraRC
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / artpritsadee


Spinach, Avocado, and Mango Salad Recipe

  • 1/4 cup orange juice 
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar, red wine 
  • 1 tablespoon oil, hazelnut, or almond oil, or canola oil 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste 
  • Pepper to taste 
  • 10 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces) 
  • 1 1/2 cups lettuce, radicchio, torn into bite-sized pieces 
  • 10 small radishes (1 bunch), sliced 
  • 1 small mango, ripe, sliced 
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced 
  1. To prepare dressing: Whisk juice, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. To prepare salad: Just before serving, combine spinach, radicchio, radishes and mango in a large bowl. 
  3. Add the dressing; toss to coat. Garnish each serving with avocado slices. 

Grilled Lemon-Herb Halibut Recipe (adapted from Healthy Living)

  • 2 x 12 ounce(s) halibut steaks 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, fresh, or 1/2 teaspoon dried 
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning 
  • Fresh oregano
  • Lemon wedges 
Recipe Tip: Marinate 30 to 90 minutes. 

  1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. For marinade, in a shallow dish, combine lemon juice, snipped or crushed oregano or thyme, oil, garlic, and lemon-pepper seasoning. Add fish; turn to coat with marinade. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours, turning fish steaks occasionally.
  2. Drain fish, reserving marinade. Place fish on the grill until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once and brushing once with reserved marinade halfway through grilling. Discard any remaining marinade. If desired, garnish with fresh oregano or thyme leaves and serve with lemon wedges.
Did you enjoy this article?
If so, please forward on to 3 friends! Get in touch today so we can get started on your goals and dreams together.

Carena Lowenthal, MS, RD, CDN
(917) 882-5033 |
Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved.

Carena Lowenthal is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coach. She is certified in Adult, Childhood, and Adolescent Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a consultant to physicians and clients specializing in health and wellness, weight loss, pre- diabetes, diabetes, and heart disease. Carena is passionate about helping people make lasting lifestyle changes for a more fulfilling, healthy, happy and complete life.


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