With the warm and sunny days, it is especially intriguing to get outdoors and have a healthy lifestyle in the summer. A healthy lifestyle includes both nutrition and fitness, and I personally find it more difficult to perfect my eating habits (I have a huge sweet tooth). I wanted to put together a list of some easy, healthy snacks for the summertime that will keep you on track with your fitness goals without restriction.
1. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and/or granola.
Greek yogurt is naturally high in protein making this a filling snack. In the summer time, I love to throw in some fresh fruit while it is ripe and in season to add some flavor and granola to fuel my body with some healthy complex carbohydrates. (Complex meaning that they take longer for your body to breakdown, thus giving you some long lasting energy). You can substitute granola for Honey Bunches of Oats, or something along that line if you are wanting to add more crunch (a cereal serving size is three-quarter of a cup to one cup, while granola serving sizes usually range from one-quarter cup to one-third cup). This snack is super easy to make and is not messy, making it a perfect snack to grab when you are in a hurry.
2. Fruit smoothie or homemade acaí bowl (with a protein boost).
In order for your body to build muscle you have to work out those muscle groups and also provide it with the protein and amino acids needed to build muscle, which is why I like to add a protein boost to my smoothies, always. Adding protein will also keep you full longer and help fuel your muscles to slay the day. I will usually add frozen fruit to my smoothie, as well as a little bit of almond, soy or fat free milk (all work well). For protein, I add either Greek yogurt or a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder (sometimes, both if it is after a workout). Once you make it, throw it in a cup and you can take it anywhere! Turn this into an acaí bowl by adding acaí juice (optional) and putting it in a bowl, throwing in some sliced banana, some granola and a drizzle of agave nectar (or honey) and enjoy with a spoon instead.
3. Carrots with salsa (or yogurt ranch dressing).
OK, yes, this sounds like a weird combination, I know. But trust me, it is actually super delicious. Sometimes, carrots can taste a little bit bland, so I love adding a little kick to them with some salsa (which just adds more veggies into that diet). If you don't like salsa or you just feel like ranch instead someday, I would recommend going for a yogurt-based ranch (my favorite is bolt house! you can find it in the produce section of King Soopers and most super markets) A yogurt-based ranch is going to be much healthier than regular ranch dressing (which tends to be high in calories and unhealthy fats) and will also be better than "light" ranch dressings because it does not have the artificial sweeteners and fillers that they do. What I love about this snack is you can literally eat as much of it as you want because it is super healthy and full of nutrients! Also feel free to swap carrots with any other vegetable such as broccoli or snap peas (personal fave), vegetables are always important to have in your diet!
4. Banana and peanut butter (or PB2).
Bananas are awesome and peanut butter is awesome, so a combination of the two makes a healthy and delicious snack. For me, peanut butter is really hard to eat in moderation, meaning if I eat one spoonful, I can't help but eat about 10 more. Bananas also tend to be filling, at first, yet leave me still hungry about 10 minutes after I eat them. When I combine the two, I find myself full longer and very satisfied. If you are looking to do this on the go, you can buy the little peanut butter cups at the grocery store and toss it in a bag with a banana and peel and dip. If you are looking for less saturated (bad!) fat, you can substitute regular peanut butter with PB2, which is a power peanut butter with less calories and fat, and to make it you just add water and mix. (you can find this at most super markets in the peanut butter section). PB2 doesn't tend to fill me up as much and it also isn't quite as tasty as normal peanut butter, but depending on your goals, it may be more in your interest :)
5. Apples and cinnamon.
Apples are such a versatile food, and mix well with so much. Cinnamon is one of my favorite things to put on apples because it adds a little bit of spice, but doesn't change the nutritional value. Of course you can add peanut butter or almond butter with apples as well, but if you are looking for a lighter afternoon pick me up, this is a great quick on the go snack.
6. Watermelon (or fruit of any kind).
I figured I would put an emphasis on fruit because summer is the best time to eat it! I always think of watermelon in the summer because its definitely the season for it! Watermelon is so yummy, and so so good for you. First of all, a watermelon is 92 percent water, so its going to help you stay hydrated in the heat of the summer. Watermelon is also rich in the antioxidant lycopene, and also has a lot of vitamins. A new study is showing that watermelon juice might actually help relieve muscle soreness!
7. Halo Top ice cream.
Who doesn't love ice cream in the heat of the summer?! The reason I love Halo Top is because it is healthy, light and still amazingly delicious (I am seriously in love with it). Halo top is a brand of ice cream that you can find at most King Soopers. It has six grams of protein per serving (60 calories in half a cup) and only two grams of fat. You can have the whole pint for 240 calories and you get 24 grams of protein! All you need for ice cream is a spoon making it the perfect on the go snack. My favorite Halo Top flavor has to be mint chip, I will keep you updated as I try more flavors in the future!
8. Turkey bites.
Want some quick protein? Get thinly sliced turkey from the deli at the grocery store (mesquite smoked is my personal fave) and spread on some mustard, and maybe a little cheese, and roll up to make on the go protein power snacks. I have also heard it is good to add a pickle or Cholula hot sauce. To each his own -- enjoy!