Summer’s the perfect time to re-energize the health and fitness goals you started at the beginning of this year. Nearly 70 percent of Americans set a goal to stay healthy this year and 43 percent had the desire to lose weight by making healthier food choices, according to Nielsen data. Summer marks the halfway point of 2015 and the season’s picnics, barbecues and festivals can steer the most well-intended resolutions and healthy eating habits off course.
“Summer seasonal fruits and vegetables add color and variety to your meals with low-calorie benefits,” says registered dietitian, Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of “The Flexitarian Diet.” “Enjoy the summer festivities and stay healthy by forming a few easy health-conscious habits.”
Stay in shape by eating healthy and breaking a sweat regularly. Try these simple tips to enjoy a healthy summer:
1. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep skin looking its best. Plus, hydration is a secret weapon for staying focused and energized.
2. Drink green tea rather than sweet tea
Sweet tea has a lot of sugar and calories, which is the last thing you want weighing you down in the summer. Instead, drink unsweetened green tea which is full of healthy compounds, like catechins, that give your metabolism a boost.
3. Make smoothie pops
Drinking smoothies is all the rage, but in the summer, freeze your favorite fruit and veggie smoothies into popsicles for a wholesome and refreshing treat.
4. Snack smarter
Keep cut-up seasonal vegetables such as cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini and carrots in resealable containers for easy grab and go snacking. Splash Nakano Rice Vinegar onto all of your veggies for a super flavor boost.
5. Stay balanced
Fill your plate with half veggies, a quarter lean protein and a quarter of whole grains for a balanced meal. This will keep energy levels up so you can enjoy more summer fun.
6. Grill fruit for dessert
When your sweet tooth needs a treat, grill seasonal fruits like peaches, plums and pineapple for dessert. The heat of the grill brings out even more of fruit’s natural sweetness.
7. Enjoy light, but flavorful meals
Check out Blatner’s recipe for grilled fish tacos, created exclusively for Nakano Rice Vinegar.
Asian-style grilled fish tacos
Makes: 8 Tacos
3 tablespoons Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
3 cups shredded cabbage (purple and/or Napa)
1 cup shredded carrot (3 carrots)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (3 green onions)
1/4 cup thinly sliced radish (2 radishes)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas, warmed
3/4 pound (12 ounces) white fish, grilled
1 avocado, sliced
In a large bowl, whisk Nakano Rice Vinegar, tamari, honey and sesame oil. Add cabbage, carrots, green onions, radish, cilantro and toss to coat veggies.
Top warm tortillas with fish, slaw and avocado. Serve extra slaw on the side.
Time saver: Use 4 cups pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead of cabbage and carrots.
Nutrition information for 2 tacos (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 400 calories; 15 g fat (2.5g saturated fat); 50 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 8 g fiber; 440 mg sodium; 13 g sugar; 110 percent vitamin A, 70% vitamin C, 15 percent calcium, 15% iron