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5 Tips To Staying On Track This Summer

Erica Hopper, of Simple Bites Gourmet is a mom, marathon runner, and chef who knows a thing or two about healthy living. It’s easy to fall off the wagon this time of year… helloooooo, tis the season for beers, burgers, and hot dogs! Here to save us from ourselves, she’s given us her top 5 tips for staying on track this Summer!

Yes!  Summer is FINALLY here!  Winter in Knoxville was brutal this year.  We were stuck inside, snowed out of barre class (what?!), and spent way too many days without power.  Now that it’s nice and toasty outside, it’s time to add a little nutrition to all those tucks.
It can be a little tough to maintain healthy eating habits when there are countless backyard barbecues, afternoons on the lake, and weddings to attend.  Have no fear, though.  All you need to do is practice a little mindful eating, and use a few tricks to sneak in your fruits and veggies.
Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy this summer:

  1. Smoothies- This is a great way to clean out your fridge, use some summery fruits, and sneak in some greens.  My favorite is mixed berries, frozen spinach, banana, a little almond butter, your favorite protein powder, and some unsweetened almond milk.  Throw in a little ice, and whir it up!  (***I sometimes use frozen fruit instead of ice, for a creamier “milkshake-like” texture)
  2. Visit the Farmer’s Market-Not only is the farmer’s market a fun family activity, but eating local is the way to go.  You will be supporting a local business, and eating fruits and vegetables at their peak.  The longer veggies sit on the shelf in the grocery store, the less nutritional value they contain.  By purchasing local produce, you can rest assured that what you are getting is fresh picked.
  3. “Spiralize”-Instead of using heavy pasta, use a spiralizer (or veghetti machine…I’ve heard it both ways) to make “noodles” out of that zucchini you purchased from your local farmer.  Not only is it something fun and different, but it’s a lighter option to pasta.
  4. Grow Your Own Herbs-How many times have your bought a bunch of parsley, only to find it smashed to smithereens in your veggie drawer the following week?  I will admit that I am not a seasoned gardener, but I love looking out of my kitchen window and seeing the fresh herbs growing.  It saves loads of money at the grocery store, and I know I will always have fresh herbs to add to any grilled chicken, fish, or vinaigrette.
  5. Get Your Kids Involved-It’s summer!  Kids are off school, and they are probably already calling you during the day because they’re bored and looking to you for something fun to do.  If they’re old enough to use a knife, get them to help you prep veggies for the week.  If they’re not quite dexterous enough yet, let them help you measure ingredients or pick beans…again using those local farmer’s market finds!  Another fun activity to do with kids-homemade popsicles.  Use fresh produce, and sneak in some spinach or kale.  Puree with some coconut milk for creamy pops.

See, healthy eating can be a fun-filled, family activity!  Just do a little planning, and don’t forget to support your local farmers.

To inquire on ordering some of Erica’s amazing meals and/or snacks, simply email erica@simplebitesgourmet.com