The weather is getting warmer! (Finally, it's almost May...) Which means that summer is right around the corner. Check in with yourself. Now that the year is almost a third of the way through, how are your healthy habits stacking up against what you vowed to do at the beginning of the year? If you've stuck with your plan and are making this year THE year, props. to. you. Seriously. It's not easy! But if you've gotten off track, or need a little boost, take this as a reminder to get back in the groove. If you need a push in the right direction, here are 5 super simple healthy swaps you can make RIGHT NOW to jump start your healthy living and get you ready for summer.
1 | Juice for Water
Warmer weather calls for even more hydration than the colder months. It also means that juices of all kinds are stocked to the max at grocery stores and restaurants (think lemonade, cranberry juice, and fruit punch). Most of these juices have TONS of added sugar, which can lead to dehydration among many other health hazards, so swap out the sugary sips for a nice glass of H2O. If you're one for soda in the summer, grab a seltzer instead - you still get the carbonation with no additional calories.
2 | Added Sugar for Fruit Infusions
I know this is a popular one, but it's for good reason! Add some lemon, watermelon (so good), strawberries, or limes to your water for a flavor boost. Like sweetened iced tea? Try adding some fruit to that as well! Strawberries in black iced tea are delicious! Cut back on the added sugar in your drinks, and you might just feel less bloated and a bit more refreshed. Who doesn't want that in the summer?
3 | Fried for Baked (or Grilled)
Alright, I know you know fried foods aren't great for you. But I'm not just talking about the drive-thru french fries or bucket of fried chicken. I'm talking more along the lines of the potato chips at backyard barbecues, or the fish 'n' chips at the boathouse. Picnics, outdoor parties, waterfront restaurants, you name it, you're bound to find some type of fried food at these places. When you encounter them, try to opt for the baked version. Baked chips are pretty delicious, and they definitely satisfy the salt craving. In my opinion, baked potato wedges are just as good as fries (as long as you get them super crispy!). If fried chicken or fish is what's on the menu, ask for it grilled instead. Just about every restaurant can accommodate that request.
4 | Mayo for Greek Yogurt
Also common among the backyard parties and family gatherings is your classic potato or egg salad. These are usually made with tons and tons of mayonnaise to get that creamy consistency. A great substitution for mayo is greek yogurt. You get a lot more added protein which will keep you satiated longer, and if you opt for the nonfat version, you'll be cutting the large amount of fat from the mayo entirely. Another great option for smaller mayo substitutions is avocado. Talk about an added flavor punch and lots of healthy fats!
5 | Indoors for Outdoors
This one is my favorite of the 5 swaps (maybe in addition to the fruit-infused water). Everyone loves being outside in the summer, but a lot of us work inside during the day. If you can, try to take a walk outside during your day, or make it a point to get some fresh air on a break. The warm sunshine will do wonders for your mood, and there's nothing like a nice walk outside to reinvigorate your spirits. The activity will do wonders for your productivity as well. And hey, with the way this spring has been lately (at least in the northeast), we have to take advantage of all the sun (and warmth) we can get!
Readers: chat with me! What healthy swaps are you making right now? Any that are listed here? What would you add to this list? Are you excited for summer? How have you been staying active?