The weather is heating up and the last thing you want to do is turn on your oven. You may be tempted to turn to unhealthy fast food options, but we’ve got 6 health meal ideas for hot summer days and nights!
Watermelon and juicy fruits
Watermelon is 90% water and is an excellent way to stay hydrated and keep cool. You can also keep other juicy fruits like peaches, grapefruits, oranges, dragon fruit and grapes in the refrigerator right before you’re going to eat them for a refreshing treat. I had some frozen dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds the other day and they were not only great for my health, but DELICIOUS!
It may seem a little counterproductive, but eating spices will actually keep you cool. Fresh ginger, red chili pepper, cayenne pepper, wasabi and black pepper all make you sweat which cools you off. It may sound strange but if you think about it, people who live in the hottest countries usually eat the hottest spices. That has to mean something!
Leafy green vegetables and herbs
Lettuce, spinach and arugula have a high water content and are easy to digest. These blood thinners will also help your body release heat and keep you cool. If you’re not too keen on vegetables, herbs like mint and basil will also do the trick. But the mint in your mojito does not count! One because you’re probably not eating it and two because makes you dehydrated and warms your blood. Two things that are a no-go in the summertime.
Smoothies and shakes
I know my appetite is a lot smaller when it’s hot and I don’t want to eat heavy foods, but we all have to make sure we still get our daily dose of vitamins. Smoothies and Live Rite shakes are great meal replacements and with a few extra ingredients (peanut butter, fresh fruit) can keep you full until your next meal while keeping you cool.
Who said you can only eat soup in the winter? Sure there are plenty of soups to warm you up on a snowy day, but there are just as many to keep you cool. Some of my favorites are:
- Tomato Gazpacho
- Pureed carrot and ginger (double bonus!)
- Pea and mint soup (double bonus!)
- Melon soup
- Strawberry orange soup
- Sparkling Pineapple Soup (really you can make any fruit soup sparkling, just as sparkling wine)
Salads and Wraps
Two of my favorite things to eat and an easy, no-heat way to eat a colorful meal full of vitamins. Get creative with your toppings and trade in your salad dressing for lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and flaxseed oil. I tried it last week and it was fantastic. Plus flaxseed oil is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber and has been said to help fight everything from heart disease and breast cancer to strokes and diabetes. If a salad isn’t enough to fill you up, take those same ingredients and add it to a whole wheat, spinach or sun-dried tomato wrap. Just limit the amount of meat you use as it’s hard for our bodies to digest when it’s very hot outside. Change up a grilled chicken salad/wrap with tuna, salmon, shrimp or veggie patties.
There are plenty of great recipes and we’ll be dishing them up on our Tumblr!