The thing that I love about summer and clean eating is that there is an abundance of local, fresh food that is easy to come by and cheaper than the out-of-season counterparts!
But that said, when you add a layer of travel and being out of your kitchen, or a layer of friends and family eating differently than you, or if you can’t say no to hamburgers and chips, or ice cream and always land at barbeques or cute coastal ice cream parlors, it can make it hard to eat how you intend to in the summer.
Here are a few scenarios and tricks (some of the tricks work in various scenarios)
A family camping trip
- Buy cold-pressed green juice or smoothies for each morning and keep in the cooler.
- Make dips, salad dressing, grains, and beans at home and store in a cooler for your trip. You can make all those things on your camping stove, but make it easier for yourself.
- Bring fruit and plan on buying fruit when you are away.
- Plan your meals before you leave. You may not stick to the plan, but at least you know you are covered!
- Pack homemade snacks.
A family reunion
- Have a sense of what you do and don’t eat. Know the answer for you and for your kids if it is different. Talk about that in a really relaxed way with your kids before you go. For example, I always tell my daughter that not everyone is as sensitive about her gluten allergy as we are at home, so don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you need. I also might tell them that I am OK with them having sugar with their cousins, but pay attention to their body, and do what they want vs. what everyone else is doing. For me the awareness is more important in that scenario than saying no to sugar.
- Happily volunteer to cook. Instead of saying no to everything, contribute something you eat and know everyone else will love too.
- Be clear about what and when your kids need to eat to the adults. You can tell your mom that you would love just one s’more, or that you don’t love giving candy as rewards. She may listen and she may not, but you have told her….
- Don’t judge. Know you are doing what is right for you and your family, and the best way to teach both children and adults is by example!
A trip to a new city
- Spend an hour and Google restaurants. Create a note on your phone so you know some places at a glance that are healthy, yummy, and will serve you gluten-free or vegetarian choices.
- Know where the closest grocery store is. Restaurants can add up and don’t always leave you feeling fabulous. Knowing where you can find fresh fruit and carrot sticks with hummus is huge!
- Bring a water bottle.
- Offer to bring veggies. You can skewer mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, and onion. You can even bring tofu.
- If the grill seems filled, offer to bring a bean salad or some guacamole and salsa.
- Decide how much alcohol you want to drink in advance. Sometimes too much wine makes us eat more than we want. When you do drink, make sure to alternate with water.
- If you end up at too many grill moments and your kids are not eating well, know that you can say no to the whole event or to what they eat! Hamburgers do not always need a bun. Salad can be enjoyed. Watermelon is a great dessert. Get them excited about the good stuff too! Also, maybe you need to host one! Yours will be plant-centered and sugar free…
Hope these help! And I do hope you are enjoying your summer!
Bean Salad Recipe
3 cups White Beans
1 Cucumber diced
1 Yellow Pepper diced
1 Tomato diced
1 Avocado diced
1 handful chopped Mint
3 tablespoons Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
Soak beans overnight.
Cook beans in water until cooked but firm.
Let beans cool.
Mix everthing in a big bowl.
Cooking a bunch of beans on a Sunday (or free day) is a great thing to have in the fridge to throw together fresh salads all week.
This salad is super flexible…
- any fresh herb would work — cilantro or basil would be great.
- you can also vary the type of beans and use black beans, French lentils or garbanzo beans.
- any sturdy vegetables would work, just make sure to use a variety of colors.