So can we all agree that no matter how hard we work for our #summerbod, we definitely end up blowing all that hard work when summer actually arrives? It’s ice cream heaven, tons of yummy drinks and don’t forget all the July 4th madness we have! Needless to say, it’s easy to negate all the hard work we’ve put in over the winter months from all the indulgences we have in the summer.
I am shamelessly addicted to ice cream, and instead of suffering my way through summer I decided this year to compile a list of healthy (ish) alternatives that will allow me (and you 😉 ) to enjoy all the goodness that summertime has to offer without feeling so guilty about it once summer is over.
Protein or Dairy Free Ice Cream
So I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not really a big fan of messing with the delicious flavor of ice cream by getting dairy free, vegan or any other substitute BUT protein packed ice cream offers close to the same great taste with a fraction of the calories. What this means, is since we’re supposed to have protein after a workout, ya girl gets to eat ice cream and still be healthy 😉 Just kidding…kind of…In all seriousness it’s delicious, it’s always just as satisfying and most companies have a decent assortment of flavors. There are also different types of dairy free options, so try several (in my opinion) and find which ones you like best!
Chicken Hot Dogs
Okay I know this doesn’t sound appealing but trust me it’s good. Check your local grocery store or grocery delivery service for different flavors. Some have feta cheese INSIDE (drooling), some have other delicious things, but overall these are healthier than regular hotdogs but still have that amazing burst of flavor. You’ll likely find these with the sausage section. I’d suggest even trying them as breakfast sausage like we have.
There are sooooo many things you can use non-fat greek yogurt as an alternative for. I’ll be honest, I don’t much like the taste of the yogurt just on its own the way I do other types but mixed into things it’s just as tasty as the original. For example, we use it on top of our chili in place of sour cream. I’ve used it as mayo in certain recipes like homemade slaw or deviled eggs. I even used it the other night to help make a cream sauce base for creamed spinach. There are so many summertime favorites that we use things like mayonnaise or sour cream in that you can use non-fat greek yogurt instead.
Now this one is more commonly known and used but what I didn’t put in the title is “as a meat replacement”. For some reason us carnivores (which I absolutely am) think we need meat in every single meal. Science has proven that this just isn’t true. We need PROTEIN in every meal, but there are different ways to achieve this. If you’re a common meat eater, I suggest throwing some beans in the mix and give yourself a break from the meat. Did you know that red meat specifically is more difficult for our body to digest? It takes longer for the acid in your stomach to break down that thick, delicious, juicy…sorry got side tracked, meat. Instead opt to have beans in your salad, or as a large part of your dinner with some veggies on the side. If nothing else, we all like to have flat bellies as much as we can in the summer and this offers your body a little break from working so hard to digest heartier foods.
You can ask my husband, I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. He doesn’t at all so he really can’t relate to the pure bliss I have when summer desserts become popular. Think strawberry shortcake and all those frozen Popsicle’s high in sugar content that taste so good after a long day laying by the pool or on the beach. One thing that makes it a little easier to work off later is using fruit to satisfy that craving. I love all the fresh berries we get in North Carolina in the summer and it’s so delicious to have a bowl of berries, mixed with some of the afore mentioned greek yogurt. Maybe sprinkle some homemade granola on top and it’s totally divine. Either way, choosing a fruity dessert over a chocolate one is automatically going to do better for your caloric intake.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The real trick is just making better choices overall. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Go for a walk or a hike. Go sit in the grass and enjoy the way the sun feels on your skin or the smell of freshly cut grass (take your allergy pills first if you’re anything like me). Then go have some delicious fresh food that is great for your body. Let me know other healthy alternatives you love in the comments.