With summer just around the corner, it’s hard not to feel the urge to binge on some of our favorite treats in bouts of celebratory bliss.
But although summer might be fun and carefree, the season also preys on our laid-back attitudes by challenging our dedication to healthy diets with daringly delicious distractions.
The temptations are almost everywhere, from chips and desserts at barbeques to gooey S’mores at late-night beach parties.
In other words, summer is capable of eliminating any signs of your beach body in just a matter of months.
So when it comes to staying focused, what are some healthy alternatives to classic summer snacks?
Take a look at the food pyramid and you’ll find that fruits are your best friends when it comes to providing vitamins, fiber and the tools to staying fit.
Many fruits are in season during the summer months. And with warmer weather on the way, fruits carry naturally high amounts of water to quench that ever-growing thirst.
As snacks, fruits are wonderful at satiating appetites and impressing partygoers with their versatility and taste.
The numerous options will fit practically anybody’s tastes. If you’re heading to a party, try cutting a handful of fruits into bite-sized pieces to create a colorful platter of irresistible morsels. Popular choices often include watermelon and pineapple.
Feeling a bit more creative than that? Construct fruit kebabs. Fruit kebabs are both exciting to make and convenient for wandering guests. You can combine whatever fruits you like in whatever ways you like.
Fruit kebabs are especially fun if you have a theme to follow or want to cut pieces into specific shapes.
But sometimes plain fruit just doesn’t cut it. Is there a similarly healthy equivalent to munching on the real thing?
The answer is yes: It’s time to hit up your blender and start cranking out smoothies.
Smoothies are some of the healthiest snacks you can make post-workout. Not only are they delicious and filling, but they are also easy to make.
Berries are at their ripest in the summer and will provide you with special antioxidants and fibers known to reduce the risk of common illnesses like cancers.
When creating smoothies, stick to nonfat milk and generally sweeter fruits, so you won’t feel the need to add any excess sugar to your concoctions.
Although smoothies are classic fruity drinks, what about lemonade? Where does the nostalgic drink rank in terms of healthiness?
Most of us can recall a time in our lives when selling lemonade was an indicator of our abilities to run a major business. But in reality, lemonade isn’t exactly the way to go if you’re looking to stay healthy for the summer.
If it’s just one of those can’t-do-withouts, try changing it up by substituting sugar with another sweetener like honey. The drink will be a variation on what you’re used to, but will still taste delicious.
And when the day nears its end, the fight against unhealthy snacks continues, and the sweet tooth comes out to play.
You don’t have to compromise your health to sneak a bite of chocolatey heaven. Fruit can do wonders to desserts and still keep them tasting as sweet and decadent as ever.
If you’re in the mood for ice cream, try mixing some fruit directly into your bowl. You can even freeze the fruit ahead of time to keep the temperature consistent throughout.
Chocolate lovers, on the other hand, can take the dipped-fruit route. As long as you don’t overdo the chocolate layers and opt for dark chocolate whenever possible, these midnight snacks will be relatively healthy.
Prefer popsicles? Try making your own frozen fruit sticks by pouring 100 percent fruit juice into ice cube trays and placing them in the freezer with toothpicks or clean popsicle sticks in the centers of the molds.
Summer is almost here, but it doesn’t really matter how you choose to incorporate fruits into your daily eating schedules. As long as you make an effort to continue eating healthily, you’ll feel better about yourself and be able to enjoy your summer guilt-free.
Hannah Muniz is sophomore majoring in East Asian language and cultures and creative writing. Her column, “Fit ‘n Fab,” ran Mondays.