Summer is a time for rejunvenation for many people, being outdoors, enjoying the sun, eating lighter and being more active.
Cooking for yourself is a small time commitment that has a huge pay off, but even if you don’t know how to cook — or just want to eat better with no-cook options this summer — there’s no need to turn on your oven or stove top!
Here’s the secret, get into a veggie groove! It’s easier than you think and you can choose from many simple techniques — from blending to chopping, juicing, slicing and dicing. In minutes, you can make meals that are naturally low in calories and won’t heat up the kitchen or take time away from fun in the sun.
Low-cal Yet Filling Breakfast: Juicing or Smoothies
Do you know that in under 10 minutes you can pack in a boat-load of detox nutrients that will also help you slim down? Juicing is the ticket — and yes, it really only takes 10 minutes, I timed myself!
If you want to make it even more convenient, buy pre-washed and/or pre-sliced veggies. Speed clean-up by placing your juicing parts in the dishwasher on the “light load” cycle or “eco cycle” so they’re ready for the next day. For the base of your juice, use several cups of low-calorie green superfoods like kale, broccoli, spinach, or watercress along with half of an apple (you’ll have a sweeter tasting juice that is still low in calories without a strong vegetal taste).
Or for vegetable lovers who want something fresh and new, add a small handful of herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or basil, along with tangy lemon and lime. Citrus works as a natural appetite suppressant and may even lessen fat cell accumulation.
If you have a stronger appetite in the morning, try a high-fiber smoothie instead — made with kefir or whey protein powder which will fill you up and give you several servings of veggies with just the push of a blender button.
Studies show that whey protein (compared to other protein sources) keeps you satiated longer. And if you’re stuck in a smoothie rut, check out my superfood smoothie guide for new and interesting flavor combos!
Lunch: Lighten Up With Salsas
Salsa might sound like more of a snack, but like smoothies and juicing, you can get a whole lotta goodness into your chip dip.
When it comes to nutrition, there’s definitely a right way to make your salsa. Pick more nutrient-dense foods to toss with spices, herbs, citrus, and a pinch of salt. Pick two or three raw superfoods from this list and thinly slice or chop them into your salsas: kale, spinach, broccoli, watercress, red bell pepper, avocado, beans, and hot chilies.
Everyone loves guacamole and it just happens to be good for you too, with a mega-dose of fiber (super slimmer because it expands in your gut and keeps you fuller, longer), folate (for a calm, strong nervous system), copper (for collagen production so skin can snap back after you lose weight) and pantothenic acid (for energy metabolism).
Now that you’ve know about super salsa, don’t dip in with just any old chip — choose from one of these delicious and more nutritious dippers to make the meal complete: whole wheat or whole grain carb balance tortillas (super high fiber), quinoa crackers (high in mineral content), crisp bread like Ryvita (low in calories, low in carbs), and finally collard or kale leaves (great to wrap up salsa like a mini burrito).
Fresh Fast Dinner Meals For Weight Loss
Salads are ideal summer time food and you can mix and match from a wide variety of produce available. If it’s available, hit your local outdoor market first and then base your salad menu on your farmer’s market booty.
There are a million ways to spin a salad, but learn to get more creative with the toppings to add variety and excitement! Try mixing miso paste, lemon and olive oil together for a tasty miso dressing, or blend yogurt or kefir with olive oil and farmer market herbs for a home-made ranch dressing, or toss spicy pickles with your salad like Pepperoncini, kimchee, or pickled jalapeno.
Spicy chilies can help you to burn calories more effectively, and health experts say you can burn an extra 50 calories/day eating them. Also top your salad with a healthy protein source, such as nuts, seeds, tofu, nitrate-free lunch meat, or store-bought rotisserie chicken.