1. Hit up the Farmer's Market- Loading up on the summer's best and freshest produce, including leafy greens, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, berries and stone fruits will make it easier to eat more veggies and fruits localharvest.org
2. Make salad your main course a few times a week. Take advantage of farm-fresh lettuce and the bounty of seasonal produce to concoct creative salad bowls. For a quintessential summer meal, top your greens with sweet corn, diced tomato, avocado, and crumbled feta.
3. Lay out a healthy, no-cook summer spread. If it's too hot to cook, throw together a picnic-style meal of sliced raw veggies (carrots, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, etc.) with hummus, sliced whole-grain bread or crackers, cheeses, olives, fruit, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and other tasty nibbles.
4. Get grilling. It's a terrific way to infuse flavor into lean proteins like skinless chicken breasts and thighs, turkey burgers, fish, shrimp, and pork tenderloin, especially if you start with a tasty spice rub or marinade. If you cook extra, you'll have ready-to-eat proteins to add to leafy green or grain-based salads for simple meals later in the week.
5. And don't forget the grilled veggies. Whenever you fire up the grill, toss on some sliced zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, bell peppers, and/or mushrooms. Chop them up and toss with pasta or cooked whole grains like brown rice, farro, and quinoa for a simple meal. Or, layer grilled vegetables on whole-grain bread spread with goat cheese or hummus for a tasty vegetarian sandwich.
6. Cool down with fruit smoothies. Blend your favorite summer fruits - and veggies like carrots, spinach, and beets - with yogurt and your milk of a choice and protein powder for a hydrating and filling breakfast or snack. The fruit will add plenty of sweetness, so you can skip added sugars like maple syrup and honey. Make extra and pour into ice pop molds or small paper cups with popsicle sticks for a fun frozen dessert.
7. Go skinny-dipping. Whip up a tasty new dip each week to enjoy with all of the deliciously dunkable summer produce. Try Greek yogurt with mixed fresh herbs, artichoke pesto , or any number of unique hummus variations, including roasted red pepper, beet, edamame, and carrot-based blends.
8.Start spiralizing. You can get a vegetable spiral slicer to make low-cal veggie pastas and salads out of all of the inexpensive summer bumper crops like zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, carrots, and even beets.
9. Plant something ... anything! Starting a simple garden in pots or other containers is actually really easy. Go to the nearest hardware store and pick up a large planter, a bag of potting soil, and a small potted plant, like any fresh herb or one of the vegetables listed here. Consider starting with basil or a cherry tomato varietal; they're both easy to grow and versatile in the kitchen.
10. Go on a pick-your-own adventure! Make a date with family or friends to harvest summer produce at a local orchard or farm (visit pickyourown.org to find a site near you). If you're willing to put in the labor, you can buy buckets of berries, stone fruit, and other seasonal items at a great price.
11. Go for a daily walk. Now that the days are longer, it's easier to squeeze in a short walk at the start or end of your day. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days of the week (but if you can only commit to 15 or 20, that's still well worth the effort). When things start to heat up, schedule an early morning or late evening walk when temps are cooler.
12. Hit the trail. For a change of scenery, seek out some local walking and hiking trails in your area using sites like alltrails.com and traillink.com. Pack a healthy lunch or snacks and make a day of it!
13.Take a hiatus from TV. With all the network hit shows on summer break, it's the perfect time to reduce your screen time. Cut down on evening television viewing and spend that time outdoors walking, biking, doing yardwork, or playing with the kids or grandkids.
Sakimura, J., 18 Ways to Make This Your Healthiest Summer. 26 May 2015. EverydayHealth,com Retrieved from: http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/johannah-sakimura-nutrition-sleuth/ways-to-make-this-your-healthiest-summer-ever/