Healthy Living: Lighter meals for hot summer days

Health

When the temperatures approach and pass 90, a hot, heavy meal doesn’t sound refreshing.

Summer days and nights call for lighter meals which can be better for your waistline, too.

Michele Reber, owner of Healthy You Cafe in Enola, changes her menus at the restaurant and at home based on the temperature.

Reber shared a few tips for our viewers.

In the summer, you don’t need to keep your body warm by eating warmer, heartier food. Keep your internal temperature lower by keeping hydrated — drink lots of water. Veggies and fruit are plentiful in the summer — less expensive and eye appealing. They also help with hydration as thye are higher in water and easy to digest.

Take a night to eat a non-meat meal. With all the great vegetables and fruits available for the summer, take a night to go “veggie.” Take veggies and season them with herbs and throw them on the grill. If you want protein, add something light like shrimp or chicken and add a side of fresh fruit or salad.

Instead of noodles, make zoodles! Take a typical dish that has pasta and replace with zoodles. They are easy to make and add more nutrition. They are also gluten-free, have less carbohydrates and are delicious.

Keep your grill going. Grilling meat such as chicken, shrimp, pork and lean beef (such as sirloin steak) is a great way to keep a dish healthy and low in fat. Add some veggies on the grill or kabob your meat with veggies to make a complete meal.

Finally, add a salad to every meal. This is a great way to add nutrition to your dinner. Always eat your salad first — make sure you are adding lots of veggies in the salad — cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots, etc. This is what provides the nutrition and fills you up before you eat your main meal.

As for dressing, keep away from the creamy dressings — they just add calories and fat!

– Michele Reber, Owner of Healthy You Cafe

Reber also tries to fill her plate with produce from local CSA’s and farmer’s markets.

If it’s too hot, stay out of the kitchen completely.

Healthy You Cafe offers “Good-to-go” dining, a meal-prep program where you order and pick up breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert for you or the entire family.

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