by Shannon Farrell
Summer is meant to be a relaxing time but we constantly find ourselves on the go trying to enjoy every minute in the sun. With these fun in the sun activities usually come some wrong nutritional choices such as ice cream, hot dogs, and well, who can resist a little coconut with their rum? Here are some snack ideas when you’re on the go that have that summer feel, are accessible and have fewer calories.
Mister Softee is not a Beach Bum
Who doesn’t love spending a relaxing afternoon at the beach? But after a few hours tanning or taking a dip in the water, a little snack to cool you off starts lingering in the back of your mind. The ice cream stand on the boardwalk may be tempting but those extra calories are not what a girl wants when the only thing between her and her confidence are two thin pieces of cloth.
Frozen yogurt is by far the closest snack to ice cream but with less calories and fat, it’s definitely the better option. Unlike ice cream, frozen yogurt is mostly carbohydrates, fueling your muscles instead of being stored as fat. The biggest problem people make with yogurt is the portion size. One ounce is 30 calories, so if you eat more than 4 or 5 ounces, the calories will add up.
For something a little less rich but will cool you off just the same, ice pops are a good alternative. All carbohydrates and no fat, this low calorie snack is only 15-25 calories per ounce with 4 grams of sugar per serving.
Another option, fresh fruit smoothies, have the most nutritional value, filling your fruit quota for the day. However, make sure the smoothie you order is made with a water, nonfat milk, or real fruit juice base liquid. Many restaurants use ice cream milk that makes the smoothie sweeter but adds the fat calories you are trying to avoid.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame but I’ll skip the Peanuts
Baseball is considered America’s number one pastime and looking at the food options they sell, I can see a correlation between the latter and America’s obesity epidemic. Healthy options are hard to find but with a little bit of effort you can avoid those Nathan’s hot dogs and cracker jacks.
In light of baseball’s spirit and tradition, fill your peanut craving with trail mix. Choose a mix with whole grain cereal or pretzels and dried fruit such as pineapple or raisins. This way you’ll get a serving of unsaturated fat, carbs, and fruit.
Another option, baked chips, has about half the calories as regular chips. Baked have 130 calories per serving with only 15 of those calories from fat while fried has 230 calories with 130 of those calories from fat.
The healthiest option and a summertime favorite is watermelon. Most definitely found at a little league game, it may be harder to find at a MLB stadium. (A cup of fruit salad may be easier to find.) The fruit has no fat, fulfills your fruit quota, and its large water content creates a satisfying full feeling.
Okay, a little less coconut with my rum
Warm weather activities seem to give us an excuse to consume alcohol; happy hour on the bar’s roof is an absolute must. Instead of grabbing for that pina colada or cocktail that can have as many as 260 calories per 4.5 fl. oz, substitute it for some of these other light drinks just perfect for summer.
Substitute your rum with vodka and finish it off with some low calorie tonic water. For that sweet taste, go with fruity flavors such as watermelon or raspberry.
A summer favorite is, of course, Bud Light. A light beer and only 95 calories, it’s a great choice for happy hour or a barbeque. It’s refreshing, light, and as one of America’s favorites, it’s a staple in most bars.
Summer brings that carefree feeling and with it, temptation feels harder to resist. Take the time to make smart decisions. Your body will be thanking you when it comes time to strut your stuff in a leotard and cat ears.