What a great time of the year! Exams are coming to an end and summer is fast approaching. Whatever your plans are, whether it’s to stay and enjoy Ottawa (Parliament Hill Yoga, anyone?) or to go back home to visit family and friends, we wish you well. We’re here to offer you some quick and simple tips on how to enjoy summer to the fullest while still keeping nutrition in mind. Let’s jump into it!

When the hot weather hits, it can be tempting to reach for frozen desserts such as ice cream and popsicles to stay cool. Although these frozen desserts can be refreshing, they are often high in calories and added sugar. For a healthier alternative, put your favorite fruits such as grapes and berries into the freezer. Once frozen, fruit makes a tasty and refreshing treat to snack on! If you’re looking for ice cream alternative, homemade banana “ice cream” cannot be beat. Simply puree frozen bananas in a food processor until a soft serve texture is achieved. Read more about making your own banana ice cream in The Chocolate Katie Healthy Dessert Blog in the following link: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2016/08/22/banana-ice-cream-healthy/

It’s important to drink enough fluid to stay hydrated, especially during the summer months. The hot and humid weather during the summer can actually increase our fluid requirements because we sweat more and therefore lose more water.

Try these tips and tricks to keep hydrated during the summer:

  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk or on hand when you are at work. Having the visual cue of the water bottle next to you can help remind you to drink.
  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up each morning or before you go to bed.
  • Make sure you have a drink with each meal and snack.
  • Choose beverages such as water, milk, or soy beverage more often than juice or pop.

If you find that you’re still having difficulty drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated, try getting creative! Add your favorite fresh fruits and herbs to your water for a burst of flavor. Try this great tasting recipe below:

Raspberry Mint Water Recipe1

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups whole fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup whole fresh mint leaves

Wash the raspberries and mint and add them into a jug along with the water. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

Happy barbecue season! We’re all for celebrating summer with family and friends with a good old-fashioned barbecue. Keep in mind these tips and tricks for a healthier grilling season.2

  • Take the opportunity to load up on delicious grilled vegetables! Mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and corn on the cob are all excellent when grilled on the barbecue.
  • Store-bought barbecue sauces are often high in sodium. Instead, make your own marinade and include plenty of herbs and spices to add flavor without the salt. Try out the following healthy marinade recipe from the Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/marinated-chicken-breasts-recipe-1951801
  • Choose lean protein cuts such as turkey or chicken rather than hot dogs or hamburgers for a lower fat, lower sodium option. Try grilling salmon for a boost of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious plant-based protein option, give tofu a try. Buy extra firm tofu and soak it in your favorite marinade overnight to allow it to soak up the flavor. Grill the tofu until browned on each side.
  • High temperatures from grilling can react with substances in animal proteins to form carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines.3 To reduce the formation of these compounds, avoid direct exposure of meat to an open flame or hot metal surface and avoid prolonged cooking times, especially at high temperatures. Continuously turning the meat over on a high heat source can also reduce HCA formation. Remove charred portions of meat once you are done grilling.
  • Keep food safety in mind. Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in uncovered, shallow containers. When the food is at refrigeration temperature, cover. Throw out any cooked food that has been left at room temperature for more than two hours.4

Carleton Dining Services wishes you a happy and healthy summer. Stay tuned for more blogs in the new school year!

  1. Strawberry Cucumber Water https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/strawberry-cucumber-water-3362509
  2. 10 Healthy Barbecue Tips http://amillerrd.ca/10-healthy-barbecue-tips/
  3. Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk (2017) https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet
  4. What can I do to keep my food safe? (2013) https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Food-Safety/Keep-my-food-safe.aspx

Monday, April 23, 2018 in , ,
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