The weather is finally warming up, the school year is ending, and summer fun is calling. The post-bariatric-surgery lifestyle is all about finding a healthier way to live life–healthy alternatives to your favorite summer fare, new ways to add movement throughout your day, and developing new skills and habits to keep you healthy and happy. This issue is packed full of so many ideas that you won’t be tempted to let your healthy habits take a summer break.
Summer Hydration. Now that the heat’s on, it is especially important to stay properly hydrated. Many traditional summertime drinks are filled with added sugars and calories.
Here are some simple sugar-free ways to enjoy your favorite drinks:
- Start your summer morning in high gear with an iced coffee. Brew a pot of strong coffee and refrigerate—it will stay fresh for a few days in the refrigerator. Add a splash of sugar-free flavored syrup and fat-free half & half or sugar-free flavored creamer. Then pour over ice or blend to icy goodness. Health bonus: Caffeinated coffee may lower your risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer.
- A tall glass of iced tea on a hot day is refreshing. Drink it straight or add fresh lemon, lime or orange slices, a squirt of peach nectar, Crystal Light flavorings, or fresh fruit to blend or infuse. Health bonus: Tea is rich in antioxidants and drinking it regularly may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, promote healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones.
- Infuse fresh flavors into your water by adding fresh fruit (berries, melon, citrus, apples, pears, grapes, cherries, or tropical fruits), vegetables (cucumber, celery, fennel or carrots), herbs (rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, cilantro, or parsley) or spices (cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cloves, or vanilla bean). Simply soak the fruit, vegetable, spice or herb in a glass or pitcher of cold water for 3-4 hours. Remove the ingredient and enjoy. The infused water will stay fresh for up to 3 days if refrigerated.
- Fruit smoothies are a delicious way to sneak some protein into your day. Start with skim milk, add Greek yogurt or protein powder and fresh or frozen fruits. You may want to boost your smoothie with fresh dark green leafy greens. Blend and enjoy.