Summer can be a tough time to have a big appetite. Even after a workout, the heat can turn many of us off from food. The same goes for water. How many bottles can you drink before you get sick of it? Being in Las Vegas, I can’t drink water fast enough, but my appetite is half of what it is in the winter, and hot foods are certainly not appealing.
The number one priority is eating enough food to support your workouts. You want to support your protein goals, keep inflammation down, and recover as quickly as possible. Here are some ideas that will keep you rocking the workouts through the heat.
If your stomach can handle dairy, yogurt is an ideal warm-weather food. [Photo courtesy of Pixabay]
Greek Yogurt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Raisins
I go for Stonyfield Greek Yogurt in the blueberry or strawberry flavor. Add two tablespoons of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter and a small handful of raisins. This snack has roughly 20 grams of protein and is less than 400 calories. It’s easy to eat, and won’t feel heavy. It is also convenient, as prep time is less than a minute.
Wash it down with: Green tea brewed hot, made cold, infused with fruit
Brew 4-6 teabags of green tea in 24-32oz of almost boiling water. Steep five minutes. Let it get cold in the refrigerator. Drinking it cold is refreshing and you will get the antioxidant benefit of green tea.
To infuse the brew with fruit, dice up whatever fruit you like and let it sit in pitcher with the tea in the refrigerator. Strawberries, blueberries, and apples are good choices. Pineapple has bromelain, an anti-inflammatory compound, for extra recovery power.
Milk Kefir and Almond Butter
Think of milk kefir as a liquid yogurt. It is easily digestible as far as milk goes, because the bacteria digests much of the lactose. This snack has roughly 10 grams of protein in the kefir, and 7 in the almond butter. It is easily absorbed, quick to prepare, and works great as a post-workout meal or as a meal substitute when the temperatures are rising and you aren’t in the mood for a large meal.
Wash it down with: Seltzer water with lemon
Lemon won’t detoxify all of the metabolic byproducts of exercise. However, it is refreshing, offers vitamin C, and is a nice change of pace. Buy seltzer in a can and just squeeze lemon into it. It’s a good beverage to have on the go.
Rice and Beans
An underrated dish, rice and beans offers a nice blend of protein and carbohydrate. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, and easy to heat up. You could eat it cold as well. Either way, on a hot day, it’s a lighter meal.
I use a rice cooker and make white rice. Once cooked, blend the rice with as many different beans as possible. The more variety of beans the better, as each type has a different amino acid profile. Some options include pinto, garbanzo, kidney, and black beans. Canned are easiest, but if you are ambitious you can get dried beans and soak them overnight before cooking.
I use taco seasoning, and just whip it all together in a bowl. A little goes a long way; a cup or two of cooked rice and beans will fill you up. You can also swap quinoa for rice to get more useable protein.
Wash it down with: Kombucha with green algae
Kombucha has been discussed in a previous article. It’s a great vehicle for other nutrients, like spirulina and similar algae products. It offers B vitamins and a small amount of protein. B vitamins, B6 in particular, help with protein absorption. Give it a try. It tastes much better than it looks.
A Nutritious Summer
Think outside the box with summertime eating. Keep it light, nutrient dense, and save room for liquids. If you had a heavy meal, you may not be able to drink as much. With the liquid suggestions above, I tried to maximize the amount of benefit you get in terms of nutrients.
It’s hard enough to workout in the summer with traveling and other evening commitments. Let’s not make your meals any more difficult or monotonous. Eat strong and enjoy the summertime activities.
When it’s too hot to eat, sip your nutrition: