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Eating During the Dog Days of Summer

My area of the country just got through a week long heat wave of temps hovering around 100 degrees with heat indexes in the 110′s and it sounds like we’re in for another one later this week.  I’m not sure about you, but when the weather gets this hot my appetite goes on vacation.   This might be viewed as a good thing when watching one’s weight, but I find that a lack of eating during hot weather actually makes me feel worse.  So, what’s the answer when the thought of food is less than appealing??

This summer I’ve found taking a different approach to my diet during these heat waves has helped me maintain my energy level and kept me from feeling like a wet rag.  While I pay attention to drinking more during the heat, sometimes it’s hard to stay hydrated when the weather is so extreme.  This is where some tweaking to my diet has helped.  Fruits and vegetables seem to help me stay hydrated since they contain more water than many other foods.  Plus, they are easily eaten chilled (think salads), which is much more tolerable in the heat.

I find that eating smaller portions more frequently also helps me feel better during the summer.  Breakfast might be a glass of 100% fruit juice, low-fat cereal with fresh blueberries and fat-free milk.  A mid-morning snack is usually a piece of fruit.  Lunch and dinner are perfect for salads of any kind (fruit, vegetable or pasta) and wraps (veggie or turkey is my usual choice).  I try to avoid heavier foods as a general rule, but especially in the hot weather since they make me feel sluggish and tend to upset my stomach.

If you’re like me and find it difficult to eat during summer months, give my ideas a try.  You can also do things like freeze melon balls or grapes for an especially refreshing snack.  I’m including a link to a recent Insider’s Viewpoint that has some terrific ideas for salads and wraps.  Plus, be sure to check out our top 10 ways to enjoy salads for more ideas.  I think you’ll be surprised to find out how just a little change to your diet can have a big impact on how you weather these dog days of summer!

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