Kittle: Healthy summer nutrition options

It's within our control to enjoy eating summer food favourites while still making some healthy eating choices.

Summer celebrations mean letting go of complete control of what you’re eating with friends and family, in exchange for some fun and fellowship.

So don’t go hungry at the next BBQ, instead switch to healthier options.

Here are some swaps, courtesy of, to help keep your caloric intake at a summer get-together under control.

Usually served in colorful saucers alongside crunchy treats like apples, chips, carrots, red bell peppers, or celery, dips add a tasty flare to snacks but may be a big question mark in your daily calorie log.


You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for a healthier dip. The key to dips with fewer calories is swapping ingredients.

Instead of oil and mayo-based dips, go for those that use fat-free Greek yogurt.

Many dips have high fructose corn syrup or sugar in them, try and find those with this ingredient as far down on the list as possible, or not at all.

For dips for fruit, like caramel, loosen it with skim milk so it’s not as thick. The same can be done for cheese. For guacamole, add water and more salsa.

Chicken is a leaner protein, but you can save some calories and fat by choosing boneless, skinless chicken breasts over dark meat with the skin still on.

Add grilled vegetables like bell pepper and tomato with a little romaine lettuce and you’ve got some filling-fiber with that protein to keep you satisfied.

The trick to saving calories with chicken chunks is keeping the portion to the size of a deck of cards, or about 3 oz.

Instead of grabbing chips, crash the veggie tray and pair it with fresh fruit or salsa. If you go for veggies and fruit, you get more bang for your caloric buck, specifically a large peach, apple, pear and a few strawberries for good measure.

If homemade potato

salad is your weakness, go for a few spoonfuls, but round out your plate with greens and other sides, if available. Veggies like jicama, celery, or broccoli, as well as nuts like slivered almonds are a great crunchy addition.

A little grilled corn, a drizzle of barbecue sauce, and cheese finish off a great BBQ salad.


Instead of beef burgers go for chicken burgers. If you’re into pork, go for boneless pork loin instead of spare ribs .

Another way to cut down on the fat and calories in staple BBQ meats is making meat and veggie kabobs instead of serving full cuts of meat to keep portions in check.

Healthy eating should be a lifestyle, not a diet. I recommend reading Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet. I follow a clean eating diet along with daily exercise; it keeps my weight under control and gives me all day energy!

I eat five to six small meals throughout the day to keep my blood sugar levels stable and prevent me from getting cranky. Smaller meals for energy should include a balance

of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

For each meal below, choose one protein and one complex carbohydrate.


1 cup no fat Greek yogurt

Frozen blueberries
baked pears
chopped apple
cucumber slices
rolled oats or muesli

in a fruit smoothie

2 TB nut butter
¼ cup low-sodium hummus
Mashed no-salt-added beans or homemade bean dip

2 scrambled egg whites

Whole-wheat bagel
whole-wheat English muffin
whole-wheat pita
whole-wheat toast
sliced carrots
sliced red bell pepper

broccoli spears

¼ cup chopped, unsalted walnuts

Oatmeal plus frozen blueberries

1 boiled egg

1 low-fat cheese stick

Fruit (grapes, orange, cantelope, etc.)

veggie sticks (celery, carrots, red bell pepper, etc.)

1 cup cottage cheese

Fruit slices

¼ cup roasted, unsalted almonds

Fresh chopped apple

dried cranberries

7 oz. tuna packed in water

1 slice whole-wheat toast or English muffin w/ tomato slice

1 cup low-fat milk

Plain shredded wheat

Bobbi Kittle is a senior’s fitness specialist at Pursuit Fitness in Kelowna.


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