Summer is a great time of the year. You wait all year for it (especially if you live in a place like Boston where the winter is so tough!)… Everyone gets excited.
There’s no doubt that eating gluten-free in the summer can be more challenging; that’s why we recently put together a list of ten tips to keep you happy and healthy during the summer.
If you follow these tips, and plan ahead for what the open-ended summer days may bring, you’ll be perfectly fine.
So, let’s get back to that excitement…
To go along with the outdoorsy activities and excitement of the summer, let’s take a look at some nutritious ways to spice up your gluten-free diet this summer…
Below are six things you can do to improve your health, increase your energy, and just feel better while staying true to your gluten-free diet:
- Consider the Smoothie. Many people who must follow a gluten-free diet overlook the simple, nutritious, and immensely satisfying smoothie. You can use yogurt (dairy-free if need be), bananas, kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, kale, and any other combination of super foods, fruits, and veggies to whiz up a delicious and nutrient-dense snack or meal substitute. One of the fun parts about making smoothies is you don’t need to follow a recipe. You can; it may help you, but trying out different combinations of foods is the norm, and you can very easily find different combos that work for you.
- Clean the Pantry. While you might wonder how this revives the diet for the summer, it is actually a great way to figure out what you have, how you want to use specific things in your diet, and certain recipes or foods you’ve been ignoring. It is a good way of remembering things you haven’t eaten recently and giving you fresh ideas. If you were recently diagnosed or just started following a gluten-free diet, it’s even a good way to get rid of those final sources of hidden gluten that might have been bringing you down. Spend a few hours doing a label check on soups, seasonings, tea, dressing, and even nuts. For the recently diagnosed, this is a crucial step in your label reading education.
- Master Muffins. Not a baker? Nonsense. This is the time of year to renew yourself and invest in a gluten-free cookbook. Brainstorm what you miss from your diet of the past, and try to make them. For instance, buy a book chock-full of muffin recipes if that’s what you miss. Find recipes that help supplement fiber, calcium, and / or protein into your diet, and see how well you can make them. Try baking in the comfort of your own home and see how you do. You may surprise yourself. (And if you are a baker, why not try a few alternative recipes to what you’ve been making recently?)
- Try Kale Chips. With the arrival of summer weather, you may be worried about the few extra pounds that you put on this winter, or you may just need a new nutritious snack to add to your rotation. There are all types of new brands coming out with this trendy, green-vegetable-turned-snack chip, and it’s a great replacement for other packaged food snacks.
- Plant an Herb and Vegetable Garden. One of the best ways to spruce up the diet, avoid artificial flavors (which can contain gluten), and improve your health is to add herbs to your foods. When you grow something rather than buy it, it’s always much fresher and contains even more nutrients because it goes through less travel and processing. You can start seeds now and have a harvest of healthy herbs or vegetables in just a few weeks.
- Think Wilted. One of the nicest ways to get a lot of nutrient-dense greens is to enjoy them as a “wilted” salad. There are great options such as wilted spinach salad served with hard boiled eggs and avocado, but you can find many other recipes that include Romaine, chard, and more. These make for filling, nutrient-packed meals that will keep you healthy and energetic.
It’s easy to get bored with your diet. It happens to all of us. Especially when you’re on a healthy gluten-free diet, it’s much easier to eat a lot of the same things over and over. There’s always a risk in deviating from what you eat on a regular basis.
But, if you take some of the steps outlined above, you’ll freshen up your diet with new and exciting nutritious ways to keep you fulfilled all summer!