Summertime has finally arrived, even in North Dakota! With temperatures hitting the 90s, the last thing most of us want to feel is weighed down by the heat and our meal choices. We find that the traditional three-meal-a-day outlook no longer applies, as the last thing we are craving on a sweltering hot day is a heavy meal. Jaclyn and I have found that breaking up meal times to five smaller meals a day, rather than the heavier three, is not only a proven healthier choice, but more satisfying in the summer weather. Although, having five smaller meals seems a less daunting task when compared to cooking three larger meals, it is important to still incorporate the needed macro-nutrients in one’s diet. We’ve decided to take a typical day in our own lives to create a summer meal plan that you can incorporate in your own lifestyle.
It is April and North Dakota’s current temperature: 32 degrees F; snow still covers the ground. This seems like a picturesque scene perfect for curling up to a fire with a cup of hot cocoa… Wrong. We want spring and we want it NOW. We are so ready to transition to eating light meals with fresh vegetables and fruits that are not only good for you but finally in season.
As students at the University of North Dakota, we eat daily with our friends. They all have very different lifestyles and personalities, but when we sit down at our dining center we see how dramatic the differences really are.
First there is Gray. He’s a classic sophomore guy: easy to get along with and loves to run (he averages eight miles a day). Gray’s plate is endless. Throughout the meal he leaves the table to retrieve additional food. He has a small frame, so despite ingesting over half of what the dining center has to offer, we wonder where the food goes. It’s most likely fuel for his body’s active lifestyle. Gray ends his meal with a banana and multiple, heaping, tablespoons of peanut butter.