Eating to Beat the Heat

We’ve been enjoying the heat of summer, 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.

Let’s begin!

Wake up, it’s 7am, (still early for a college kid) and the sun is not yet at its hottest point. It’s the perfect opportunity for a short run or power walk around the neighborhood. After a cool-down, your body is ready to fuel for the day. We begin the day with a medium bowl of Chobani Greek Yogurt (or whatever Greek yogurt is your personal favorite) and our favorite granola topped with some fresh summer fruit. The combination of all three is a fantastic, satisfying way to start the day.

After a morning of either working, we decide to take our lunch break outside to enjoy all that the gorgeous weather summer has to offer. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the whole wheat pita chips we’ve packed in our lunch box are calling our name. The savory goodness of the chips can be combined with creamy sundried tomato hummus; in addition we’ve packed a few carrot sticks for a nice textural variety. This meal is not only fulfilling, but is also loaded with stars; the hummus alone earns two!

Hummus / Darya Pino / CC BY 2.0

As our day continues, we find ourselves wanting something sweet and light. We decide that juice is the perfect answer to our cravings. A home-made juice is a quick yet delicious snack that is portable for your busy day on the run. We decide to create an apple, beet and ginger root concoction. The cool mixture of fruits and vegetables creates a calming sensation while the ginger adds a spice to the summer afternoon. The combination is not something you may be use to, but the flavorful drink is full of stars and has no added preservatives! (Check –out this website from Katie’s hometown favorite juice hub—the Smoothie Operator, for further drink ideas!!)

As the sun begins to sink in the sky, it is time to think about dinner. By this time of day, we are hungry for something more substantial. The grill is our favorite summer accessory when it comes to cooking. We decide on fresh salmon prepared on the grill then piled atop a mixture of romaine lettuce. (If you have lettuce from the garden—that would be even better!) We drizzle our favorite vinaigrette, Brianna’s Homestyle Strawberry, to top off the salad. For an added bonus, you can also add fresh strawberries for flavor. Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, so it’s a great choice for a heart-healthy lifestyle.

To top off the evening, we unwind with good friends and a classic blend of peaches and low-fat cottage cheese. And for the best before-bed snack, we discover some fresh raspberries at the back of fridge.

As we reflect on our day of five small meals, we realized it was much more simple and satisfying. It contained a plethora of Guiding Stars and with the summer heat; it was just what our bodies needed. The fresh fruit and vegetables allowed us to incorporate all that summer has to offer. Until next time, enjoy the sun and what’s left of the summer!

Jaclyn Collins is an energetic, active, and very busy student at the University of North Dakota. She is studying Dietetics and is passionate about nutrition. She believes balance and moderation are the keys to success in many areas of life, including one’s diet. Jaclyn is the president of the Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics and is an activist in promoting the education of a healthy diet and lifestyle during one’s college years. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, running outside, watching the stars, and drinking a good cup of coffee.

Katie Bachmeier is a fun-loving and creative student studying at the University of North Dakota. Bachmeier’s enthusiasm for reading and writing is pursued as she is majoring in English and communications. She is currently a staff writer for the student led paper, reporting on issues and events applicable to college students. Fitness and nutrition has always been an essential part of her life. Her main focus on the related topic is promoting a healthy and positive body image in today’s ever growing media dominated world. When she is not writing papers or reading novels, Bachmeier could be found training for her first half-marathon, playing guitar, and attempting to find the world’s best piece of cheese cake.