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Eat light for the summer!

As we move into summer, we tend to make different food choices in hot weather. Lighter foods with more emphasis on fruits and vegetables can help us with healthy eating for weight loss, as well as making us feel better.

Looking good in a swimming suit this summer isn’t about starving yourself, but rather making good choices about the foods you use to fuel your body. Take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables available in stores and farmer’s markets. Better yet, grow your own. Produce is low in calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, and you can generally eat as much of it as you like.

Other good summer food choices include chilled soups such as gazpacho or cucumber dill soup. Cold watermelon is mostly water, so load up on the crisp, sweet goodness. If you’re firing up the grill, add a pile of vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and asparagus. Make salads more exciting by adding fruit, nuts, low-fat cheese, and light, interesting dressings made with ginger, lemon juice, or raspberry vinaigrette.

We need to hydrate in hot weather, but high-calorie drink choices may trip us up. The selection of delicious, harmless seltzers has never been better; add lemon or lime slices and make it special. Make smoothies with frozen yogurt or Greek yogurt. Add fresh berries and rice or almond milk to a protein shake. Matcha tea (ground green tea) is packed with antioxidants and other health benefits and is delicious iced. If you really need that iced coffee from your favorite local coffee shop, skip the sugar and use a milk substitute like almond, oat, or soy. And replace caloric desserts with fruits in season to cap off your light summer meal.

--Dr. Kate Kennedy

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