Celebrate Summer!

Memorial Day marks the beginning of all things summer. Long daylight hours, green trees, blooming shrubs, herb garden, fresh tomatoes, pool parties, picnics and movies/concerts in the park. All of these offer more opportunities to share the bounty of summer produce with friends and family.

You don’t have to give up traditional items at summer events just because you are more mindful of your personal health and nutrition. Here are some alternatives you can try.

Fizzy Drinks: Ditch the soda for a sparkling water infused with berries or cucumber and mint. You can even purchase a similar beverage, Izze Fusions. It comes in three flavors (Lemon Lime, Strawberry Melon and Orange Mango) and has only 60 calories in a 12 oz. can. It is sweetened with sugar (14 gm) and stevia.

Pizza Swap: The new pizza box in your freezer for a healthier version is from Caulipower. It is cauliflower crust pizza (Three Cheese, Margherita or Veggie). Any of these varieties has a lot less fat, salt and sugar. You can even buy a plain and add your own fresh toppings. Make it a pizza party!

Popcorn: Movies are not the same without popcorn. Besides the plain kernel popped at home version now you can try Simply Popped. It is made with simply corn, butter, sea salt and oil.  A 4 cup bag has 140 calories, 8 gm fat and 200 mg sodium. Go ahead eat the whole bag. Another alternative is the KIND Healthy grains popped snack bites. They come in two flavors (Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Salted Caramel) each bag delivering only 110 calories, 2 gm fat and 4 gm sugar.

Fruit snacks: If you have a sweet tooth like me, you will want to stash the Fruit Bites from Kind. They come in three flavors, are made with very few ingredients and have only 60 calories. My other favorite sweet indulgence is individually wrapped dark chocolate. Easy to carry and portion controlled.

Enjoy the summer events while also enjoying the deliciousness of summer fresh produce, refreshing drinks and small indulgences.