If you have more than one farmers market in your area, shop around. Many vendors price foods differently based on the clientele and one might be more affordable than another. Also, check out foods that are farm direct through local farm stands and u-pick farms. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is another option for fresh foods that might be a better fit for your budget.
Shop the farmers market late
You can sometimes secure special discounts on foods at the farmers market just before closing. The selection may be limited, but vendors would rather sell fresh foods than pack them back up to take home. Don’t be afraid to make an offer on plentiful fruits and vegetables just before market closing time. You might walk away with a great deal on plenty of produce for meals all week.
Stock up during the height of the season
Prices on seasonal foods tend to drop when the food is most plentiful. For example, peaches may seem expensive early in the summer, but soon sellers will have an overabundance and prices often drop. Take advantage of this time, and stock up on fruits and vegetables that freeze well for later use.
Buy only what you’ll use
When you find a good deal on seasonal produce, it’s easy to get carried away and buy more than you need. You may forget about busy nights at the ball field or weekend road trips that will keep you away from your kitchen.
Make simple foods at home
Summer foods that best highlight seasonal produce are often very simple to make. Kale salads , chicken salad in lettuce wraps and lunch kabobs are easy recipes that are perfect for warmer weather. Save money by making these foods at home instead of buying pre-made versions at the store.
The summer heat can derail your best intentions for an afternoon workout, so exercise in the morning. It’s best to avoid outdoor exercise between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the sun is at its strongest. Heat and humidity during this time forces you to decrease the intensity or length of your workout and can put you at risk for overheating. The cooler temperatures and less intense sun make a morning workout more enjoyable.
Summer is the best time to take advantage of the vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients in fresh produce. Using fruits and vegetables to fill up with fewer calories will help you reach your summer weight loss goals. Lighten up side dishes with fresh salads and grilled vegetables, and satisfy your sweet tooth with seasonal fruit.
Step 4: Plan ahead for treats
Summer isn’t quite the same without an occasional popsicle or scoop of ice cream. Plan for these treats by adjusting your food intake and your workouts to compensate for the extra calories. Skip a second helping at dinner so you can have dessert, or save treats for the days you can commit to a more intense workout.
Step 5: Create a restful evening routine
The change in daylight hours during the summer may influence your bedtime. When it’s still bright out at 8:00 pm, it can be more difficult to wind down from the day in preparation for a good night of rest. Create a routine that signals your body that it’s time for sleep. Close the blinds and end screen time 1 to 2 hours before you are ready to go to sleep.
Plan ahead and spend 10 minutes in the morning chopping vegetables or pre-cooking meats so that you can easily throw together a healthy dinner when you get home from work.
Record your progress
Recording your progress is essential for reaching health goals. Whether it’s making a note of your current weight in your MyFoodDiary Body Log or recording a workout, take time to jot down your hard work and the results.
Eat a snack
It’s normal to feel hunger 3 to 5 hours after a meal. If you’ve hit a slump, take a few minutes and prepare a healthy snack to boost your energy.
Drink a glass of water
Dehydration can zap your energy and make you feel hungry. Set a water consumption goal, and use these creative ways to track intake throughout your day.
Work your core
Whether you do standing crunches, planks or alternating arm and leg lifts, you can build strength and reduce the risk of back pain by squeezing in a core workout.
Take a walking break
You can break down the recommended 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise into 10-minute segments.
Proper sun safety is essential whether you are exercising or relaxing in the sun. Protecting yourself from harmful rays prevents painful sunburns and reduces your risk for skin cancer.
Gather your summer supplies.
Start by selecting a high quality sunscreen that is made for your type of activity. The American Cancer Society states that sunscreens can no longer be labeled with confusing terms like “waterproof” or “sweatproof.” Instead, look for “water resistant” sunscreens if you will be exercising or swimming. Read labels to ensure the sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays (listed as “broad spectrum”) and that it has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Your lips are also vulnerable to the sun, so use a lip balm that contains sunscreen. Pay special attention to expiration dates. Most sunscreens last 2 to 3 years. Also note how your sunscreens are stored. Prolonged exposure to heat, like in a car trunk or in a pool house, can reduce its effectiveness.
Apply sun protection correctly.
If you don’t apply enough sunscreen and apply it evenly, you may not get the protection you are expecting. Most adults need 1 ounce (a small shot glass full) to cover the arms, legs, neck and face. Reapply at least every 2 hours. Wiping your skin with a towel can remove sunscreen. When exercising or swimming, you may need to reapply more often.
Wear the right clothing.
Clothing won’t block all UV rays, but it can add an extra layer of protection. Choose sleeved shirts with tightly woven fabrics. Consider investing in clothing that has a UV protection factor (UPF). This clothing is made for outdoor activities and can protect you from the sun while also being lightweight and comfortable in the heat. A hat with a 2 to 3 inch brim will help protect the upper face, scalp, ears and eyes. Sunglasses that block UV rays not only shield the skin around the eyes, but also protect the eyes from diseases caused by extended sun exposure.
Practice healthy sun exposure habits.
Monitor the time you spend in the sun. Experts recommend avoiding direct sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the UV rays are the strongest. Seek shade whenever possible. Set timers for when to reapply your sunscreen. UV rays can penetrate clouds and windows, so practice sun safety regardless of your environment.
Having a plan for how you will begin and end each day in a healthy way will keep you motivated to reach your goals. Morning and evening routines create the consistency necessary to form healthy habits. In the morning, drink 2 cups of water, work out, or make your eating plan for the day. At night, prepare healthy lunches and snacks, schedule 10 minutes to read, or wind down with a relaxing yoga session.
Try things more than once.
Whether it’s a new workout or a new food, never give up on a healthy change after trying it only once. You may simply need to make adjustments so that it’s a better fit for you. If you dislike strength training in the weight room, try a muscle conditioning class. If you can't stand broccoli, look for new recipes with creative ways to prepare it, or try other cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage.
Make vegetables non-negotiable.
Few other foods provide the same unique plant nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber for so few calories as vegetables. You might not like them at first, but they are an essential part of healthy eating. Create the habit of having some type of vegetable at every meal. Start by using vegetables as mix-ins or toppings for some of your favorite foods. Add shredded cabbage to tacos and stir bell peppers and spinach into scrambled eggs. As you develop a preference for certain types of vegetables, transition to larger portions to make them the focus of your meals.
Insist on healthy snacks.
Snacking when you’re hungry doesn’t have to ruin your eating plan. Stay one step ahead and keep healthier snacks like low-sugar yogurt, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit easily accessible. When you attend meetings or parties, offer to provide a healthy dish. Your fellow attendees will appreciate a nutritious option.