Stay Healthy and Gluten Free this Summer

As the weather warms up, summer foods reappear with their unhealthy temptations even when you’re gluten free: processed hot dogs, greasy pizza, dye-loaded slushies and plenty of refined sugars.

Dr. Keith Kantor, an advocate of natural food and healthy living, shared his top tips for staying healthy despite summer’s temptations. Kantor is a leading nutritionist, and the CEO of Service Foods, Inc., which provides all-natural foods and nutrition resources to clients across the U.S.

First, Kantor says to keep it colorful. Instead of chips with your burger, go for an eye-catching, innovative dish like grapefruit spinach salad or apple coleslaw. Fill at least half of your plate with fruits and veggies, though stick to vegetables when possible; they’re higher in fiber and lower in sugar than fruits. When you’re picking dips to go with your side, cut down on processed ingredients and choose healthy alternatives like guacamole or hummus.

Also make sure to keep your plate covered in one-quarter high quality protein like a bun-less burger or kabobs with chicken or steak, much healthier options than processed meats like hot dogs or sausages.

While fruit smoothies are a refreshing choice in the warm months, avoid making them with excess sugar from fruit juices. Use unsweetened almond or coconut milk as the base and mix it with dark, low-sugar fruit like berries. Toss in gluten-free protein powder and raw spinach, which is tasteless in smoothies but loaded with nutrition and fiber.

Cocktails sweeten vacations and summer parties, but you can make healthy choices here as well. Serve alcohol with non-calorie mixers like naturally flavored sparkling water, then add fresh fruit or a dash of no-calorie sweetener like stevia. Try this recipe for low-calorie mojitos.