Summer is upon us, and we know that it can be a challenge balancing your goals with all the changes that happen during the summertime – change in routine, more social events, cold drinks on your deck, and going away on summer vacaction.  However, just because there are all of these changes that come with summer, it doesn’t mean that you cant still make progress towards your goals; and it also doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the fun that summer has to offer.

Today, we will be sharing our top ten tips to thrive in the summertime!

# 1 Pack High protein Snacks! 

If you are anything like us (we love food!!) when planning a road trip or a hiking adventure, one thing you may think is bring SNACKS! However, typical snacks like granola bars, trail mix, etc are surprisingly low in protein! Because of this, we are often unsatisfied with what we are eating and tend to over-consume calories. Have you ever found yourself clawing at the bottom of a trail mix bag without even realizing it? I know we have!

Protein is what keeps us feeling satisfied with our meals and prevents us from overeating, it is also responsible for maintaining and building lean muscle mass, which helps keep our metabolism healthy! However, it also tends to be one of the things that goes by the way side when life gets busy or we are faced with a change in routine. 

Because protein can take such a hit with traveling or being on the go, we recommend planning ahead and packing high protein snacks! Some of our favorite high protein snacks include:

  • Beef jerky- Costco has individualized packs that are amazing! 
  • Protein bars such as built bars (code MEGANYQL gets you 10% off online!)
  • Moos muffins (code ROBYNYQL gets you 15% off, link to order in her instagram bio!)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cottage cheese/greek yogurt
  • Protein powder
  • Wraps with a protein source- think bbq chicken, or thai shrimp (YUM!)
  • And homemade treats! On each of our instagrams we have a TON of homemade recipes like mini omelettes, coconut lemon bars, and chicken muffins! All great high protein portable options! 

You will see a common theme amongst many of these tips… Preparation is key!! 

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail…”

The good thing is… this is in your control to change with a bit of intention!! Although this list may be helpful… think about high protein foods you genuinely enjoy! Make those your go tos when heading out on the road or for a day on the lake! 

Tip #2 Drink, Hydrate, Repeat!

Do you enjoy having a nice cold beer by the fire? Or a mid-day glass of chardonnay? Did someone say BRUNCH?! Better have a mimosa!! 

At YQL Nutrition we support having alcohol in moderation! We also do all of the things listed above… the key here is BALANCE! To help you not over consume alcohol, and to support health (dehydration can occur when drinking, especially in the sun!) we go by the motto “Drink, Hydrate, Repeat” which means to alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water. This tip will help you pace out your drinking, help minimize over-consuming alcohol, and help off-set the dehydration that occurs when drinking.

It is important to remember that alcohol is empty calories and will not help move you closer to your fat loss or performance goal, BUT it can be enjoyed in moderation.

Here is a photo of Megan at Oktoberfest – having a beer is part of the cultural experience and you bet she partook in this!

TRACKING TIP! 

If you are tracking macros and know you’d like to enjoy some alcohol that day, track your alcohol FIRST so that it is budgeted in. To track alcohol using macros, checkout this guide!

Tip #3 Drink from a Tumbler 

This tip may sound strange… but have you ever felt peer-pressured into drinking more alcohol by other people when really you didn’t want to?

Let me introduce you to our best friend- the tumbler! No one will know whether you are drinking alcohol, water, or a sparkling beverage. This is a very hand tip for BBQ’s and camping when you may be pressured into drinking by others. Remember, what you consume is always YOUR choice, but by drinking from a tumbler, you can help avoid some of the societal pressure. We often drink to have something to do with our hands… this way they are occupied with whatever drink you choose! 

Tip# 4 Prep Veggies and Fruit Or Bring a Fruit/Veggie Tray

Remember how we said that planning ahead was a common theme? Oh look, here it is again!

We eat what is easily accessible… This tip is to help ensure that we have access to whole foods! This can be used for camping trips or time away, but also for those days when we are busy working and need food NOW! By having these things prepped you are more likely to enjoy them, rather than reaching for something packaged or processed that may not serve your goals. 

To help ensure you have pre chopped fruits and veggies, chop and prep these foods as soon as you buy them! Make it part of your grocery shopping- when you get home, wash, peel and chop everything BEFORE putting them in the fridge. 

If you have a goal to eat a certain amount of veggies per day, preportioning these into containers for the day is a great way to do it without having to think about it! Then any veggies you eat over and above these are a bonus!

Tip# 5 Make Water a Non-Negotioable

If you’ve talked to one of us for more than five minutes we’ve probably brought up water… we are obsessed with it! 

There are SO many benefits to water!

In the summer, often we are moving more from being outside in the heat, both of which cause us to lose more water! 

Some tips to make sure you are drinking enough water include:

  • Start your morning off with a big glass of water (Robyn’s personal favorite is 20oz of water with 1/2 – 1 lemon squeezed before you eat anything in the morning – bonus digestion and vitamin C benefits!)
  • Bring your water with you everywhere!! 
  • Use tip # 2 and 3!!
  • Don’t be afraid to chug water! 

Tip # 6 Say YES To foods you love and

NO to foods you don’t. 

Life is about choice, about focusing on what you can control, which is what you consume! Just because everyone else is having dessert, doesn’t mean you have to… unless you WANT to. We encourage you to pause, reflect and become in-tune with your body and your desires, sometimes by doing this we realize we don’t want what everyone else is having… and that is okay! It is all about being in-tune with what you want, and honouring this. 

This falls under our rule of 80/20- strive to eat 80% whole foods, and 20% treat foods! If the first theme of this blog is planning ahead, the second is MODERATION! Enjoying foods you love, even if they are “treats” in moderation is part of the plan as it will help you have a healthy relationship with food, which is a huge win! 

 

TRACKING TIP! 

If you are tracking macros and know youre going to have a certain treat that day, track the treat FIRST so that it is budgeted in and you can work the rest of your day around it!

Tip# 7 Move your body DAILY

Any and all movement is welcome, whether this is structured exercise like strength-training, or other activities like playing golf or tennis with your loved ones. Movement is movement, and doing it daily is a way to honour your body and make new memories!

Here is a photo of Megan and her Fiance taken during a run along the Promenade in Nice, France. Such a beautiful Memory! And yes, they stopped at a bakery for some fun treats on their way back 😉
This is Robyn biking around Kelowna – taking opportunities to sprinkle activity into your day is a great way to explore new places and enjoy some beautiful scenery!

If you are on vacation, starting your day off with a 30 min walk is an AMAZING way to get some movement in first thing!

Did you know that 15-50% of energy comes from moving our body that ISN’T purposeful exercise!? This is called Non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT. Using NEAT to your advantage by walking, exploring and adventuring this summer can help move you closer towards your goals! To read more about energy balance, check out our last blog! https://yqlnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance-2/

 

Tip # 8 Offer to bring a dish to social events or help plan the meals for getaways! 

Have you ever gone to a social event like a BBQ or potluck and there wasn’t a veggie or protein option in sight? We certainly have! This is why we encourage you to bring a dish that is in alignment with your goals to social events so that you have options! 

Some easy ideas include a salad, dill pickle pasta salad (recipe on Megan’s IG @meganheyland), charcuterie board, veggie or fruit tray, prosciutto wrapped asparagus! 

Here are two more recipe’s from Robyn & Megan’s Instagram accounts                              @robyn_yql_nutrition & @meganheyland

When going away for the weekend, we often forget to plan out meals and then eat out every single meal. While eating meals out can be enjoyable and a great way to try local foods, they can also hold you back from hitting your goals if they are too frequent. We suggest planning a menu for trips away with two meals per day being home cooked and one meal out! This will help you hit your goals, and will save you a TON of money! Here is an example of a grocery shopping list you may want to use to stock up for your trip! 

By being in charge of meal planning, you can make sure meals are in alignment with your goals by being centered around a protein source with lots of veggies! 

 

Tip # 9 Be In-tune with your goals

When looking at flexibility during the summer, you may want to use this time to be in a maintenance phase. Maintenance is when we are maintaining our weight and focusing on optimizing hormones and overall health. We can use this phase to practice intuitive eating, which may be helpful if you are having frequent weekends away. 

BUT, achieving fat loss and tracking your macros during the summer is very doable as well! To do this, you have to have a deep connection with the “why” behind your goal, and recognize that some sacrifice may be needed on occasion. For example,if you want a bit more flexibility while striving for fat loss by having more frequent intuitive eating days or higher calorie days, it just means it may take you slightly longer to hit your fat loss goals. And that is OKAY if it makes it so you can adhere to your goal and makes the process more enjoyable! 

Another option is having lower calories during the week with higher calories on the weekend! There are many strategies that can be helpful if fat loss is your goal during the summer!

Having a coach can help you create a solid game plan for reaching your goals. We’d encourage you to reach out to us if fat loss is your goal this summer!

Tip # 10 MEMORIES over macros 

Last tip, yet, the most important one in our eyes. 

At the end of the day life is about making memories. Nutrition is meant to enhance your life, not limit it or create anxiety. If going over your macros, or having the treat will enhance the memory, we say do it and have compassion for yourself in these moments! 

Imagine it is your mom’s birthday, you are surrounded by family, and your sister made your favorite cake. If you want that cake, enjoy it with zero guilt, surrounded by your family… making memories.

 

Summer time  in Robyn’s house is filled with birthday celebrations – Maddox, Robyn, and Jet all have birthdays in the summer- there is no way we are not having cake to celebrate!

Or if you are on a trip somewhere and the locals are all raving about this pizza place that you ABSOLUTELY have to try, and you agree, it sounds so good!! Go have a slice and enjoy some local flavours! 

Here is Megan enjoying some homemade bread in Italy dipped in local olive oil- it was an amazing memory! 

We eat for fuel. We eat for pleasure. We eat for survival. We eat to hit our goals. We eat for experiences… 

Food is so much more than its parts, it is so much more than just calories, carbs, fats, and protein. If you need permission to enjoy a “treat”, or something “off-plan” because it will genuinely add to your experience… here it is! 

When we look back on the summer of 2021, it is not the number on the scale, or hitting your macros perfectly that you will remember, it is about the life you lived, and the memories you made! 

We hope these tips helped you find that sweet spot -having fun in the summer while still staying aligned with your goals – awareness of what your goals are with some planning this summer will be what allows you to thrive and prevent feeling the need to “undo” your summer fun come September!