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7 Healthy Summer Staples

With summer comes spontaneity. And there are 7 summer staples you don’t want to live your spontaneous season without!

You can't deny that there's something about the summer sun that practically FORCES us to skip out on our responsibilities and bolt to the nearest pool, pond, lake, river, bay, ocean, or park, and just...plop (or splash). And while summer spontaneity feels incredible for the soul, this impromptu way of life can really screw with our healthy routines.

But I'm a firm believer in not compromising healthy for happy (or vice a versa). So to do that, I'm consistent in keeping certain summer staples with me at all times, and my healthy eating efforts don't just fly out the convertible top.

Here are 7 summer staples I don't summer without:

1.) Chia Seeds

When I wanna look good in my swim suit or short shorts, I turn to my chia seeds. And then I turn them into chia pudding by using this recipe. Because chia seeds are high in both fiber and protein, chia pudding fills you up BIG TIME, meaning you will have less room to EAT big time and BIGGER ability to slip into those skimpy clothes. And because chia seeds are hydrating and energizing (chia seeds also have double the potassium of bananas!), you’ll have more gusto to get your sweat on (and excess bloat off). In addition to making chia puddings all summer long, I also love to throw chia seeds into my daily smoothies and into my quinoa-chia chilled porridge, which is one of my favorite de-bloating but extraordinarily filling summertime breakfasts!

2.) Frozen Bananas

As someone who cares about eating healthfully, it's your duty to make sure your freezer is stocked with peeled, ripe bananas at all times. Cheap, easy, sweet, and speckled: frozen bananas have got it going on and ought to be locked and loaded (and ready to use) in your freezer 24/7. Health-wise, frozen ripe nanners are plentiful in potassium which helps keep us hydrated and less bloated for the beach. And culinarily-wise, frozen ripe bananas lend themselves to THREE OF THE BEST SUMMER TREATS YOU CAN MAKE! Soft serve ice cream, smoothies / smoothie bowls, and banana bon bons. Essentially, if you want to have a good, healthy summer, you gotta have this summer essential.

3.) Kombucha

In the summertime, ‘buch is my bff. Meaning: I drink it a lot. Kombucha is a beverage fermented from sweetened black tea. The fermentation provides kombucha with the ability to provide us with awesome probiotic, live, good-for-our-gut bacteria. This bacteria, in addition to making our guts feel great, can also help our livers detox and boost our immunity, both of which can be compromised with a little too much drunken fun in the sun. But, ironically, kombucha is one of my favorite ways to have some drunken fun in the sun! It’s my #1 cocktail “mixer” of choice in the summer. Just add a little vodka, a pinch of stevia, some ice, and you’ve got my go-to cocktail, which I call the “Tox while I Detox!” (get it?).

But if cocktails aren't your thing, even drinking kombucha “virgin” is a great, refreshing summertime drink. Funnily enough, since it’s fermented (like wine is fermented into alcohol), Kombucha does contain a tiny weeny bit of booze as well. (Not enough to get you a DUI if you drink it post-yoga, but enough to give you a lovely jolt of energy – without the chemicals and crap in “real” energy drinks.)

4.) Sunwarrior Protein Powder

Simply put: protein is summertime's perfect partner. Protein is what fills you up and makes you full. It's what makes you eat less (because you're full). Protein's what makes you crave less carbs and fat, which means it helps you lose weight or maintain your ideal weight. And protein helps you have more lasting energy. In the summer, we want all those things that protein brings to the table: our ideal body and more, longer-lasting energy.

The easiest and quickest way to get a big protein bang for your buck is with plant-based protein powder. Sunwarrior's protein is great tasting, easy to digest, and extremely versatile, which is why I am never father than arm's length from a tub or a travel packet in the summertime. I'll add plant-protein powder to EVERYTHING: smoothies, smoothie bowls, muffins, pancakes, cookies, blondie bars, cake pops, granola, oatmeal, homemade bars, or just right into my shaker cup.

5.) Coconut Water

Coconut water is that hydrating liquid found anywhere from remote tropical islands to dirty gas stations to hot yoga studios to trendy bars and everywhere in between. It’s that naturally sweet liquid that has as much potassium as four bananas and three times more than the average “energy drink.” That decedent drink that used to only be able to be enjoyed by cracking open a coconut, but can now be enjoyed by cracking open a can or a plastic bottle. All this potassium, mixed with the B-vitamins and magnesium that’s also in coconut water is why it’s being called “mother nature’s sport’s drink.” Remember: staying hydrated means not only feeling energized and performing better in your sneakers, but it’s also is essential for beating bloat and losing weight.

Coconut water also makes summer drinks so much more fun - from the healthiest of smoothies, to the not-so-healthiest of cocktails. Definitely try it in place of water in your next smoothie to make it naturally sweeter, and THEN try it later that night with some vodka to make your cocktail naturally sweeter! A benefit to both? Again: HYDRATION. Adding coconut water to your smoothies and cocktails will up the hydration factor in both which, in my opinion, is essential in the summer.

6.) Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar (referred to as "ACV" by me and its other devotees) is perfection in vinegar form. Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from...apples! Basically, pieces of apples are left to ferment with water, just like how grapes are fermented with water to make wine - but ACV can’t get you drunk. Rather, ACV can only get you healthier, because the whole fermentation process causes ACV to be filled to the brim with live probiotics; good-gut bacteria that can work wonders on your body from head to toe. Literally - you can rinse your head-hair with it to give it a glow and you can slather it on your athlete’s foot toe.

But in the summer, I drink ACV daily in both my morning metabolism boosting drink and my super slim-down spa water particularly to utilize its much awesomeness: digestion-improving services, belly-flattening features, fat-burning benefits, hydration help, and even its sunburn soothing powers - for a burn, try diluting ACV (about 1/2 tablespoon in 1 cup cold water), pouring it on a washcloth and patting it on your painfully red and crispy skin. OR, if you’re a bath person, add a cup of ACV to your bath and literally soak up the post-sunburn benefits.

7.) My Shaker Cup

I've written a whole article about 6 spectacular things you can do with a shaker cup but just know that this tool? It's your summer lifesaver. When you're on the go and away from a blender, a kitchen, or a juice bar, your shaker cup is going to be your pinch-hitter. In it, you can whip up makeshift green juices, protein shakes, lattes, and more - even while you're chillaxing by the pool! Learn more here:

6 spectacular things you can do with a shaker cup!

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