Lighten Up: Changing Your Diet for the Summer Months

By Lisa Carmelengo

Dr. Melina Jampolis, internist, board-certified physician nutrition specialist and author of The Calendar Diet: A Month to Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life, says that by choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, you can increase the nutrient density of your diet, while decreasing the number of calories you consume.

“Seasonal produce, especially if it is locally produced, retains the most nutrients,” Dr. Jampolis notes. And, shopping at your neighborhood farmer’s market is good for your wallet too, since prices tend to be more reasonable than at the supermarket. And, lucky you ‒ summer presents the best opportunity to “eat by season.” “There are far more fresh fruits in season during the summer than any other time of year, so I suggest reducing your intake of grains and starchy vegetables to make room for an extra serving or two of fruit,” she says. As temperatures rise, we tend to gravitate toward lighter meals ‒ salads instead of heavy soups or hearty meals typically favored during the colder months. Keep them interesting by rotating seasonal produce; popular summer choicesinclude zucchini, corn and bell peppers. “It’salways a good idea to incorporate fresh fruit into recipes whenever possible,” says Dr. Jampolis.

To boost energy before your next workout, Dr. Jampolis says look to fruit for a great source of natural sugar. “Berries are not only delicious, they’re also packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients to decrease inflammation and increase health.” She recommends pairing your favorite fruit with 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, especially if you’re doing strength training, as research shows that eating lean protein 30 minutes before or after a workout can help you gain more muscle. If you haven’t eaten in several hours, you may want to add a small amount of healthy fat ‒ such as nuts ‒ for sustained energy.

Summer Slimdown Recipe: Seared Scallop Nectarine Salad


12 sea scallops

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon

extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon honey6 cups butter lettuce

2 nectarines, sliced


1. Season scallops with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large

sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add

scallops and cook for 3 minutes, turning

halfway. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together

remaining olive oil, orange

juice, mustard and honey.

4. In a large bowl, toss lettuce and

nectarine with dressing. Divide between

2 plates. Top each with 6 scallops.

Serves 2.

From The Calendar Diet: A Month to Month Guide to Losing Weight While

Living Your Life by Dr. Melina Jampolis.

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