Hit The Beach With These Foods!

Ready or not, beach season is around the corner. We've put together your summertime survival snack pack to keep you feeling slim and refreshed while you're lying out on the sand.

Hydration is Key
Grab the largest bottle of water you can find and throw it in your beach bag. Staying hydrated in the heat is a key component to replenishing your body's needs and keeping a slim, fit figure by promoting healthy metabolism and digestion. We often misread signs of 'hunger' when in actuality, we're thirsty! Quench your thirst before you get dehydrated by keeping a bottle of water with you at all times. Our bodies adapt to warm weather by perspiring more efficiently, meaning we need pay that much more attention on maintaining hydration levels. Guzzle 2 or 3 24oz sport bottles or 2 liters a day and that unwanted 'beach bloat' will be history in no time! Tired of plain ol' water? Spruce it up with a slice or two of lemon or lime or try unsweetened iced herbal or green tea.
Refreshing Foods
Watermelon chunks, fresh cut bell peppers and carrots, peaches ... whatever your preference is, be sure to toss in fresh fruits and vegetables for a low-calorie, refreshing snack. Full of fiber and water, fruits and vegetables will fill you up in no time. If you're toting a small cooler to the beach, try pairing some fresh vegetables like baby carrots or snap peas with hummus or low-fat yogurt dip.
Healthy Handhelds!
Pack a lite lunch to keep you energized and satisfied on the beach. Brown bag it with a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wholegrain bread or a grilled chicken salad, or even just fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt. Prepping ahead of time and sticking to your standard meal and snack schedule will help fend off cravings to hit the snack bar where not-so-healthful options like hotdogs, fries and ice cream abound.
Portable Snacks
Pack a snack or two that will easily fit into your overflowing beach bag. Get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck with a granola bar (like Kashi TLC or Lara Bar) or a small bag of unsalted nuts like almonds or cashews (10-15 per serving). If it's got to be the snack bar, reach for a healthful, lower-calorie option like natural popcorn, soy crisps, a small serving of frozen yogurt with fresh fruit, an all-fruit popsicle (like Edy's Whole Fruit Bars) or frozen lemonade.
Smarter Cocktails
Who doesn't love a killer summer margarita or mojito after a long day of beach lounging? They're delicious and refreshing, but have them in moderation. Alcoholic cocktails, mixed tropical drinks, creamy liqueurs and wine coolers can be chock full of extra calories and sugar. Indulge in moderation with lighter drinks, have one or two, and switch to club soda and lime or unsweetened iced-tea. Stay hydrated by sipping on a glass of water in between drinks. Here are a few lighter summer drink picks:

• White Wine Spritzer (2 oz wine + 4 oz seltzer) — 40 calories

• Corona Light — 105 calories

• Bloody Mary (ask for extra celery!) — 110 calories

• White/Rose/Red Wine — 110 calories

• Sangria (pack it with fresh fruit!) — 115 calories

• Mojito — 150 calories

• Margarita on the Rocks — 170 calories

Marissa Lippert is a registered dietitian in Manhattan who helps clients lead balanced lifestyles, enjoying food while actively achieving dietary, weight, health and wellness goals. Marissa works to bring her clients back into the kitchen, making grocery shopping and cooking healthful, quick, and simply delicious. She keeps her finger on the pulse of what busy, informed individuals need and want when it comes to living and eating well. Voted as one of New York's "Best Nutritionists" in 2007 by New York Citysearch, Marissa currently counsels clients through her self-owned company, Nourish. She frequently contributes to numerous publications including Glamour, The New York Times, Women's Health, Woman's Day, Runners World, and Health magazine and has partnered with Equinox Gyms, Whole Foods, Disney and other corporations to plan and promote nutrition and healthy cooking programming and seminars. For more information, see Marissa's website.

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