NA’s Summer Staples: How to Keep Your Kitchen Stocked for the Sun + Your Buns

 
summer staples (1).png

I’ll tell you who will NOT be exposing any “buns” this summer and that is this pregnant lady. But I still wanted to make you a quick list of fat burning, PHFF friendly foods to keep your metabolism revved and your buns in check IF you feel so inclined to expose them.

You know what I think of when I think of summer? (this is totally a Midwestern girl’s view) Pools (not a huge abundance of beaches where I’m from)……..then corn dogs, cheeseburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, Lay’s potato chips, macaroni salad, and a tray of cookies from HyVee. And do not forget the Busch Light.

Yikes.

Not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind a bag of Wavy Lays right now - maybe with a little french onion dip, maybe not, (and yes I did just eat a turkey corn dog from Trader Joe’s to sort of get my mind right before writing this post), but I don’t think I have to tell you that nothing on this list is probably going to make you feel light, fresh, and fancy while you sip skinny margs poolside.

Summer is funny - we get so hyped up for our “summer bodies”(!) but then once summer actually hits, the BBQs, neighborhood parties, and festival food comes on QUICK and all of a sudden it’s August and your summer party body is in the midst of a full-blown hangover.

I know this because my DMs are blowing up with “HELP!” come September. So, let’s not do that, ok? Jot these down or stick them in your phone for your summer grocery shopping and you’ll be set.

  1. BERRIES. Berries are low in sugar, high in fiber, and in season during the summer so they don’t cost you a paycheck. LOAD UP. Love to add a few blueberries to my cocktails and don’t even get me started on 5-Minute Frose. OK and yes - they’re also great for snacking because they’re hydrating and won’t spike your blood sugar.

  2. WATERMELON. K so watermelon isn’t super high in fiber, but it is actually a pretty low sugar and DAMN. IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT IT. You guys have got to try this Watermelon, Kale, Feta Salad and pair with some grilled chicken. Ultimate summer dinner.

  3. VEGGIES. Summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, mini bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes all *belong* on a grill. Just drizzle avocado or olive oil over the veggies over medium-high heat for about 5-10 minutes until they’re a ‘lil charred. You’ll obviously need to cut veggies like the squash into strips but a lot of veggies you can leave whole. Do some simple sea salt and fresh black pepper, drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette, or dip the veggies in Herby Ranch Dip (my go-to).  

  4. BURGER MEAT. I mean………….what is summer without a burger on the grill? Or if you live in an apt at the moment like me and you’re lazy as hell, a frozen burger that’s been heated up in the microwave (whatever - still love the nostalgia). For beef burgers, I love to go to Costco and get a great deal on bulk organic, grass-fed ground beef.

Conventional and organic beef are both rich in nutrients. But what I love about organic, grass-fed beef is that it’s been shown to contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (the types of fat that lowers inflammation and is protective against heart disease. A tip if you just can’t swing the price of organic meat: stick to lean cuts. Animals store toxins in their fat, so the fattier the meat, the more conventional toxins (hormones and pesticides, for example) you’ll be consuming.

I’m also a big fan of chicken and turkey burgers and it’s pretty easy to find antibiotic-free chicken and turkey these days, even if you can’t afford organic. I love to buy the antibiotic-free frozen chicken burgers from Costco - they’re a staple in the summer and can be whipped up in minutes! (always add some mozzarella, avocado, butter lettuce, tomato, and a squeeze of lime juice - trust me!).

(Also love to skip the bun and load up on homemade potato chips or easy oven fries instead. Want the bun? Go to Trader Joe’s and get some crinkle cut butternut squash in the produce section!)

5. CHICKEN SAUSAGE - This one always makes me laugh because it takes me back to my first Milwaukee Brewers game with my in-laws 10 years ago when I brought chicken sausage to our tailgate. LOL. Spoiler alert - the Kober family is not a chicken sausage family. No, seriously. Andy’s dad has a full-blown meat locker in his basement as well as a sausage-maker. They have “sausage day” every year where the whole family comes over and creates an assembly line and makes 100 lbs of sausage. And spoiler alert - not chicken sausage.

I’ll never forget his brother, Rick’s reaction to my chicken sausage. CHICKEN SAUSAGE?! Like it was some kind of alien wiener. Anyways. It never stopped me from continuing to bring it. It’s delicious and there are so many YUM options now. Trader Joe’s and Aidelle’s have some of my favs. Grill up with some raw kraut and mustard, or slice and throw into a pan filled with sautéed veggies, or simmer in marinara with sliced peppers and onions.

6. SHRIMP AND SALMON - There is really nothing quicker and easier than cooking up a pound of shrimp, which is why it’s made the list. And salmon? It’s so yummy on the grill with some grilled veggies and potatoes. You could totally do this garlic lemon salmon recipe on the grill (in foil) instead of in the oven and cook up some baby potatoes and zucchini alongside it. YES PLZ.   

My current fav summer lunch is a couple of Wasa crackers topped with mashed avocado, shrimp, lemon, and Everything but the Bagel seasoning. That’s it. Perfection.

7. SLAW MIX - I think I have this slaw in my fridge pretty much all summer long. I’ll throw salmon over it, use it for shrimp tacos, mix it into salads for extras crunch. I mean….really anything. Love to bag the “angel hair coleslaw” mix because it’s extra thin. I love the fiber it packs, too!

8. AVOCADOS. Honestly, this will be on every one of my “staples” lists until the end of time. It’s just the easiest way to add fat to a meal (and fiber) and it goes with pretty much all things summer. There is no wrong way to eat an avocado.

9. SUMMER DRINKS. Sparkling water, watermelon kombucha, vodka, you know, the essentials. We need to hydrate more in the summer (vodka does not hydrate...feel like I need to add that disclaimer) and water gets boring so it’s a good time to try some new low sugar bevvies. You have a lot of options now, but be careful with labels.

Look for options with less than 7g sugar/serving. The lower the better - we’re hydrating here, not spiking our blood sugar.

10. HEALTHY DIPS. Quick and easy snacks are important during the busy summer months, and bonus if it’s portable. Healthy dips are a good way to get some fat and protein in and pairin’ it with chopped raw veggies will pack on the fiber. Perfecting PHFF balanced light meal or snack right there.

Some of my favs: Herby Ranch Dip, Avocado Ranch Dip, Smoky Dipping Sauce, Buffalo Chicken Dip, guacamole, hummus, and some of the yogurt-based dips you can find at most stores now.

Enjoy!

xxMegan

PS - Type A? Not super into buying groceries like this without an EXACT PLAN for the week? You need my Spring Meal Plan (coming out with a summer version too, and if you get the Spring Plan you’ll be the first to know). Wanna take it for a test drive? Download the 3-Day Sample Plan.




 
Main, SnacksMegan Kober