3 Things I'm Buying to Get a Little Healthier This Summer
This is Obsessed: my weekly column devoted to sharing all the things I'm loving right now-from unique food and gift ideas to travel destinations and beauty products-plus some tips and tricks for living your best life.
Whether it's changing up my diet or trying a new workout, I'm always looking for ways to get a little healthier. But I'm also a realist: I will never give up chocolate or french fries or sacrifice my precious sleep for a 5 a.m. workout class. Instead, I try to find little tweaks to eat more veggies, drink more water, go outside and get in a few more active minutes each day. Here are the three things I'm buying to get a little healthier this summer.
OK, OK. I know this is kind of a boring one-but it's so important! Growing up in Florida, I spent way too much time in the sun without protection, and now that I'm about to turn 30, I'm much more conscientious about protecting my skin. Beyond cosmetic skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and visible sun damage, avoiding sunscreen can also make you more likely to get skin cancer. I love doing outdoor workouts when the weather warms up (even if it's just a walk outside), so SPF is a must. I'll be using this one from All Good all summer long since it's reef-safe, non-greasy and doesn't burn my eyes.
Smithey Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan
I can't explain it, but healthy foods like chicken and veggies taste so much better to me when they're cooked on a grill. (I mean, LOOK at these grilled veggies and tell me they don't look incredible?!) Maybe it's because I associate grilled foods with eating al fresco in the summer, but the char adds extra flavor and makes me enjoy basic foods so much more.
Since lighting up our grill is a process, I've been using Smithey's brand-new cast-iron square grill pan on my stove instead of cooking on the barbecue. It's just the right size for a few chicken breasts and veggies-making it the perfect tool for meal prep or a grilled dinner that feels extra special. The ridges give food perfect char marks, and the cast-iron material ensures that nothing sticks. Bonus: For $40 more, you can add an engraved name or phrase to the underside. How cute would that be for a wedding, birthday or Father's Day gift?
I try a lot of healthy snacks for my job, and even though I'm an editor for a healthy eating website, it's not usually my style to pretend that nice cream tastes better than Ben and Jerry's or that cauliflower rice is *actually* rice. But when I find a healthy snack that I actually want to eat on repeat, I feel like I have to share it with you. Here are some of my favorites that I'll be reordering all summer:
- Simple Kitchen Freeze-Dried Strawberries: These taste like candy, but the only ingredient is organic strawberries (read: there's no added sugar!). I would literally bring these to the movies and eat them in place of Sour Patch Kids. And that's bold praise coming from me. (buy it: $38.99 for 6 packs, Readywise.com)
- Setton Farms' Salt and Pepper Pistachios: A handful of plain almonds? Not my style. But add bold seasonings to heart-healthy pistachios and I can get on board. These are perfect for stashing in your purse or car when hunger strikes. (buy it: $7.99 for a 3-ounce resealable pouch)
- Brave Good Kind Tender Chicken Bars: I've waxed poetic about this brand before for their super tender jerky that's not at all like the kind you get at a gas station. And now they come in portable bars that are ideal for road trips or to keep in your desk drawer. The hot honey flavor (which is my favorite) has 8 grams of protein and just 5 grams of sugar. (Buy it: $25.99 for 9 packs)
Jaime Milan is EatingWell's digital editor for all things newsy and trending. She's always on the hunt for the latest and greatest things to share with EatingWell's readers. In her spare time, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, tackling home projects with her husband or taking pics of her very photogenic American Eskimo Dog, Grits. Follow her on Instagram at @jaimemmilan.