As families get ready for summer, how can you ensure that you and your family are eating healthy, whether you’re on vacation or just on the run? Registered dietitian Ruth Frechman, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and founder of nutrition consulting business On The Way, offers this advice.

As families get ready for summer, how can you ensure that you and your family are eating healthy, whether you’re on vacation or just on the run? Registered dietitian Ruth Frechman, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and founder of nutrition consulting business On The Way, offers this advice.



During the summer months, how do you maintain a healthy diet if you are going on vacation and are away from home?

“I would say the most important way to maintain eating healthy would be to try to be consistent with structured meals,” Frechman said.
 
Frechman emphasized moderation and balance while on the road. She said that it’s OK to splurge a bit and try new things but noted that travelers should stick to their normal patterns when possible so that they can balance the caloric intake.



There are many important reasons to maintain a healthy lifestyle besides just wanting to feel confident in a bathing suit, so what advice to you have for the long term?

“People should think healthy lifestyle not diet,” Frechman said, emphasizing attention to moderation and consistency.

Rather than going into diet mode, Frechman suggests continuous nutritious eating habits with a balance of fruits, vegetables, protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains, emphasizing the need for fiber in our diets.

Frechman recommended buying the seasonal produce available in the hotter months.

“Take advantage of all the fresh summer fruits,” she said. “The fruits are low in calorie, and they have a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber.”



Dieting sometimes can be difficult when on a budget. Do you have any tips for keeping up a healthy lifestyle without it becoming a financial stress?
 
“Compare prices and buy what’s on sale,” Frechman said. “Take advantage of the fruits and vegetables on sale.

“A lot of time the processed snack foods are more expensive than fresh foods and veggies,” she added.

Frechman suggested finding a local farmer’s market or buying the fresh produce currently featured by the grocery store. Buy in bulk if you know the product won’t go to waste, and try to avoid eating out too much.    



What factors besides diet and exercise affect our energy and overall health? What else should people think about when trying to get healthy?
   
Staying hydrated, limiting alcohol intake and avoiding cigarettes are three major factors of a healthy lifestyle.

“If you’re watching your weight, alcohol has a lot of excess calories with no nutrients,” Frechman said, noting that women should limit themselves to no more than one drink a day and men no more than two. Both alcohol consumption and smoking increase cancer risks.

Hydration is also important to feeling healthy and energetic, especially when it’s hot outside and people don’t always realize they’re not getting enough fluids.

“If you are dehydrated, it can make you feel tired,” Frechman said.