July is here, and it’s finally starting to feel like summer around here! It’s taken longer than usual – after a long, cold winter that seemed to drag well into the spring, I know there were a lot of folks in this neck of the woods wondering if summer would ever come. I mean, I went almost the whole month of June without even turning on my AC (very unusual).
But at long last, a heat wave hit towards the end of the month and carried through Canada Day. We got a bit of reprieve yesterday, but overall, the summer “feel” is finally here, and with it comes my desire to enjoy seasonal summer treats!
Oh, don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten about the Six-Week Plan. I’m still strictly monitoring my food intake and resisting most indulgences as I attempt to shed the pounds I’ve put back on in recent months, and in the hopes of being able to wear a bikini on July 28th. (It’s going really well so far, by the way – but that’s a post for another day!) But just because I’m being extra careful about food right now doesn’t mean I can’t still find some treats within my self-imposed parameters!
Here are some of the treats that I’ve been enjoying lately that simply sing “summer” to me:
Confession: When I was a kid, I loathed strawberry picking. It was the most dreaded summer activity ever. I haven’t had an opportunity to pick in years, but I’m lucky that my mom picked me a basket last week, and it was soooo nice to have fresh berries in the fridge to snack on! I also froze some to have for shakes. I eat berries all year round, but nothing beats a fresh strawberry picked straight from the patch!
PC Blue Menu Frozen Smoothie Bars
These are new to me this year. Truth is, I adore ice cream. One of my favourite things to do in the summer is go to the store to buy a Drumstick, or go to one of the local ice cream shops for a soft vanilla cone or sundae. Unfortunately, the Six-Week Plan doesn’t permit for ice cream cheating. :( I just couldn’t give up frozen summer treats completely, though! I decided to try out the PC Blue Menu Frozen Fudge Smoothie bars a few weeks ago, and it was definitely a great way to satisfy my ice cream cravings at much less calories. The following week, I tried out the PC Blue Menu Frozen Greek Yogurt Mango Smooth Bars, and they were equally yum. These little frozen treats will definitely get me through the next couple of weeks! (but I WILL treat myself to a real cone after that!)
Greek Veggie Salad
I make several variations of this Greek salad during the summer, and it is one of my summer staples. Sometimes I toss cucs, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, black olives, and a bit of feta cheese in the Renee’s Mediterranean Vinaigrette or my own homemade Green vinaigrette; sometimes I add quinoa to make it more like a pasta salad. Either way, it is delicious and full of fresh summer flavours!
OK, I eat avocado all year long, too. But for some reason, it’s even better tasting during the hot summer months. I love it on a grilled Panini with tomato and cheese, or diced on top of nachos, chopped up in a salad, or of course turned into guacamole! Mmmmm I loooove avocado!
Toasted Tomato Sandwiches
Thankfully I’ve discovered several options for low-cal bread, so toasted tomato sandwiches are still possible!! Right now, it’s Weight Watchers White Whole Grain Bread that I have in my freezer, but I also enjoy the Bon Matin No Fat No Sugar Added Whole Wheat Bread. Toast up the bread, put a bit of low-fat mayo on it, and then thick slices of tomato with a dash of salt and pepper. Drooling just thinking about it, I swear. A REAL treat is when it’s made with cracked wheat bread (just like Grandma used to make!) – but for now, I’ll stick to my low-cal options.
Timothy’s Sweet & Creamy Iced Coffee K-Cups
I admit, when I first tried these last year, I wasn’t a huge fan. They tell you to brew it over ice, but the coffee comes out so hot that it melts the ice instantly. When you add more ice, it melts it quickly too. And then you end up with a severely watered-down iced coffee beverage. I’ve since learned to brew the iced coffee in advance (NOT over ice), then put it in the fridge for a few hours to chill it completely before adding the ice and drinking it. MUCH more enjoyable. A longer process, and it takes some planning ahead, but at 80 cals, it’s often the perfect summer treat!
I’ve become quite a watermelon fan in my old age. It was another one of those that I could take or leave when I was a kid, but there’s nothing I enjoy more now that a dish full of diced, juicy, sweet, seedless watermelon. So good, so fresh, and SO summery!!
What are YOUR favourite summer treats?! I’m looking forward to enjoying some of these this weekend!
Happy Friday, gang! :)