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So what to do when the weather gets warm and the appetite shrinks? I improvise!

I find that eating cold meals (I am not a fan of hot food anyway) makes summer eating a lot easier, and easier on the stomach. Some of my favorite things include homemade ice pops, fresh fruit and cold chicken.

Ice pops are great – I try to always have a stock of Fla-vor-Ice on hand. But a really great trick to making your own (and therefore controlling the added sugars, carbs and calories) is a breeze. All you need is some cold water, sweetener of your choice (I like honey and Splenda), choice of fruit flavored yogurt and one mashed up banana. Literally, dump everything into a blender or food processor and add the water a little at a time until everything is smoothed out to a thick, but not grossly thick concoction. Pour it into your ice molds (bathroom cups and straws work great! Like a non-alcoholic jello shot) and freeze. I wouldn’t recommend keeping them for too long because of the dairy and banana and definitely wrap up whatever you don’t eat right away. Another great treat is trading the yogurt for creamy peanut butter and snacking on this before a workout.

Fresh fruit is like an obvious choice, but keeping it in pre-cut and in the fridge or freezer makes an awesome lunch (or snack, depending on your appetite) with some cottage cheese or yogurt. Frozen fruit is also a fun substitution for ice in beverages – white wine included!

Cold chicken. Don’t hate on me yet! Leftovers are one of the great things I have in life. Take whatever leftover chicken you have – baked skinless breasts, whole roasted chicken or pan-fried and covered in sauce. Cut it into cubes or shred it – and if you are really lazy, you can dump larger cubes into the food processor and pulse it a few times. Mix this with toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds, oil and whatever vinegar tickles your fancy and anything else that sounds good in the make-shift salad (with or without the lettuce!). Fresh veggies or even already roasted veggies from the same left over meal make for a great dinner with a spin so it’s not drab and redundant!

I like to leave my summer calories open for outdoor booze consumption – but I like to do it without wasting flavors or skipping meals; and I encourage everyone to do the same!

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