Easy diet tips for lazy summer days

Summer is here and with it the lure of being a little lazy.

Dress codes loosen as “casual Friday” fashions are acceptable all week long. The heat and humidity combined with daydreams of weekend fun can make it difficult to focus on serious stuff. So, if you’re still trying to hold on to diet resolutions to help you slim down for bathing suit season, here are some no-brainer nutrition tips for sidetracked summer minds.

Bowl of breakfast cereal?

  • Switch to fat-free milk instead of low-fat to cut calories even further.
  • Toss in blueberries, strawberries or cut-up peaches for more fiber, vitamins and the mineral potassium. Add tropical flare with sliced mango in season and on sale right now.

  • Can't decide between wheat, oat, rice or corn cereal? Mix to create your own multigrain recipe.

Sandwich at lunchtime?

  • Seek out breads that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. Whole-grain breads are softer now so if you prefer that texture, you can enjoy higher-fiber breads, some with up to 5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Go on a mustard adventure. Mustards add flavor to sandwiches without fat and with very few calories. From Vidalia onion to horseradish mustard, you'll find delicious varieties to choose from.
  • Make a mile-high deli sandwich by using 3 ounces of lean meat such as turkey, roast beef or ham and load up on veggies beyond lettuce and tomato. How about shredded cabbage or carrots, sliced cucumbers, green pepper strips, jalapenos, banana peppers or thinly sliced radishes?

Tossing a salad?

  • Forgo the fried croutons and put some crunch in your salad with one or two tablespoons of walnuts, pecans or almonds. Nuts are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and add protein to help you feel fuller longer.
  • Got to have blue cheese dressing? Dining in or out, use half the usual amount and mix it with red wine vinegar to create your own lower-calorie blue cheese vinaigrette.
  • Like iceberg lettuce? Toss in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula, baby kale and watercress to up the antioxidant power. The fresh porcini mushroom salad at Pricci restaurant gets its green from Taylor Farm baby arugula and shaved celery.
  • A study in the June issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that the easiest way for young women to up their intake of healthy antioxidants is to add additional vegetables to the green salads they're already eating.

Cooking less and dining out more?

  • Go for summer's bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables featured from appetizers to desserts and even cocktails.
  • Be leaner by choosing leaner meats. The marinated skirt steak at F&B is topped with watercress salad. Share the garlic frites with a friend.
  • Pretend you're at the beach. Order more seafood but look for lighter preparations such as F&B's Rose Snapper with a fish fume broth, baby bok choy, mushrooms and daikon radish.