Effortless ways to eat well this summer

It’s hot outside, and you’ve got about 50 million more fun things to do than ponder nutritious choices. So just … don’t! With our simple tricks and tips, eating well is as effortless as lounging by the pool.

Problem: We love Mexican and Chinese takeout. Do you have any smart picks?

Solution: On Chinese night, order steamed dishes (shrimp or chicken with broccoli, or tofu and eggplant) minus the sauce. Then, get spicy green beans or sauteed spinach with garlic, and mix the orders together, cutting your intake of sugary and sodium-filled sauce roughly in half while doubling the veggies.

For a Mex-fest, ask for up to three soft corn tacos stuffed with grilled shrimp, chicken, fish or steak and loads of veggies. Avoid fried items, like quesadillas, tostadas, gorditas and taquitos. Skip rice, too, but go for the frijoles and as many types of salsa as your heart desires. Top with one (heaping) tablespoon each of guac and cheese for a filling, mostly plant-based-meal.

Problem: My crew is lactose intolerant. Any good picks besides almond milk?

Solution: There are tons of new options made from oats and peas as well as other nuts, soy and legumes. Some are delicious — and others taste like liquefied chalk. It's subjective, so be adventurous within these guidelines: Try for "milks" or lactose-free dairy milks that have 8 g of protein per serving, are fortified with vitamin D, have 30 percent of your daily calcium and are clearly labeled "unsweetened."

GH Nutritionist Approved pick: Fairlife lactose-free milk — the company uses an uber-precise lactose filter, which makes it higher in protein.

Problem: Oh, no! My coffee order has 400 calories!

Solution: Opt for a cafe misto or cafe au lait with lowfat milk or unsweetened soy — more coffee and less milk than a latte, and fewer calories. Or go for a whole-milk cappuccino, a still light but creamy treat. For extra flavor, add some cocoa powder, cinnamon or vanilla powder and, instead of sugar, use GH Nutritionist Approved pick SweetLeaf Sweet Drops for sweetness from no-cal stevia.

Problem: Every member of my family wants something different, and I don't know where to start!

Solution: Tell them to make their own dinner … sort of. You provide the base — corn tortillas, baked potatoes (sweet or regular) or 100 percent whole-grain pitas — and they pile on nutritious options from your genius toppings bar. Put out veggies, shredded part-skim cheese, avocado and tomato sauce or salsa plus plain Greek yogurt.

Complete the meal with unsalted beans or fried eggs, which take minutes to prep while your family sets the table. Oh, look: Everybody’s happy!