FORT MYERS, Fla. - It's summer time and if you are spending your days at the beach, around the pool, or at the ball park, then you know a well-packed cooler is your best friend.
Here today to give us tips on how to keep your cooler healthy and everyone happy is Kim with Weight Watchers.
First, sandwiches. Your best bet here is to make it a sandwich with a lean cut of meat, like turkey. This will only run you about 7 PPV. Compare that to a deli-style PB&J or a tuna salad sandwich that can almost double that (11 PPV). You can even layer on a thin slice of cheese and light mayo and still keep your fat and calories in check. Top the sandwich off with tomato and lettuce and your other favorite veggies and you'll not only add in more flavor and texture, but you'll boost the health benefits as well, without any extra fat or calories.
Now for a side dish. Salads are so easy to put in a cooler because they can be bought pre-made from the deli counter. But if you don't think they're worth the indulgence, try to steer clear of mayo-heavy potato salad, as it can run you 8 PPV for one serving - that's more than our turkey sandwich! Even a cobb salad - without the dressing - will set you back as it can have up to 11 PPV. Your best bet here it to go with a tossed salad - and load it up with colorful fruits and veggies, which is only 1 PPV. Drizzle on a light dressing, like oil and vinegar, instead of creamy one to help keep those calories low.
Snacks are a must when packing up your cooler. If you're planning on a long day outside, you're going to want to include snacks that will keep you fueled and satisfied. Load up your cooler with fresh fruit, as fruit has PPV value and will keep you hydrated and full. For a fun portable snack - take advantage of the seasonal fruits and, make fruit kebobs and add low-fat string cheese for extra flavor. Take advantage of the seasonal fruits available to you now.
Dessert is another staple item in a cooler. Fruitsicles are a great dessert option, as they are low in calories and PPV's. If you really want to splurge and have some ice cream, go for it! Instead of packing a pint-sized container and tempting yourself to eat it all, place one scoop of your favorite ice cream in a plastic, sealable cup.
Last, we have beverages. Water is obviously your best choice here. It will keep you hydrated, which is really important if you plan to stay outside for most of the day. Lemonade, juice boxes and sodas might taste great, but they are all high in sugar. If you need something with more flavor, try whipping up a batch of fruit-infused water the night before and pour it into reusable water bottles.
This cooler of food is only going to cost me 13 PPV. Best of all, I've chosen foods that are healthy, will keep me fueled and hydrated for the day and on track to help me meet or maintain my weight loss efforts.
To learn more great tips, join us for free at a Weight Watchers meeting. Go to weightwatchers.com to find one near you. weightwatchers.com.