Healthy Meal Plan For Summer

Summer! The season of luscious fruit and other produce. Make the most of it!

Get tips from our 3-day sample healthy meal plans for summer. Pritikin is all about eating more good food, weighing less, and feeling your very best.

Fresh and Healthy Summer Meal Plan

This simple meal plan for summer is loaded with fresh fruits! They're brimming with nutrients. And they're low in calorie density, so they're perfect for losing weight. The Pritikin Eating Plan recommends at least 4 servings of fruit daily.

Google “healthy summer recipes,” and you’ll get a lot of recipes. But how healthy are they, really?

A quarter cup of olive oil in the ingredient list? A half cup? That’s good for you? We think not.

Yes, olive oil is called a “healthy” fat, but how healthy can something be if only a quarter cup of it is a whopping 477 calories? That’s the equivalent of 10 cups of strawberries. Or 3 whole cantaloupes. Or 4 ears of corn.

Whole natural foods like strawberries, cantaloupes, and corn are the focus of the Pritikin Eating Plan, and they’re what you’ll find in our 3-day sample meal plan for summer, detailed below. It celebrates all the scrumptious – and amazingly healthy – fruits and vegetables of the season.

Enjoy blackberries as part of this healthy summer meal plan.

Fiber- and water-rich whole foods are not only high in healthful nutrients, they’re low in calorie density, which means that bite by bite, they deliver about 5% the calories of a very-high-calorie-dense food like olive oil. That means we can enjoy many more bites without going overboard on calories.

It also means we can actually fill up, which helps curb the temptation to pull into a fast food drive-thru or toss candy bars into the shopping cart.

Another thing that’s a killer, literally, about a lot of “healthy” recipes is the massive amounts of salt used. We’re told to shake “generous amounts,” but generous shakes of salt can lead to generous stiffening of our poor arteries, as well as high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and other crippling conditions. In fact, hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the #1 cause of stroke.

Flavors of Summer

Our Pritikin meal plan is not only healthy – high in whole foods and low in salt and calorie-dense items – it’s delicious, because when you think about it, what’s better than the flavors of summer, pure and strong? Peaches at their ripest? Tomatoes just plucked from vines? Big plump blueberries? Sweet juicy corn on the cob?

We have more good news. For the most part, we’ve kept this summer plan real simple. No 18-ingredient sauces simmering on the stove for three hours. It’s minimal time in the kitchen, and maximum flavor and summertime fun.

Healthy Meal Plan for Summer


DAY 1

Breakfast

Choose healthy foods like applesauce for breakfast in this meal plan.
  • Half a Cantaloupe with 1 Cup of Vanilla Greek Yogurt (fat free, no sugar added)

    Scoop out the cantaloupe’s seed-filled center, and drop in the yogurt.

  • Whole-Wheat English Muffin (good brand choice is Food For Life®) spread with Applesauce (no-sugar-added varieties)

    Afraid this big-sized breakfast is big on calories? No way! It tallies up fewer calories than a single typical muffin at Starbucks and other coffeehouses, and that includes the low-fat muffins.

  • Iced Coffee or Tea, if desired

    If you’d like, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and/or a packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Mid-Morning Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • 1 Cup of Sugar Snap Peas and 1 or 2 Apricots

    Go for peas and beans whenever you can! They’re filling, nutrient rich, low in calorie density, and packed with fiber. You’d have to eat about 6 slices of whole-wheat bread to get the same amount of fiber that’s in 1 cup of beans or peas.

    If you’d like to fire up your sugar snap peas a bit, dip them in a little wasabi (Japanese horseradish).

Lunch

  • Gigantic Chopped Salad with Pritikin-style Thousand Island Dressing

    Throw in just about any veggies already in the crisper, especially the crunchy ones. Here’s a combination that guests love at the Pritikin Longevity Center.

    Cauliflower florets
    Broccoli florets
    Carrots
    Red Onion
    Radishes
    Romaine lettuce greens
    Cucumber
    Tomato

    In a large bowl, chop up all your veggies into bite-size pieces using a knife or salad chopper. Here’s a chopper our guests at Pritikin like.

    Chill your veggies till ready to serve.

    Meanwhile, whip up your Pritikin-style Thousand Island Dressing (and watch the pounds disappear).

    Pritikin Thousand Island Dressing
    Votes: 18
    Rating: 2.39
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    Two tablespoons of regular Thousand Island dressing packs in about 120 calories and 300 mg of sodium. Our tasty Pritikin Thousand Island Dressing has just 20 calories and 15 mg of sodium.
    Servings Prep Time Cook Time
    162-tablespoon servings 10minutes 0minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    162-tablespoon servings 10minutes
    Cook Time
    0minutes
    Ingredients
    Servings: 2-tablespoon servings Units:
    Ingredients
    Servings: 2-tablespoon servings Units:
    Instructions
    1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
    2. Store in refrigerator for about 4 days, depending on the expiration dates of your dairy ingredients.
  • ½ Whole-Wheat Bagel Smeared with Nonfat Ricotta Cheese and Topped with a Sliced Pluot

    Never tried a pluot? You’re in for a treat! This yummy fruit (it starts arriving in markets in mid-summer) looks and tastes like a plum but with apricot overtones.

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Bowl of Fresh Cherries
The Omega 3s in Salmon Make This Dinner A Tasty Part of Your Summer Meal Plan

Dinner

  • Big Salad of Baby Greens, Fresh Basil, and Strawberries

    For a dressing, blend up your own creation of fresh berries, champagne vinegar, and a teaspoon of apple juice concentrate.

  • Seared Salmon (4 oz) with Blueberry Balsamic Bliss and Whole-Wheat Couscous

    Our Blueberry Balsamic Bliss is so easy to make. In a saucepan on the stove, simply bring to a boil ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of fresh blueberries. Reduce heat and stir regularly until reduced by half. Ladle over your salmon. If you’d like, top with a few fresh blueberries.

    Whole-wheat couscous is real easy, too. For this delish whole grain, you don’t even need the stove. Just combine ½ cup of couscous with ½ cup water. Stir in onion flakes and your favorite salt-free seasoning, and microwave on high for about 3 minutes.

Dessert (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Watermelon Snow Cone

    Here’s a fun version of a summer fruit favorite. The night before, puree about 6 cups of rough-chopped watermelon (seedless) in a blender until smooth. Pour into a shallow airtight container and freeze. Before serving, let it thaw a little, then mash with a fork and spoon into paper cones or cups.


DAY 2

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with Fresh Berries and Nonfat Milk or Soymilk

    We know it’s summer, but for weight control, go for hot rather than cold cereal. That’s because cold dry cereals are far more calorically dense. Per bite, you’re taking in about three times the calories of cooked cereals like oatmeal.

  • Iced Coffee or Tea, if desired

    If you’d like, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and/or a packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Mid-Morning Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Heirloom Gazpacho

    Want to shed pounds? Enjoy soups, hot or cold. They tend to be low in calorie density, and research, particularly from Penn State University, has found they do a great job of filling you up.

    Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
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    Our Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho is refreshing and so simple! Just combine the following ingredients and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
    Servings Prep Time Cook Time
    4people 25minutes 0minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4people 25minutes
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    Ingredients
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    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except basil.
    2. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
    3. Pour into serving bowls. Sprinkle ribbons of basil on top.

     

Lunch

  • Tomato and Peach Salad

    This exquisite summer salad was inspired by a recipe in a 19th century cookbook from Tuscany. If you can’t get good peaches, nectarines work well. All you do is slice up 2 peaches and 2 ripe but firm tomatoes. Combine in bowl and lightly drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of walnut oil, and fresh lemon juice. Add freshly ground black pepper and a small handful of chopped walnuts. (If weight loss is a goal, leave out the walnuts and oil because they’re very dense with calories.)

  • 1 Corn on the Cob

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • 1 Cup of Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt with Fresh Raspberries and ½ Banana
  • Feeling thirsty?

    Lemonade’s always a summer favorite, but did you know that a 12-ounce glass of regular lemonade has about 150 calories? Drinking one every day could add up to a 15-pound weight gain in one year. Get 0 calories and lots of fresh lemon flavor by squeezing several wedges of lemon into a tall glass of ice water. Pour in a packet of Splenda, and stir.

Dinner

  • Cook it all on the outdoor grill! Veggie Burgers, Whole-Wheat Buns, Grilled Veggies

    Veggie patties have only about half the calories of red meat patties, and 0 artery-clogging saturated fat. A good choice is Gardenburger® (Garden Vegan).

    No summer meal plan would be complete without healthy grilling options.

    For whole-wheat buns, look for lower-sodium brands, such as Food For Life®. It’s so important to watch sodium intake. The more sodium, or salt, we eat, the greater our risk of hypertension. Having hypertension means we’re 4 times more likely to develop heart disease.

    Grilled vegetables have great smoky flavor. Cut up a bunch of summer veggies in thick, grillable slices. Spray very lightly with oil spray and sprinkle with Pritikin All-Purpose Seasoning.

    Make enough so that you have leftovers for egg white omelettes, sandwiches, or pasta the next day. Excellent veggie choices include bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, red onions, and portobello mushrooms. Top your veggie burger with your grilled veggies along with crisp Romaine lettuce and a smear of low-sodium Dijon mustard, and enjoy a nice hefty serving of veggies on the side.

Dessert (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Use the Grill for Dessert, too! Grilled Pineapple Slices

    Sprinkle pineapple slices with cinnamon about a half hour before grilling. Grill about 5 minutes on medium-high heat on both sides. Top with a creamy dollop of fat-free sour cream mixed with a little vanilla extract.


DAY 3

Breakfast

  • Scrambled Egg Whites with Grilled Veggies and Nonfat Ricotta Cheese

    Use the grilled veggies leftover from last night’s dinner. So easy! For a little kick, sprinkle on hot sauce. Good low-sodium choices are Pritikin varieties, Bone Suckin’® Sauce, Dave’s Gourmet, Tabasco, and Pukka.

  • Use those healthy grilled vegetables from last night in this morning's breakfast meal plan..
    1 or 2 Slices Whole-Wheat Toast

    If you’re running late, make breakfast-in-a-bowl by breaking your toast into a bowl and topping with the egg whites, veggies, and cheese. You’re out the door!

    We don’t use yolks at Pritikin. Regardless of public relations campaigns saying “eggs are the perfect food,” yolks are far from perfect. They’re loaded with dietary cholesterol, which research has repeatedly found raises blood cholesterol.

  • Iced Coffee or Tea, if desired

    If you’d like, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and/or a packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Mid-Morning Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Fruit Salsa

    Use whatever fruits you already have. Great choices are melons, mangos, and berries. Chop them up. Put them in a big bowl. Then add chopped onions, chopped fresh cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime, to taste. Enjoy alone as a snack, and if you have extras, use as a fat-free, no-salt salad dressing. It’s also fantastic spooned over grilled fish.

    Numerous studies have found that eating foods rich in water, like fruits, vegetables, hot cereals, and soups, helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. Yes, they’re great weight-loss foods!

Lunch

  • Big Farmer’s Market Salad

    Throw in a variety of fresh seasonal produce, veggies as well as fruit. For a dressing, enjoy the fruit salad you made for your mid-morning snack, or use really good balsamic vinegar. Our guests at Pritikin have found that with top-quality balsamic vinegar, they don’t need any oil on their salads. A brand they buy by the case is Roland Diamond Balsamic Vinegar. It’s expensive, they agree, but worth it.

  • Curry Hummus Dip and Cucumbers in a Whole-Wheat Pita

    This dip makes a fabulous spread for pitas and wraps. And what a difference for your waistline! A schmear has about one-seventh the calories of butter or mayo – and about 20 times less sodium than most store-bought hummus. Make up a batch (see recipe below) and refrigerate for enjoyment with fresh veggies all week long.

    Curry Hummus Dip
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    This Curry Hummus Dip makes a fabulous spread for pitas and sandwiches. And what a difference for your waistline and blood pressure! A schmear has about one-seventh the calories of butter or mayo – and about 20 times less sodium than most store-bought hummus.
    Prep Time Cook Time
    20minutes 17minutes
    Prep Time
    20minutes
    Cook Time
    17minutes
    Ingredients
    Servings: 1/4 cup per serving Units:
    Ingredients
    Servings: 1/4 cup per serving Units:
    Instructions
    1. In a medium nonstick saucepan, sauté on medium heat for 3 minutes onion, garlic, and tomato.
    2. Add ginger, cumin, coriander, Caribbean curry powder, thyme, and Pritikin All-Purpose Seasoning. Cook over low heat for 8 minutes. (The consistency should be like paste.)
    3. Add garbanzo beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
    4. While still hot, pour mixture into food processor and puree. Cool.
    5. Optional: Garnish with sliced apples.
    Recipe Notes

    * Make your own all-purpose seasoning by blending together your favorite herbs and spices such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried basil. You can also purchase our chefs’ Pritikin® All-Purpose Seasoning in the Online Store at pritikin.com or call 305-935-7131.

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • ½ Cup Cottage Cheese with Sliced Nectarines

    For cottage cheese, look for nonfat, low-sodium varieties, such as Friendship (1%, No Salt Added). A half-cup of many cottage cheeses contains nearly a third the sodium most of us should have for the entire day.

Dinner

  • Mahi Mahi Ceviche

    No need to heat up the stove! In a large glass bowl, simply combine 1 pound of mahi mahi (this dish serves 4) cut into short thin pieces, ½ cup lime juice, ½ cup chopped and seeded tomatoes, a seeded and finely minced habanero pepper, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well, and sprinkle a finely sliced small red onion on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Then, stir to incorporate the onions, and refrigerate 1 hour more.

  • Whole-Wheat Pasta Alla Checca

    Another easy summer favorite! The only thing you have to cook is the pasta. In a big pasta serving bowl, toss in about 2 pounds of fresh, diced, richly flavored tomatoes, crushed garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and a big handful of torn fresh basil leaves. Add the cooked pasta. Stir. If desired, top each individual bowl with a little reduced-fat Parmesan cheese (Kraft®) or soy/veggie-based Parmesan (Galaxy Nutritional Foods®)

Dessert (enjoy only if hungry)

Your Healthy Summer Meal Plan Can Include Dessert
  • Perfectly Pritikin “Ice Cream”

    There’s a new counter-top appliance called Yonanas, sold at stores like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, that turns fruit into a frozen dessert that tastes like soft serve ice cream. You freeze really ripe bananas, let them thaw just slightly, then feed them into a Yonanas and add any other frozen fruit, like mango. “It’s perfectly Pritikin ice cream,” smiles Pritikin RD Kimberly Gomer. Top with fresh strawberries, and savor while watching the fireflies!

Savor all of summer with our truly healthy meal plan. We bet you’ll savor how well you’ll be feeling, too.


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