Lighten Up At Meal Time

It's so darned hot outside, you sometimes don't feel like eating. Especially right after draining yourself of every last ounce of energy under an imposing stack of plates. After racking 'em and dragging yourself back home, all you want to do is fall asleep on the couch with the AC cranked to Ice Age. This is definitely not very sound nutritional advice for someone who's trying to build a better physique.

To complement that smooth creamy protein shake, you're sure to appreciate a nice light menu for sweltering hot days. You don't have to fork through a thick, chewy steak to get more protein, and you could really do without a big hunk of red meat loitering in your stomach. Let's see what a Greek salad toped with salmon has to offer in the way of muscle support and glycogen replenishment. For those who've never made one, all you need is leaf lettuce, feta cheese, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, olive oil and cracked pepper. Boosting the protein potential with 4 ounces of salmon seemed the perfect fit. You can use the canned variety, but the nutrients improve when you grill up fresh or frozen raw fish.

Now don't be put off by that hefty fat statistic. The number's weighed down by the healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 ounces of salmon. The majority of calories come from these same sources, so think of them in a more positive light. Worthy of note is how few carbs you'll find in this easy to prepare and very flavorful meal.

Another cool, low calorie summertime meal is the all vegetable medley. Go with a rainbow of colors to get the full spectrum of nutrients. It might be green beans, orange sweet potatoes, yellow corn and brown rice. Don't worry. You'll be getting all of the essential amino acids (EAAs) here. Because this meal pairs a legume (bean), which lacks the EAA methionine, with a grain (rice), lacking lysine, you are completing the equation in your stomach. Besides protein, you'll be getting your fair share of slow-burning complex carbohydrates for energy along with a host of vitamins and essential minerals.

Who's ready for desert? Your devotion to watching caloric intake and tracking nutrients doesn't have to preclude you from enjoying the cool, decadently delicious treats of summer. It's as simple as plugging in the blender and letting your creative juices flow. You can make a delicious smoothie using your favorite protein powder as a basic ingredient. Then pour in fruit juices or skim milk, add nuts, seeds, fruits and spices. There's no limit to what you can combine. Depending on your goals, you can stack your smoothie with creatine or another sports supplement.

If you find yourself needing a starting point, log onto There you'll find dozens of creations that people like you have posted, complete with a breakdown of ingredients, step-by-step directions and a nutrient profile that tells you exactly what you're getting into. You can explore the smoothie database using a wide range of search factors including diet-friendly, fruit flavored, most recently posted, and many more.

Feel free to modify any of these smoothie recipes to suit your own tastes. Then come back and post directions instructing others on how to recreate your favorite smoothie recipes. You can even post an image of the final product in all its smoothie glory.
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