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Cold, healthy treats for summer



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Healthful smoothies (clockwise from left) are Icy Carrot Cooler, It's Easy Bein' Green, Mixed Berry and Beet, and Green 'n Lean.  Tribune News Service Buy Photos

Summer is prime time for college students to get their health back – you don’t need to stress eat pizza bread at 3 a.m. while studying for tests, you finally have time to cook meals and instead of running to class with a bagel sandwich, you actually have time to sit down and eat. 

And yet, sometimes we just want to sit outside with an ice cream cone from a box or lay near the pool with a piña colada.

Eating healthy in the summer can be tough. The abundance of cold drinks cannot be measured, and the amount of frozen treats that can be consumed while trying to cool off from the heat is too high to count. 

So, what can you eat?

Let’s face it, if you’re of legal drinking age, drinking by the pool is always a good time – as long as you set alarms to reapply sunscreen. Being tipsy in the sun is fun, but drinking five beers or three thick piña coladas to get there might not be.

Swap your beer or your piña colada with a skinny margarita. Instead of orange liqueur, use fresh orange juice, and use light agave nectar to sweeten. Served over ice, it'll be a great replacement to the Natty Light that's been sitting in the back of your fridge for three months.

Ice cream and summer seem to go hand-in-hand, but sugar, milk and a hot summer's day may not be the best combination. Blueberry frozen yogurt is easy to make at home, and is a great replacement for ice cream – it uses blueberries, honey, lemon, salt and yogurt. It can, of course, be served in cone form and eaten while sitting next to the pool.

Smoothies are a simple, cold drink to make during any time, summer mornings especially. The natural sugar in smoothies can sometimes be high, but when swapped with vegetables that you can’t taste like spinach or kale, it can be relatively low in sugar. Peanut butter can be put into any smoothie to add some protein, and if a banana is added, it will be one of the most prominent flavors. 

Eating healthy sometimes sucks, but there are some simple steps that can be taken to make the best of it. 

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