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Paula’s Perfect Plate: Celebrate Love, Laughter and Never-ending Summer Days!

By Robin Shea

Summer is here and I remember the days (not so long ago) when my my boys were up with the chickens every morning begging to jump in the swimming pool before I even had a chance to enjoy my coffee. I spent most summer days sitting around a swimming pool with my mom and sisters letting our ‘littles” play together for hours. We didn’t realize we were making memories; we just knew we were having fun. Cousins (and siblings, of course) are your first best friends, and we were blessed to have an abundance of best friends. There were usually between 9 and 15 cousins splish-splashing around all-day, every-day, all summer long.

Swimming leaves children and adults with a BIG appetite. During summer days, my kids grazed like cattle, stopping only long enough to eat something that would knock the edge off their hunger, and then, back in the water they went. It is so easy to fall into a summer rut of eating hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, chips and juice boxes.

Why not shake things up this summer and create a never-ending summer menu to go along with those long days of swimming? Children typically prefer grazing during active, hot summer days. This is actually a much better way for them to eat during an active day; allow them to enjoy frequent snack breaks, rather than filling up too much at any one meal. Take advantage of their desire to graze rather than glut, and use this opportunity to introduce them to some wonderful, fresh flavors that might become new summer favorites!

Paula's Perfect Plate

Our Never-Ending Summer Day menu begins with a simple, delicious, protein-packed breakfast of cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs. Through a combination of salads, poached chicken, and fresh fruit, we round out the rest of the day—let’s take a look.

Lunch is a light, flavorful combination of two of Paula’s recipes, Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Almonds and an Arugula and Peach Salad with Poached Chicken. I would venture to say these two salads paired up side-by-side are going to be a winning flavor combination. Snacks are equally as delicious and include Paula’s Watermelon, Cucumber Salad with Fresh Basil and one of my summer favorites, Tomato, Peach, Almond and Red Onion Salad. When dinner rolls around, you will be prepared with another one of Paula’s recipes, Chicken Curry with Red Bell Pepper and Pineapple, and my yummy Protein Spinach Salad.

Sidebar: If you take the time to prep this menu the night before, you will find these recipes roll effortless into each other, making final assembly a snap! For instance, prepare twice the number of eggs you will need for breakfast to use in my Protein Spinach Salad. Separate your peach slices and divide between lunch and snack. Poach extra chicken to use in both Arugula and Peach Salad with Poached Chicken and Chicken Curry with Red Bell Pepper and Pineapple.

This is the way you survive summer the 80/20 way: make each meal prep count!

For more information on how you can build your own perfect plate, click here.

Until Next Time… LIVE INSPIRED!!!

Robin xoxo

Robin Shea - As a healthy lifestyle mentor, speaker, celebrity cook, and creator of The 80/20 Lifestyle, Robin Shea is committed to providing her clients with reliable sources for nutritional and fitness guidance, among other aspects of healthy living. Robin has been helping people embrace healthier food choices, fall in love with fitness, and correct plain old stinkin’ thinkin’ for over 14 years.

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