As a Jersey girl, I’ve spent all of my summers heading to the shore. While Long Beach Island was my main spot, there was always the obligatory trip or two to the famous boardwalks that dot the coastline.
As a kid I would indulge in the ice cream and funnel cake, but now I try to eat a cleaner diet so things like fried Oreos (as delicious as they are) are mostly out of the question. But, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped eating at these seaside escapes. In fact, as a certified holistic health coach I was determined to find treats that were yummy yet wouldn’t effect my waistline too much. To my surprise, there are quite a few.
What’s a summer without some nuts? Roasted ones like cashews, almonds and pistachios are a great snack to feel like you’re indulging without feeling sick after the fact. Just 12 dry-roasted peanuts are only about 72 calories, so a small handful or two won’t ruin your hard work. They also pack a lot of protein, so they’ll make you feel fuller for longer aka preventing you from wanting to pick up that ice cream cone.
Speaking of ice cream, there’s really nothing better on a hot than a cold dish of the sweet treat. While traditional ice cream is filled with a lot of fat and sugar, Italian ice is only about 60 calories for half a cup. It’s just as flavorful without being filled with gut busting extras. A Polish water ice has about double the amount of calories (140 for a five ounce serving), but is a heartier replacement for traditional ice cream if you have a real hankering. You can also opt for snow cones or shaved ice to satisfy that craving.
And what’s more quintessential to the Jersey Shore than salt-water taffy? You’re in luck! Just two pieces of the traditional treat are only about 55 calories making them the perfect way to get a taste of your childhood without feeling guilty.
For a little bit more of an indulgence, I’d recommend fresh-squeezed lemonade, popcorn without butter and chocolate-covered strawberries. They’re a bit higher in things like sugar and carbohydrates, but still totally okay for those cheat snacks.
As always, it’s never really about sticking to a diet, but rather eating what you love in moderation. If you eat greens (and we’re not talking fried pickles) with most meals, drink plenty of water and walk every day, you won’t have to worry about splurging on some boardwalk eats.