“I scream, you scream, we ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!”

It’s a phrase as synonymous with summer as fireworks and fireflies. When the temperatures rise, so does my desire for a big, gooey, ice cream sundae (ahem, with cherry on top, of course!). It’s no surprise, then, that July is National Ice Cream Month! I have such great memories of heading to the ice cream shop with my family as a kid.  I would be dressed in my pajamas so I could go right to bed once we got home, my mouths still pink from my extra scoop of sprinkles. I tasted every flavor, but in the end it would always be the same outcome: vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. To my 9-year-old self, those trips were almost as great as Christmas morning.

Fast forward to now… while I still have those wonderful memories, there’s something I don’t have: a nine year old’s metabolism! Between a day job that keeps me tied to a desk and a love for all things food + wine + travel, I’ve found that delectable summer-time treats can really add up in the calorie department.

There are lots of things on my summer to do list, but getting out of shape isn’t one of them. This pool season, I’m “Ice-screaming” for good health in addition to my usual tasty treats! Think the two are mutually exclusive? No way! Below, here are three ways I stay slim for summer without sacrificing my summertime favorites!

Gulfport: Florida's Hippie Haven

1. Swell Ice Cream

Ok, I know we’ve all tried the “frozen banana, add honey, add Greek yogurt, freeze for four hours” recipe that we all hope will result in a super healthy frozen treat that tastes like Ben and Jerry’s but has the calorie content of celery. Nope. It’s failed me countless times and I gave up on the concept of healthy ice cream. Suffice it to say, when I was introduced to Swell, The Next Wave of Ice Cream, I was very skeptical. But, mama didn’t raise a quitter, so I did some research.

Guys, this stuff is the real deal. Check out their Chocolate Chip Cookie Batter ice cream. One serving of this decadent delight has 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, and TEN grams of protein. Compare this to a serving of another popular ice cream brand, which has 280 calories, 16 grams of fat, and only 4 grams of protein. YIKES. It’s not even a contest.

When I’ve tried to make healthy ice cream substitutions in the past, I always felt like the consistency was off; more icy than creamy. Swell Ice Cream actually tastes like ice cream, which means that you can use it to make scrumptious milk shakes, root beer floats, and sundaes without compromising on flavor. My favorite way to enjoy Swell Ice Cream is eat it for dessert. But, you can even eat it for breakfast (my inner nine year old is dancing right now) or use it to make a super easy quick smoothie. I’m not kidding – it tastes SO good.

I’ve been obsessed with their Coconut flavor this summer and even have my husband hooked too. He was skeptical at first… particularly when he saw me eating Swell Ice Cream for breakfast one morning. He looked at the label and was surprised by the amount of protein. He’s a tall skinny runner that can’t keep weight on (must be nice!), but needs to eat a ton of healthy calories and protein to fuel his runs. He ended up grabbing a spoon and helped me polish off some Coconut (which now he’s also obsessed with).

As much as I love traditional ice cream, “I scream” inwardly once the bowl is empty because I am always left feeling super guilty about the fat and calories I’ve consumed. When I eat Swell Ice Cream, I can enjoy my treats guilt-free; instead of leading to a sugar crash, I’m left feeling GOOD. All that protein fills me up and I’m not back at the dessert table in five minutes looking for something else to eat! Tasty ice cream that leaves you feeling BETTER for having eaten it?! Sign me up! Check out the Swell Ice Cream store locator if you’re wondering where you find it and save some cash buying it with this Ibotta offer.

2. Move, Move, Move

The more you move, the more you burn. I love to hike and bike, but I don’t have time to do it all the time, so I like activity that takes less commitment. Try these simple moves the next time you’ve got some time to kill:

While you’re in the pool discussing the Southern Charm season finale with your friends, try treading water for five minutes. It sounds simple, but it’s actually a great cardio workout and will help tone your legs. Take a break for five minutes, then do another five minutes of treading. Keep alternating for an hour. In the time you’ve spent discussing how sweet Palmer’s cheeks are and the feud between Kathryn and Ashley (#teamkathryn), you’ll have burned some  calories without having to squeeze in time at the gym!

Next time you’re stuck in an airport, try this:

  • For every hour you’re in the air, do one burpee (8 hours of flying time = 8 burpees).
  • Take your age and double it. That’s your number of crunches. (If you’re 25, your number is 50).
  • Count the number of letters in the name of your destination and multiply by three. That’s your number of lunges. (If I’m flying to Atlanta, that’s 21 lunges on each leg).

Repeat two or three times as you wait for your flight. You may get some stares, but it will be worth it when you can order an extra inflight cocktail!

3. Meals on Wheels

Yep, I know you’ve heard this before. But hear me out. You hear the phrase “meal planning” and you think of your crazy coworker who is a vegan/paleo/raw foodie who only eats on Sundays under a full moon. While some folks take it to the extreme, there’s no need to join in health food trends just to watch your waistline. I start simple by committing to always having water and a piece of fruit or protein with me. I love almonds (they take a long time to go bad) and/or some string cheese (it travels easy). Bonus: I can usually locate these items in airports and I stock up on layovers.  I’m often stuck in airports and the portable snack trick has saved me from a lot of unnecessary Big Macs. I’d rather sip those calories anyway! I’ve also been known to show up at a pool party with a healthy pre-made snack. Frozen grapes, pita chips, and Mom’s tomato salad tend to help me stay away from the potato chips. Finally, As much as I love a good burger, I try to limit my beef intake to once a week. If I’m headed to a cookout or pool party, I try to bring a piece of chicken to toss on the grill. These are simple tips, but they really help me save on unnecessary calories and salt, which means I have more “room” for a second (or third!) glass of wine! 🙂

What are your tips and tricks for staying fit during summer? I hope mine have been useful to you so you can indulge a bit more here and there.

How do you stay healthy without a ton of sacrifice?

Digital coupon on the ibotta shopping application can be redeemed three times at time of purchase for a total redemption value of $3.00.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Swell Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.