During my freshman year of college I gained a few pounds, the infamous freshman 15. I spent the first two months of summer working it off by cutting out all the bad stuff from my diet and and working out everyday. Now that I’m back in shape, I want to stay healthy.

When I cut the crap out of my diet, I looked to some of the principles of the paleo diet instead. Eating healthy fats is a super crucial component that I stick by. There are a ton of foods with healthy fats that can keep sugar cravings and carb overloads from tempting you too much. Some types actually help your body burn fat.

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t treat yo’self every now and again, moderation is healthy for the mind. Once you get your beach body you want it to last the whole summer…and year-round. These foods have helped to me stay on track without feeling like I’m sacrificing anything.



Photo by Samantha Thayer

Avocados are a perfect way to feel satisfied but not guilty. They’re fatty and rich, but they contain monounsaturated fats that raise good cholesterol and lower bad. They are also full of vitamin E, which inhibits free radical damage, boosts immunity, and is great for your skin.

Avocados are quite trendy right now, especially on toast. My favorite way to defeat a carb craving is to cut an avocado in half, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and dig in with a spoon. I also add them to my post workout protein shakes for an extra creamy texture.

Coconut Oil


Photo by Claire Waggoner

Coconut oil’s popularity has spiked recently and for good reasons. I cook with it because it has a much higher smoke point (getting fats too hot can damage their nutritional value) than olive oil with many of the same heart-healthy properties.

Some nutritionists suggest eating tablespoon of coconut oil every morning to help rev your metabolism, something I have started doing too. If eating coconut oil straight up seems daunting, you can add a spoonful to your coffee in the morning instead.

Olive Oil


Photo by Jessica Kelly

Olive oil can be a simple addition to foods to create a feeling of richness. I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar on all of my salads. You might not notice it right away, but this heart-healthy oil will help crush cravings for sugar and starchy foods as you become accustomed to it.

I love eating tomatoes, so by adding some olive oil, salt, and pepper I feel satisfied without feeling guilty. You can do this with roasted veggies as well. Add the oil when you roast them (below its smoking point, of course) and add dash extra before eating.



Photo by Caty Schnack

Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with a little butter. Adding a little to my veggies or a baked sweet potato is a perfect way for me to feel indulgent without ruining my health goals and hard work at the gym. I use butter made with milk from grassfed cows because it’s the most nutritious.



Photo by Jonatan Soler

Whether it’s smoked, raw, or cooked in your favorite preparation, salmon is packed with omega-3s that our bodies can’t produce on their own. You’ve probably heard of taking fish oils supplements, but that’s not for everyone.

Next time you’re thinking of ordering a breaded chicken cutlet or a cheese burger because you’re dying for some fatty goodness, look to Salmon instead. Salmon is my favorite fish, but tuna is an equally good choice.