Balanced Bites: Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for Surviving Summer
When we were young, the thought of all the fun of summer days inspired us to get through the end of the school year. As adults, we often begin planning for this time right after the winter holidays! Just the thought of summer inspires us to think of vacations, camping, outdoor sports, barbeques, gardening, yard work, and celebrations of graduations, birthdays, summer holidays, etc. And then comes the months of planning needed to coordinate these events, schedules, and all the details. It can be overwhelming to say the least. We so often forget that summer is a chance to get a break from the daily grind and relax while consuming all the bounty that nature has to offer us! Here are a few tips that can help you enjoy a nourishing, healthy summer:
- Eat fresh, local and seasonally. The bounty of nature’s harvest really begins to come in fully in July and August in backyard gardens and at local farmer’s markets and fruit stands. Plan your menus around the freshest vegetables and fruits you can find. Fill the fridge and fruit bowl with these as quick options for fueling hungry kids! Our bodies need the vitamins and minerals these fresh in-season fruits and vegetables provide to keep us healthy and vibrant! Grilled vegetable kabobs or a sun ripened tomato sliced and drizzled with olive oil can really complement any summer menu!
- Eat a rainbow of veggies and fruits daily to get a variety of nutrients! Anti-oxidants are a way our bodies neutralize free radicals and protect our immune system. These powerful nutrients are found in colorful vegetables and fruits. Red tomatoes, strawberries and peppers; orange squash and carrots; purple cabbage, green melons and kiwi’s; and so many other options provide nutrients and flavors to tempt our palate.
- As your outdoor activities increase, so does your need for hydration! Clean, filtered water is essential for digestion, elimination to toxins, and many other functions in your body. Without enough water, our bodies can begin to feel run down, sick, and even experience foggy thinking. And with increased activities and exercise your body will be depleting minerals and electrolytes. Consuming sugary drinks like soda and even sports drinks can actually deplete calcium in our bones, make you more thirsty, and fill you up with empty calories!
Remember to bring up a water bottle for you and the kids. So how much water do I need to drink? A minimum of eight 8 oz glasses of water is a good amount of water to aim for daily. Another way to calculate this is to take your weight in pounds and then divide in half. This number should be the base amount of water in ounces that you should be consuming for regular activity levels. If you are more active or working out, then you will need to consume more! And to replenish some of the electrolytes, add a pinch of Himalayan pink or Celtic sea salt to your water bottle to replace trace minerals and salts. Try anti-oxidant rich green tea, herbal tea, or fruit infused water to keep your mouth happy and you hydrated!
- Choose Healthy Fats. Fats have received a lot of bad press over the years. These energy powerhouses can be a healthy addition to our diets to provide for weight loss, brain health, and repair and replacement of cells! Healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil can be great for grilling vegetables and wonderful additions to home made salad dressings. Avocados can be added to salad, guacamole, on toast, in smoothies, etc. Nuts and seeds are also great sources of healthy fats.
- Prepare some healthy snack bags of cut veggies, fruits, seeds and nuts for grabbing on the go! With busy and active schedules, eating healthy becomes even more important to fuel our bodies during the summer months. Having snacks prepared and ready to grab is a wonderful way to avoid the drive through or convenience stores for a snacks high in sugar or simple carbohydrates.
- Plan one day each week to do meal planning and preparation to ease the stress of meal times. Prepping a few meals, cutting up veggies, making salads for meals later in the week, and having plenty of healthy snack options on hand can make the rest of the week much easier. The whole family can be involved to empower them in making healthy choices for meals and snacks too!
- Get plenty of rest. Your schedule is full and your body needs restorative sleep to be ready to meet the busy days ahead. An average of 6-8 hours of sleep are optimal. Here are a few ways to help get adequate sleep:
- Establish an evening routine to get your body into a habit.
- Turn off the television, the phone and computer an hour or two before bed to allow your eyes and brain to begin relaxation.
- Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bed to allow for proper digestion
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Be in bed by 10 pm. Experts claim we get more restorative sleep before midnight than during the rest of the night.
- Dim the lights, meditate, or read a book for 15-30 minutes.
- Breakfast really is the healthiest meal of the day as it sets our blood sugar pattern for the rest of the day. Pair a protein and healthy fat with your breakfast to really fuel your day! Have left-overs from dinner last night, avocado and egg on toast, almond butter on an apple, yogurt with added fruit are just a few options! A healthy shake with protein powder can also be a great way to get a variety of greens, fruits and protein all in a convenient and tasty meal to fuel our bodies on the run!
- Don’t forget to schedule some downtime. Summer is supposed to be a time for some relaxation too, so schedule some time for you! Here are a few ideas:
- Get outside and place your bare feet on the earth. This is called “earthing” and our bodies, minds and spirits need to be in contact with our planet to ground us and allow us to receive her healing vibrations.
- Being in the sun for 10-15 minutes is a great way to absorb some Vitamin D to support your immune system too!
- Breathe deeply, ground and center yourself daily.
- Schedule a massage, bodywork, or a session with your favorite practitioner at DYSG!
- Treat yourself to lunch or tea with a friend
- Take a trip to the bookstore or antique store and browse
- Eat lunch outside under a tree!
- Go for an evening walk or stroll!
These are just a few of the tips that can make your summer more organized, healthy, and enjoyable! Please feel free to contact me if you want to go more deeply to optimize your nutrition, need healthy meal plans, or just have questions.
For more information, contact Marva at 303-478-8047
OR visit her website at www.healingtouchnutrition.com
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