7 Summer Eating Tips
1. Eat smaller, nutrient-dense meals more often
You can control your blood sugar more easily by eating a smaller meal every 3-4 hours that contains protein. This will prevent binges (3rd hamburger anyone?) or reaching for the first food that will fill you up when you're famished. You will have fewer cravings if you keep your blood sugar stable. Ideally your energy will come from 30-40% protein, 30-40% healthy fats, 15-30% carbs (ask me which numbers are right for you, there's a lot of individual variation here).
Ideas: Greek salad with chicken
raw veggies dipped in hummus or greek yogurt dip
apple with almond butter
egg salad wrapped in lettuce or greens
2. Keep up the hydration
Remember how to calculate your daily H2O needs? Here's a reminder:
Body Weight in pounds divided by 2 is the number of ounces you need
eg. 150 lbs / 2 = 75 ounces (2.2 litres) water
The body gets the signal for hunger much quicker than the trigger for thirst. Next time you feel a hunger pang try a glass of water first, sometimes we think we are hungry when really it is merely the first signs of dehydration. Fresh water allows our body to work better, rids the body of toxins, and keeps our cells plump (in a good way). Some of our summer indulgences like pina coladas and beer are dehydrating to the body and we need to keep our water balance in check.
3. Fats are OK!
Our generation has been conditioned to think that fats are the enemy. Consequently, our diet is compensated with sugar and starch to add flavour and fullness to our meals. Get rid of the idea that fats are bad - just erase it. When we get more of our energy from fats we actually improve our gut health, mood and brain function immensely (good summer reading on this topic are the books "Grain Brain" and "Brain Maker" by Dr. David Perlmutter). Just remember to cut down on the sugars and starches when you beef up your fat intake to prevent becoming overfed.
4. Local, Local, Local
Foods with one ingredient (eg. lettuce) are the best kind of nutrition. When those foods are allowed to ripen naturally and don't travel long distances to get to us we can get the best nutrient value and taste. The Orangeville Farmer's Market runs every Saturday morning, or let us know and we'll send you a list of our local food vendors.
5. 80/20 Rule
Moderation is key to enjoying life and avoiding feeling deprived. If you aim to eat well 80% of the time, you will reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. When you do indulge, keep within the recommended serving size listed on the label if there is one. Try not to overthink this, it's just a guideline.
6. Chill Out
Summer should be about lazy afternoons, time with friends, vacations, reconnecting with nature and mental rejuvenation. So many of our health concerns are brought on by stress. Now is the time to remember what is important to you. If you have trouble getting into relaxation mode try a meditation app on your phone like Headspace or Mindfulness Daily to get you started with just a few minutes a day. Also, find ways to make contact with nature - walk barefoot in the backyard, do yoga on the dock, or watch the stars. When we connect with the earth we let go of the negative ions keeping us from being well.
Make the Perfect Smoothie Easily
1. Solid Base
- avocado, frozen banana, ice, or tofu (for soy-tolerant people)
2. Frozen Fruit
- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango chunks, or peaches
3. Add in Greens
- spinach, kale, or a scoop of super greens powder
- almond milk, coconut milk, apple juice, water, or green tea (chilled)
- add just enough to cover the solid ingredients
5. Boost it Up
- protein powder, cocoa nibs, seeds (chia, hemp, ground flax), almond butter, walnuts or probiotics
6. Blend and Enjoy
eg. frozen banana + 1 cup strawberries + handful of kale + 1.5 cups unsweetened fortified almond milk + cocoa + hemp seeds
Get Well. Be Well. Live Well. Happy Summer! ~ Dr. Christa