The mercury is rising, the kids are out of school and the days are long and hot. Yes, summer is here! Time to try and cool off while filling up on all of the gorgeous produce and opportunities for friendly get-together that this season offers in abundance! From no-bake desserts to smoothies for breakfast, keeping your oven off never tasted so good.
Of course, there are times that you’ll still crave a hot meal, which means you’re going to need ideas worthy of firing up your backyard grill and inviting friends over. Not just any veggie burger will do! We’ve got what you need to make this summer the healthiest one yet! For starters, just take a look at everything that grows in abundance during the balmy summer months:
- Apples, Apricots, Avocados
- Basil, Bell peppers/sweet peppers, Beets
- Cantaloupe, Carrots, Chard, Cherries, Chickpeas, Chilies, Cilantro, Corn, Cucumber
- Fennel, Figs
- Garlic, Gooseberries, Grapes, Green beans, Green onions
- Lemons, Lemongrass, Lettuce, Limes
- Mangoes, Melons
- Nectarines, New potatoes
- Okra, Onions
- Peaches, Peas, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes
- Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Rhubarb
- Shallots, Spinach, Spring onions, Strawberries, Sweet Onions
- Tomatillos and Tomatoes
- Zucchini and other summer squash
With so much to choose from, it’s virtually impossible not to create something delicious during these gorgeous days of summer. We’re here to help give you ideas and inspiration as well as tips and tricks to turn nature’s bounty into breakfast, dinner and everything in-between!
ALSO REMEMBER TO:
Keep healthy habits in mind:
- Wake up to warm water with ½ lemon juice each and every morning, 30 minutes or more before food
- Maintain your exercise regimen – don’t let it subside during the holidays too much, as this is likely when you need it most! Start your day with something active, as with all the festive activities/family commitments, you are less likely to get it done later, even if this is your usual routine. Definitely a good idea to get a good workout in before any big celebratory feasts! Try to make it fun- try a new class, commit to walks with friends, enjoy the summer by exercising outdoors, and on days where you just don’t feel like it (read: slightly hungover), opt for a gentle stroll or yoga class. You’ll be happy you did.
- Drink lots of water, 2L+… hydration is important at a time where there is lots of “cheersing” going on.
- Sleep should be a priority, when we are overtired, our appetite takes a hit and we tend to overeat.
Further support yourself
- Keep breakfast light, healthy and nutrient-dense, think green. Breakfast is likely the one meal that won’t be overtaken by festivities, so make it count! Don’t skip it altogether to make up for the fact that you have big lunch/dinner plans. Please! My KETO Green Smoothie would be a great one to make a habit of throughout the season.
- Include 1 tsp-tbsp bee pollen in your day to regulate appetite – easy to sprinkle on your morning smoothie (or oats). Bee pollen helps increase energy, alleviate stress, control appetite (due to its phenylalanine content) and assist digestion, woohoo! Note, be careful to make sure you are not allergic to it first, and do not consume if you have asthma.
- Prioritise fibre – veggies, fruit, gluten-free grains, starches, ground flaxseeds, chia, psyllium husk – we want to ensure you are “eliminating” properly.
- Sip miso soup, as it is very soothing for the gut.
- Try this super soothing digestive aid in the evenings: 2-3 thin slices ginger, small handful mint leaves (or peppermint tea bag), 1 tsp fennel seeds (if you have). Allow to warm on the stove over a low flame, strain as you pour into a mug and drink to ease discomfort.
IF YOU HAVE AN EVENT:
- Don’t skip meals to “make-up for” the spread you know you can’t resist later on, it will just make that big meal even bigger.
- BYO healthy dish that you know will make you feel good and that you can enjoy and share with loved ones.
- Have a healthy snack before the party/occasion to ensure you don’t arrive ravenous – my go-to is always vegetables… a bowl of pan-fried broccoli with garlic, Tamari and miso, sprinkled with chili (boost that digestive fire) and a few tbsp of hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.
Navigate the table/bar like a nutritionist
- Greens, greens, greens at every meal
- Eat more of the sides and salads, where possible leave dressing on the side, you probably don’t/don’t want to know what’s in it! Ask for a lemon instead.
- Eat slowly, chew lots, and place fork and knife down whilst you chat across the table. Allow your appetite to catch up!
- Enjoy alcohol in moderation – you know this one! Enjoy the antioxidant properties of a good red wine, or opt for vodka/white rum/gin with soda + loads of lime or lemon or even a splash of fresh orange juice. Skip the tonic- it is full of sugar. Better still, BYO Kombucha instead.
- Enjoy that holiday treat you have been looking forward to, mindfully and whole-heartedly. Just don’t keep eating the leftovers for breakfast!
- Guilt does nothing for you, so leave it behind! If you do “slip-up” and over-eat or eat something you wish you didn’t, accept it, forgive yourself, move on and don’t let it snowball i.e. that mentality where you feel that if you’re already this far in, why not keep going (all night, or even for days). This guilt can also often be the cause of bloating as well! Love yourself enough to pick yourself back up. In these moments it helps to do something nice like sip a tea, take a bath, laugh with a friend, go for a walk, journal, face mask, breathing-exercises etc. do what works for you.
I hope you all have the most wonderful Summer Holidays
Love and health,