Eating healthy for summer is something we all think about, talk about and even make New Year’s resolutions about…although more often than not we get side-tracked by an array of delicious treats – especially over the festive season. But with weekends at the beach, backyard braais, and outdoor dinners in full swing, perhaps it is time to find a healthier alternative to good eating? Here are a few tips to healthy eating this summer.
1. Drink green tea instead of the usual suspects. Green tea is a brilliant ingredient to add to your body. It boasts natural antioxidants and has a component that helps speed up your metabolism considerably. Instead of indulging in that cup of English breakfast, rather stick to the all-natural alternative.
2. Make seafood your cooking focal point. Summer is the ideal time to get the freshest catch in South Africa. Grill salmon, tuna, lobster, and calamari for a low-calorie, protein-packed lunch or dinner with family.
3. Remember to have breakfast. In a fast paced world, many opt to skip breakfast all together. When you wake up in the morning, your body is running on fumes from the night before, fuel is key to get a good start to the day. Eating a breakfast with protein, carbs, and healthy fat kicks your metabolism into gear and provides your body and mind with vital energy for the day ahead.
4. Enjoy summer time fresh produce. It’s easy to sink into a rut over winter, eating dull veggie after dull veggie, but with summer comes fresh choices and vibrant colours. Including a mix of in-season fruit and veg that can add some flavour and life to your meals. These give your body a much needed nutritional boost.
5. Hydrate throughout your day, every day. The summer heat makes you more susceptible to dehydration. Start off your day by drinking two glasses of water and make sure to have water with each meal to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you at work for when you get thirsty – and stay away from fizzy, sugar filled drinks that will increase dehydration over time.
6. Revitalise your body after exercise with a strategic post-workout smoothie. After exercising, blend your favourite summer fruits and a scoop of whey protein into a shake to boost your body’s ability to repair itself. This will help you recover from training, as well as increase your energy levels afterwards.
7. Eat healthy for fun. Summer is the time for ice-cream and milkshakes, or frozen yoghurt if you swing that way. Ice cream stands and fat-fuelled braais are bound to hinder your healthy eating process, so stay clear of these temptations by being prepared rather than missing out. Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, sandwiches on whole grain breads, pita chips, hummus, yoghurt and lots of fresh fruit. Your body will thank you…and you won’t have to wait for the archetypal late-start braai to begin eating.
8. Spring clean your fridge. Remove unhealthy foods from your home to take away any temptation along the way – no sneaking back to the dark side now. While you’re at it, store fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks in these 100% airtight containers. Your craving can be done away with by substituting your usual glucose and sucrose intake for fructose, the healthier sugar option.
With summer all around us, it’s time to feel as good as the weather looks. With a healthy body and mind you can enjoy every second of the stunning warm weather across South Africa.