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Hello & Happy Wednesday!!
With summer nearly in full swing, many of us are shifting our eating habits to cater to the season. However, some of us will continue to eat in the same routine all year long.
I find that with each season I simply make modifications to make the most of my diet. Whether it’s consuming produce that’s in season, switching to lighter foods altogether, or consuming less salt, I’m always mixing it up with my diet depending on the weather.
Since the majority of my posts are focused on foods that I’m craving that are heavily influenced on by the season, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share how I approach the warm weather months with my style of cooking, preferences, down to my fitness routine to better help you navigate wellness in summer 2017!
As simple as it sounds, water is a must. Once the temperatures start to reach the 80’s, I take that as a warning sign to start increasing my intake of fluids. It was previously recommended that we consume upwards of 8 glasses of water. Today however the CDC doesn’t even have a recommended intake for fluids and it’s left at your discretion. While I don’t consume close to 8 glasses of fluids a day (honesty), it’s the one health commitment I strive to achieve as it makes a significant difference. Water is needed for every cell in the human body and is the answer to enabling your body to run at full capacity. For myself my body needs it in the cold dry months or my skin seems to fall apart, and while in the summer my skin is less arid and softer due to the moisture in the air, my body craves it even more.
I find that water is also imperative not only to hydrate the skin and keep our bodies functioning, but it can seamlessly allow us to achieve a feeling of satiety when it’s typically delayed. When consuming a meal it can take upwards of fifteen minutes for the brain to finally register that you’re full. However, through water consumption before and after (during can dilute your stomach acid causing indigestion for some) we can achieve the moment of fullness faster. I have reason to believe that we are typically lighter in the warmer climates or months simply due to the increased consumption of fluids.
- Always start and finish your day with a glass of water, regardless of the season!
- Throw cucumbers, lemons, limes, berries and herbs in a pitcher to make water more appealing
- Try drinking a green juice in the morning that’s packed with fruits or vegetables with a high water content such as watermelon or cucumber
- Tomatoes are my favorite as they are packed with water and leave my skin glowing!
For those on the go I’d reach for a packaged juice, but be vigilant of portions and sugar content. Odwalla juices now come in an array of flavors, are accessible, affordable and contain 100 percent juice, no added sugar or GMO ingredients. Since I’m vigilant about sugar content with everything even if I’m making my own smoothies.
I like to drink half or move half and fill the rest with water to double the portions I can get from a single bottle. Other strategies I take with packaged juices are to add more nutrients with powders and or chia seeds to give them a little nutrient boost!
Savings: Save $1 on your next purchase of in-store fresh cut fruit when you buy any TWO (2) Odwalla 15.2 fl. oz. (You’ll receive a print out coupon at the register.). Offer ends 6/27/17.
Find these flavor options and more at your local Albertsons, Safeway, Shaw’s, Jewel-Osco, or other banners for Odwalla 15.2oz varieties which includes Smoothies, Juices, Quenchers, and Almond Milk Smoothies.
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In addition to keeping hydrated in the summer I make an objective to also sustain good potassium levels. When dehydrated they easily deplete, especially when consuming adult beverages, which the effects are intensified when taking place in the sun. That being said I always reach for foods that are high in potassium.
Tips: Below is a list of high potassium foods outside of the everyday banana! In addition to increasing my levels of potassium I reduce my sodium intake. Sodium promotes dehydration, which influences our body to crave salty foods as the salt will help us retain water that our body needs. As a result our bodies naturally bloat.
Potassium Function: Body growth and maintenance, cell water balance, proper heart function
Sources: Amaranth leaves, Bamboo Shoots, Bok Choy, Butternut squash, French Beans, Lima Beans, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Spirulina, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard
Choose organic when you can:
With a higher level of fruits and vegetables in season, prices are low, which is wonderful, but there are much more pesticides being consumed as a result. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables you can buy conventional with ease and others you should look for organic.
Hard Skin: (conventional)
- Butternut squash
Soft skin: (organic)
- all types of lettuce
- zuccini and squash
Eat something raw:
To mitigate dehydration I increase my fruit intake, but also reach for raw vegetables. For many this may be a struggle, but I find that the water content aids in getting the right amount of hydration and also allows me to achieve fullness faster as raw vegetables are loaded with fiber versus cooked or steamed, and green juices lack the beneficial fiber as it’s removed in the pulp along with other vital nutrients found in the skin.
If you can, reach for something raw!
- Spiraled veggies
- Cucumber Salads
- Veggies and buffalo hummus (my fave)
- Sliced tomatoes with olive oil
- Fresh oranges
While I always try to have the objective to incorporate as much color into my recipes due to capturing the best images, I do this to obtain the most diversity in nutrients! I find that we typically gravitate towards the same fruits and vegetables as we all have our preferences, but if you made a list of the colors consumed, a lot of times that list can be narrow. To get the most out of my diet and to help my skin radiate, I love to go to the market with the strategy to find the most color in my shopping cart.
Tips: Here’s an overview of various fruits and veggies
Switch up your cruciferous veggies:
As a plant based enthusiasts, I love veggies altogether. However, when it comes to the warm summer months I eat what’s in season and gravitate away from the heavier cruciferous veggies such as brussels sprouts (gasps) and kale. The reason behind this is that these vegetables produce gas and bloating, which is not what I crave in the summer while surviving the heat in tank tops and shorts. If I can I opt for veggie alternatives as I find that it just slows me down.
As a carb monster, I surprisingly try to mitigate my bread consumption in particular as just like the more cruciferous veggies, it makes me bloat to a lesser extent, but more so just slows me down. Surviving the heat, I need all the energy I can get, so I typically consume less carbs.