There’s nothing quite like summer on this side of the world – beachside BBQs, road trips, festivals, farmer’s markets, untouched beaches right on our doorstep…the list goes on. However, unlike eating healthy in winter, summer is the season with the most temptation. Even if you eat with monk-like discipline all week, when Friday rolls it’s easy to undo all your hard work.
Below are our tried-and-tested nutrition tips for staying healthy during summer.
Plan and preparation
Now before your eyes glaze over, bear with us, it doesn’t have to be boring. In addition to planning out the week’s meals ahead of time (Sunday arvo is always our go-to), a little preparation for the weekend can make a huge difference. If you know you’ll be out both nights, don’t fast in anticipation – instead, ensure you have a nutritious meal and plenty of water throughout the day so you don’t overeat come evening. Or, if you have a BBQ, prepare some healthy snacks to bring like carrot sticks, instead of crackers, with a side of hummus. Heaidng to the beach? Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, fruit and salads.
Make it easy and tasty
Coupled with a little planning, accessibility is the key to healthy eating. Having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand makes it a whole lot easier to stick to your healthy eating resolutions.
If like us, willpower isn’t one of your finest skills, then try eating before social gatherings. You’ll be far more inclined to overindulge in bad foods on an empty stomach.
Take advantage of in season produce
There’s no excuse not to eat nutritious food in summer when it more than delivers on the produce front. It’s definitely our favourite season when it comes to colourful, delicious salads and sides.
Here are some of our favourite foods in season from December to February.
Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocado, Beans, Beetroot, Blueberries, Broccoli, Buttercup Squash, Butternut, Cabbage (Green), Capsicum, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Courgettes, Cucumber, Eggplant, Fresh Herbs, Kale, Kumara, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spinach, Spring Onions, Sprouted Beans and Seeds, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Watercress.
Fruit: Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Boysenberries, Cherries, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Honeydew Melon, Kiwifruit (Green), Lemons, Nashi Pears, Nectarines, Oranges (Valencia), Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rock Melon, Strawberries, Tangelos, Watermelon.
Opt for leaner meats
Instead of going for the traditional fare, choose leaner meats. Lean meats are meats with a relatively low fat content. Skinless chicken, turkey and red meat, such as pork chops (with the fat trimmed off though!) are all lean meats. Seafood of course is even better and we’ve got the best in the world! Nothing beats fresh fish, smoked salmon or tuna for a low-calorie, protein-packed lunch or dinner.
Low calorie beverage alternatives
Consuming more mindfully doesn’t have to be boring. Thankfully, there’s now a bevvy of healthier alcohol alternatives on the market boasting less than 2% sugar and low net carbs.
Drink lots of water
Your water intake plays a big– in fact HUGE – part in how you metabolise food as well as keeping you fuller for longer. So, how much water should you drink? A report by the National Academies of Sciences found women should consume a total of approximately 2.7 litres of water from drinks and food each day, while men should get 3.7 litres daily. FYI this isn’t taking into account exercise and perspiration during hot weather. If you find it hard to drink more water try using a water tracking app or adding lemon to your h2o to change it up. Tip: foods like watermelon and cucumber have naturally high water content.