The weather is heating up and you’ve probably noticed a change in your appetite and foods to which you are drawn. As the seasons change so should our fare. Spring and summer are not the seasons to stay inside and endure the heat of an oven or spicy chilis!
When it’s warm out we should be waking earlier and enjoying the sunshine as much as we can. It’s also time to change our go-to foods and how we prepare our meals. Here are six summer food plan essentials for feeling your best all season long:
1) Be Colourful: In summer cooking always use brightly colored foods. Make your dishes beautiful with creative combinations. The brighter plant foods are more nutrient dense. Switch from your hum-drum summer staples to these great summer salads: https://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyhorng/healthy-summer-sides-pomegranate-wild-rice-salad?utm_term=.fd3Ym1EgJ#.leZlV6ey3
2) Be Prepared: Change the way you prepare your cooked foods. It’s time to lightly steam or saute foods. Keep the vibrant veggies al dante and avoid over using the barbecue.
3) Don’t be too Cool: Don’t over-do cold foods like ice cream and ice water. Its important to keep cool but over doing cold foods can negatively affect our digestion. Treat cold treats as treats! Drink your water cool but not iced.
4) Water, Water, Water: Drink plenty of liquids and include vegetable soups or cool refreshing teas. We’ll have a hot summer and you have to keep hydrated to avoid feeling fatigued and getting over heated.
5) Go Wild: This is the time of year to go wild with salads, fruits and melons. These foods have a cooling effect on our bodies. The cooler foods are typically those that are served raw, quicker growing vegetables like leaves, fruits like citrus, seafood and seaweed as well as plentiful herbs (peppermint, cilantro, lemon balm).
6) Don’t go Nuts: Avoid overeating meats, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds on very hot days. These tend to be energetically hotter foods and best left for the fall and winter months!
These simple diet considerations are essential to keeping you cool and energetic all summer long.
Stay happy and healthy,
Dr. Erica Kubanek, ND