I love summer. It’s such a great time of the year, even if it gets a little hot for my preferences. This has been a great summer with the weather, a good amount of rain keeping things green and not too many scorchers.
Not only do I enjoy the various festivals and concerts available, there are several healthy lifestyle benefits during the summer. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a big plus. For extra fresh, in season produce, find a Farmer’s Market for a local selection. I’m a big salad eater in the summer, changing the bowl up as things like cherries and mangos get cheap. Heck, those make great healthy snacks on their own, as well as kicking a salad up a notch. My last blog was about the variety of exercise opportunities as the days are nice. The delayed sunset can mean walks after dinner, the dogs love that for sure! And let’s not forget organized sports, both for you and little ones. Time in the evening spent inside during the winter is out and about in the summer. So much fun!
Summer brings some caution flags too. Let me bring a couple of those to your attention, and how to combat them. One is hydration. That’s right, you need to drink more water (I know this may sound like a broken record but it’s super important). Even if you aren’t out in the sun, the hot days can dehydrate you quickly. I end up with about another water bottle full (mine is a liter) of water per day when it gets toasty, and that’s on the conservative side. Feel free to add fruit or veggies to the water if it helps you drink it and not get bored. Favorites of mine include lemon, strawberry or cucumber. Speaking of those foods, they are naturally full of water, so not a bad idea to include them in your diet, perhaps as a snack? Watermelon and cantaloupe salad anyone?
Another cautionary tale is that of the BBQ parties. Summer is grill season, and many people get together around the patio tables or picnic benches and eat some awesome food. Personal experience tells me the staples tend to be meat with bun, chips, potato salad, fruit and cookies or cake. Yummy stuff, but can be damaging to the waistline when done often. You’ll notice the lack of a green (or any) vegetable on this list. When you are asked to bring something, offer to bring a green salad or veggie tray. This will give you at least one super healthy option and put you in control of your meal. Pick the fruit as your dessert and you’ve made some pretty decent choices. Watch the booze too, if that’s your thing. Alternate water with an adult beverage to help you stay hydrated.