Written by: Shani Fowler
We love the summer, we love the long light nights, we love warmer sunshine filled days but we don’t always love needing to wear less! Revealing what we have all been hiding through the winter is not always met with glee! But healthy eating in the summer is perfect for trying all those healthier seasonal foods that can help get us back in shape and buff up our bikini bods! Let’s have a look at what’s on offer through the summer.
Whilst many people skip this essential meal, it’s important that we start the day with something. If you don’t have time or even fancy eating cereal, make or buy a smoothie. Fresh fruit is in abundance at summer time and if you fancy a light breakfast, fruit or smoothies are a quick, easy and healthy choice. Berries, strawberries and plums are great British seasonal fruit which can be locally produced meaning less on the carbon footprint too. You can be packed off to work with a head start of vitamins and minerals. Bananas (though not locally produced) are especially good and a great source of energy for those get up and go mornings.
Try to take your own packed lunch to work, that way you are in control of the contents and portion control. Shop bought sandwiches might contain creamy ingredients that will do no favours for your waistline, and dining out can be even worse. You could make a cold new potato salad providing you with essential fibre or roasted vegetable wrap using seasonal courgettes, aubergine and peppers. Or a watermelon and feta salad is quick to make and can get those taste buds zinging! All of these are quick and easy to make using the best of the summer produce.
The last thing you feel like doing after a day at work in the heat is slaving over the stove, cooking a roast and two veg for dinner; so salad is an excellent summer meal choice. Include lots of rocket, (another locally produced ingredient) for a tasty twist providing a great source of iron. If you want to include a meat with your salad you can keep it healthy by stoking up the barbie or grilling chicken or fish. Make sure you try to include sweet corn where you can. As well as sweet corn being a tasty vegetable it has two antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthin) helping macular pigment to form, filtering out some of the sun’s damaging rays, hence acting a bit like a pair of inbuilt sunglasses on these long summer days!
They’re little summer treats that won’t burst your trouser waistband. Celery or carrot sticks or even a small amount of pita bread dipped in tzatziki (made from low calorie natural yoghurt) is a tasty treat with a summer holiday feel. Or slice a large tomato and inter slice mozzarella between for another summer treat. Tart cherry juice is a zingy summer drink and is said to have health properties too. As well as aiding in a good night’s sleep, the compounds in tart cherries may also help you slim down! Studies at the University of Michigan Health System’s research showed that the anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that helps fat burning and decrease fat storage! Well I never!
There’s no doubt most of us eat differently throughout the varying seasons and whilst in winter our bodies appear to crave the stodge creamy porridges for breakfast and wholesome stews for dinner, summer offers us the perfect chance to eating lighter, healthy foods that can go some way to redress the balance.