Lighten Up This Summer!
Summertime!!! Woo hoo! It’s a time of vacations, long lazy days, and spending time outdoors. Have you noticed that when it’s hot outside, you don’t want to eat so much? Do the longer days make you feel more energetic? Or do obligations, long days, and heavy meals make you feel tied down and exhausted? I often suggest that you eat according to the seasons and summer is the time of year with such an abundance of fresh food available. Shift your mindset and diet to live seasonably, and you’ll reap the benefits of this energetic season! Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your summer.
Eat More Vegetables
Summer is the perfect time to add more veggies to your diet. Try to find produce that is in season. Throw a handful on the grill, or beat the heat with a cooling salad. When we eat fresh, organic, and locally grown produce, we are ingesting food at the peak of its nutrient value. Opt for a colorful blend, and have fun trying new varieties!
If you’re being active outdoors in the heat, remember to drink plenty of water. Also keep in mind that water alone does not equal hydration. In order to be properly hydrated you also need electrolytes – such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you notice yourself getting muscle cramps, or feeling really tired all of a sudden for no reason, try taking in some fluids. You can get electrolytes from coconut water, powdered electrolyte drinks, or eating your vegetables. Try to avoid chemically-laden electrolyte drinks like Gatorade though!!
Give Your Diet an Overhaul
Want to feel energetic and vibrant all summer? Swap out heavy, carb-laden meals for lighter alternatives. Stay away from packaged, processed foods. You probably don’t want those foods right now anyway. Watch out for sugary sauces and instead prepare your favorite veggies and meats with herbs, spices, and tangy lemon juice.
Pay Attention to your Sleep Schedule
When the days are longer, it’s easy to eat dinner later at night and to go to bed hours after that. However, you probably still have to get up early for work in the morning! Try to keep your sleep schedule on target in order to protect your energy levels. Some ideas for how to do that include:
- Keeping your bedroom cool and dark
- Turning off your electronic devices after a certain time
- Sticking to your normal sleep schedule whenever possible
- Letting it go: if you’re out late having fun, don’t stress about lost sleep too much. Instead, enjoy your time
Ditch the Schedule
Keeping up with a busy summer itinerary can make it hard to enjoy each day. Instead of trying to cram in as much as possible, allow yourself some time to relax and unwind. When planning a vacation, choose activities and places that make you feel at peace. Go for a walk, a hike, or a quick stroll around the block and pay attention to the natural world around you.
One of the best ways to lighten up is to practice mindfulness. Instead of focusing on the busy day you had or the plans you have for tomorrow, be centered in this moment. Take a few deep breaths and allow the oxygen to nourish your body. Those tasks that feel so important right now will be nothing but a memory tomorrow. Savor each moment, whether you’re at the beach or sitting at your desk.