It's my favourite time of year. I'll bet it's yours too. Those warm summer nights and gorgeous sun drenched days.
During summer, we practically live outdoors. Picnics, barbecues and patios galore. With all the fun in the sun, it can feel hard (near impossible) to continue to eat right. And nothing makes you feel like you're missing out more than saying 'Sorry I can't eat that'.
Orrr, you do indulge and then have to deal with days of bloating and bowel issues.
How To Eat Right + Still Enjoy Summer
Food is at the root of your daily activities. You use it at every occasion. Whether you're celebrating, grieving or simply just getting rid of a hunger pain. It's also one of the biggest factors that determine how well you feel, by the food choices you make every day.
The biggest contributor in whether you end up feeling fabulous or not by the end of summer is what?
You guessed it. Sugar! How much sugar has snuck into your daily regimen over those treasured few months shows up in how you feel throughout summer.
A sugar addiction disrupts your sleep, increases inflammation, causing you to feel achy and puffy. It throws off your gut health, leaving you feeling crampy, gasy and zoo bloated you end up looking 5 months pregnant. It also suppresses your immune system, making you more likely to catch a cold. If you've ever had one, you know that summertime colds are no fun.
Avoid The Sugar Trap With These Alternatives
I've identified the likely places sugar hangs out + included good for you alternatives to reach for instead.
Bevvies: typical hideouts - pop, tonic water. Better alternatives - kombucha, sparkling water, or this ginger mint tonic (see recipe below). A few pieces of fresh fruit or a splash of juice makes sparking water more fun.
Hot weather treats: typical hideouts - conventional ice cream, freezies, popsicles. Better alternatives - fresh fruit. In season, fresh fruit tastes just like candy. Keep blueberries or grapes frozen in the freezer. They'll keep you cool on a hot day. And trust me, you'll wanna make this chunky monkey ice cream from Sarah Britton of My New Roots. Free of refined sugar + dairy, it's perfect for a hot summer's day.
Main meals: typical hideouts - bread + buns for burgers, etc. Most conventional bread is very refined and quickly converts into sugar, spiking your blood sugar levels. Keeping your bread intake to a minimum helps avoid that refined carb hangover feeling after you've eaten. Better alternatives - In place of bread, use lettuce or collard greens as wraps. This little trick is also a great way to get in some more veggies.
Dressings + sauces: typical hideouts - ketchup (it's basically sugar in a bottle), bbq sauces, store bought salad dressings, mayonnaise, etc. Better alternatives - this guacamole, dijon mustard, sautéed mushrooms, shallots, homemade salsa, sliced avocado + microgreens. The simplest salad dressing of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, a little bit of chopped shallots, some grated lemon rind, himalayan rock salt + pepper is perfection for many salads.
Dessert - is sugar disguised as yummy goodness. Better alternatives - Fruit. This is perfect season for berries, melons and peaches. They're in season, which means they are super sweet and extra delicious. Another great go-to is this cake. The best thing about it is it's non-bake + freezer friendly. Keeping it in the freezer means you'll always have a slice on hand for when the craving strikes.
Finally, (there's no sugar hiding out in here, but…) remember that water is your friend. Stay hydrated. Nothing will make you feel worse (or hungrier) faster than dehydration. So you have my permission to double fist it this summer and stay hydrated. ;)
There you have it, my lovely. Some of my best tips to help you feel good all summer long. The key to is plan ahead and be prepared. Make a few of these + bring them with you to your outings. I promise you'll be the coolest kid at the party + will be exchanging recipes before you know it.
Ginger Mint Tonic
This tonic not only tastes yummy, it's also good for you. Ginger is incredibly soothing + relaxing to the digestive tract. It also acts as a prebiotic. This means it complements + feeds the good bacteria in our gut, allowing them to grow and multiply.
2/3 cup filtered water
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (approx. juice of 1 lime)
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
sparkling mineral water
extra mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Place first 5 ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend on high for about 1 minute, until well combined.
- Fill 2 glasses two-thirds full with ice.
- Pour ginger mint mixture into glasses.
- Add 3 oz. of sparkling water into each glass.
- Stir and garnish with mint. Enjoy.
Note: If you're using a more mature ginger with tougher, thicker skin, you may end up with a bit of ginger pulp. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to filter out the ginger pulp. Also, if you're making a big batch, 3 oz of ginger mint mixture with 2 oz of sparkling water equals one serving.
Now I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favourite tips to eat right so you still enjoy summer? Share with me in the comments below.
To summer lovin,