Tips for a Balanced Summer (part 3)
Are you in need of some mid-summer motivation? With back to back cottage weekends, happy hours on patios and summer vacations, it's easy to let healthy habits slide. I wrote about the importance of watching your sugar intake, healthy ways to cope with stress and getting enough sleep to maintain balance this summer. To round things out, I've put together a list of tips to help you stay balanced for the remainder of the summer and to continue feeling and looking your best.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Aim to eat a high protein, high fibre, healthy fat breakfast 2 hours after waking up. To ensure I start my day off right, I always bring a batch of chia pudding or plain Greek yogurt to the cottage, and have it with my Grain-Free Granola or natural almond butter and fresh berries. Eggs with avocado, tomato and a sprouted toast are also a great option. Eating a balanced meal that includes the macros (protein, healthy fats and complex carbs) will keep you feeling satisfied, fuel your body with consistent energy and you may experience less cravings for sugar and carbs throughout the day.
Move your body!
If exercising 5 days a week is one of your healthy habits, keep it up! If you’re away most weekends or on summer holiday, do something active outdoors every day. That’s the best thing about summer, it’s easy to be outside and move your body - biking, hiking, jogging, swimming, water skiing, kayaking…the options are endless.
Bring your big ass water bottle with you on weekends, and make sure to get at least 2L every day. Aim to drink your first litre before lunch (that's usually when we're most thirsty from having gone all night without drinking water). Staying hydrated supports healthy digestion, gives us energy, improves the look of our skin, and can help with weight loss and maintenance. If you have a cocktail, always follow it up with a big glass of water!
Take your vitamins
Probiotics, omega-3, vitamin D and magnesium are my go-to vitamins for good overall health. If you’re away for the weekend or on your holiday, don’t forget to pack your vitamins!
Contribute something healthy
Appetizers can be a killer on cottage weekends. To ensure there are healthy options for you to choose, bring a healthy choice. I recommend popcorn (I love the Farm Boy butter flavor made with ghee), olives, crudités (French word for lots of raw veggies with dip), guacamole, smoked oysters or mussels, pickled herring (if you're Dutch like me, you just know), Hardbite kettle chips (Black Sea Salt is my fave), Simple Mills sea salt almond crackers, brie, manchego (sheep's milk cheese), watermelon (cut of course - don’t be that cottage guest who brings a whole watermelon and leaves the host to cut it), strawberries, cherries, etc.
Avoid the day drinking
Let’s be honest, the first sip is always the best (that goes for coffee and the first bite of a meal or snack too). Now, just to be clear, I’m not promoting drinking alcohol, but if you do drink and are at the cottage most weekends or are planning a summer vacation, I would recommend avoiding the drinks during the day. Day drinking will likely lead to poor diet choices, less activity and it’s added sugar and calories. Try a mocktail with health benefits like my Apple Spritz.
Eat something green every day
Green vegetables are not only a source of vitamins and minerals, but high in fiber and phytonutrients (plant chemicals that protect plants and us from illness and disease). Including enough fiber is so important for: healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure, supports digestion and a healthy gut, stabilizes blood glucose levels and can help with weight loss goals.
Use your hand
Rule: always include lots of veggies with every meal and snack - fill your blender with greens when making a breakfast smoothie, half plate salad for lunch, and loads of roasted veggies for dinner. For the rest of the macros, use your hand: palm-size protein, fist-size carb, and thumb-size fat.
Happy Summer everyone!