There are three things to consider when adopting a seasonal approach to eating:
- What you eat
- How much you eat
- How you prepare your food
What you should be eating in the summer should look pretty different than what you are eating in the winter – unless of course you’re living close to the equator where every day is beautiful and you have fresh, local produce in abundance all year round!
Think about it – when it’s hot and humid outside what do you crave? In the same way that a big salad or a cold smoothie won’t cut it in the dead of winter, a slow-cooked oven stew is probably the last thing you want to eat in the dog days of summer.
Raw vegetables and ripe, juicy fruits are more likely to satisfy when it’s hot and dry as they help to cool the body and keep you hydrated. Because we tend to be more active in the summer months our diets naturally lighten up and you may find that you are even eating less than you do in the winter.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for healthy summer eating:
Warmer temperatures paired with increased activity means that you will sweat and if you’re not biking or swimming or hiking then you’re probably on a patio enjoying a cocktail somewhere. Heat, activity, alcohol and even coffee consumption all affect hydration so make sure that you are drinking water throughout the day! Don’t wait until you’re thirsty and make sure that you are going to the bathroom regularly.
Eating foods with a high water content will also help to keep you hydrated. Snack on watermelon, cucumber, celery and berries. You can also add chopped fruit and herbs to your water to give it a little flavour if you want to change it up.
Raw foods are full of essential vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (those are what give plants super powers to protect you from disease) and enzymes – plus they will help to keep you hydrated and cool you down when it’s hot, as I mentioned above. Make sure that at least one part of your meal is raw every time you eat.
Have a piece of fruit with breakfast, a big salad for lunch and spiralize some zucchini noodles for your dinner. Smoothies and fresh vegetable juices are also great this time of year.
Eat to 80%
Our digestion tends to be a little sluggish in the summer so I recommend eating smaller meals and eating until you are about 80% full, not stuffed (this is a good habit to have all year long, btw). The good news is when you’re eating lighter foods like raw fruits and vegetables, plant-based proteins, fish and whole grains it can be near impossible to feel belly-busting full.
Taking time to eat at a table and chewing each bite will help make sure you’re not overeating. More tips on healthy eating habits are here in this post.
Try Something New
This is the best time of year to eat. Mother Nature has done all the hard work and it doesn’t take much to turn fresh fruits and veggies into a meal. Take a trip to your local farmer’s market and try something new – I finally got over a strange, life-long fear of rhubarb and have loved having some new inspiration in the kitchen!
If you’re looking for ideas to eat well this summer, check out my Pinterest board featuring 25 summery recipes that are perfect for eating outside!