The scorching temperatures that came along with this year’s Summer Solstice are here to stay for a while. As we’ve all discovered by now, there is just no more avoiding the heat at this point, so we all need to learn how to adapt to a cooler way a living. As the seasons change, so should our nutrition and eating habits. No one wants to stand over the stove or in front of a hot oven in these temperatures! So let’s ditch them altogether for now, and let me show you some easy and delicious ways to adapt your diet to help beat the heat.
Switch to cold meals - This one may sound obvious but it’s the most logical thing to do in the summer. Our bodies crave cold refreshing meals when it’s blazing hot outside, and for good reason! You can easily switch your breakfast routine to a protein shake or overnight oats, a mason jar salad for lunch, and crisp turkey lettuce wraps for dinner. No cooking is required to make flavorful and nutritious meals. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for overnight oats:
2. Eat what’s in season - Summertime brings an abundance of seasonal fruits and veggies packed with nutrients and flavor that we should all take advantage of while it lasts! Stone fruits like apricots, peaches and cherries, juicy melons, sweet berries, and crisp crunchy corn are always summertime treats that I look forward to. By eating what’s in season we’re ensuring that we’re feeding our bodies the most nutrient-dense foods available, not to mention saving some serious dollars. Often times these foods are in such abundance, farmers and grocery stores are practically giving them away! Here is a sweet seasonal fruit salad that makes a perfect side dish for Fourth of July:
3. Eat more raw fruits and veggies - In this heat it's imperative that we stay hydrated. Did you know that drinking liquids isn’t the only way to stay hydrated? Fresh raw fruits and vegetables contain an abundance of water. In fact, on average about 20% of our water intake comes from food! Try these ideas for portable and convenient summertime snacks:
4. Get the whole family involved - Summertime means school is out and the kids are home! Many people use this as an excuse why they don’t have time to meal prep, but you can use it to your advantage! Make meal prepping a family activity! Since many summer recipes require little to no cooking, there’s no danger of little fingers getting burned. You can even purchase child-safe knives that will cut produce, but not skin, for incredibly cheap (about $9 for a 3-pack on Amazon). Another easy method to getting the whole family involved is by creating an assembly line when putting together meals, and allowing each person to be in charge of adding one or two items to each meal. Letting the kids do some of the work saves time, teaches them valuable cooking skills and teamwork at a young age, creates family bonding time, and encourages them try foods they normally never would. When kids are involved in the process of making meals and snacks, it gives them a sense of pride and ownership, and they’re much more likely to eat the food, even if they don’t like it, just because they had a part in making it! Check out these fun kid-friendly meal and snack ideas:
5. Try steamable meals, or as I like to call them FreshPrep Meals - This method of meal prepping requires little to no cooking which makes it perfect for the summer time. FreshPrep meals are all raw ingredients that steam cook in your microwave (or oven) in just a few minutes. The only ingredients that require cooking are your carbs. You can throw in pre-cooked rice, quinoa, or partially cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes (or you can skip the carbs if you choose) Then add your favorite raw veggies, and your choice of seasoned raw meat. Fish and shrimp work well in the steam bags, but other cuts of meat like chicken or beef work better if cut into small or thin pieces. Then just seal up the bag and throw it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it! Here is one of my favorite FreshPrep recipes:
As you can see, meal prepping can easily be changed and adapted to suit the changing seasons. Many people find a routine they are comfortable with and stick to it day in and day out. And that’s great, don’t get me wrong! But it can get boring and tedious. But by taking advantage of what foods the season has to offer us, respecting the ever changing needs of our bodies in different temperatures, and trying new methods and strategies, we can become more adaptable and flexible in our health and fitness journey. I hope I’ve inspired you to try out some new ideas to make your summer a little more chill.
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