By Manoli Doshi – Founder, Tattvum (experts in Diabetes & Weight Management)
It’s summer again!!! That amazing time of the year when the produce is fresh & healthy. As a nutritionist, I totally drool over the fresh, delicious & nutritious produce. Summer bearings include a lot of green vegetables, melons, peaches, corn, cherries, plums, oranges, mangoes and other fresh & fragrant herbs. Besides being low in calories, this produce is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre and anti-oxidants. It is important to eat foods that are in season as they have got twice as much flavor, extra crunch and are enriched with health benefits.
In summer, we tend to shift our interest from a hot bowl of soup (high calories) to a glass of icy juice/milkshake/smoothie/tea (low calories). It is natural to eat light in summer without feeling deprived due to the scorching heat. But for many, summer calls ‘vacay-time’—picnics, family outings, long holidays etc. There is a temptation to over-indulge on food and drinks in the holiday season which leads to infections, weight gain and bloating.
So here are my favorite top 10 tips to stay fit and fabulous this summer:
1. Prioritize everyday healthy eating- Start your day with lemon water/ apple cider vinegar and water. It will help you boost your metabolism and give your body the energy it needs. Do not throw away your everyday habits out of the window just because of the holiday season.
2. Don’t skip your breakfast-Skipping breakfast will leave you hungry and irritated for the rest of the day. Load your breakfast with fresh fruit smoothies/milkshakes (apple, peaches, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, mangoes etc.) Enjoy nutrient dense meals like peanut butter sandwich, egg paratha/sandwich/roll, vegetable paratha/ wrap, muesli in milk etc.
3. Make healthy swaps-Now-a-days, healthy swaps are all around the market. Go for greens, veggies and fruits instead of starchy items like rice & potatoes. Avoid fried items and opt for grilled and baked.
4. Drinking is good if its water! – Hydrate yourself enough to keep yourself charged up. Drink 2-3 litres of water. Try drinking 2 bottles of water, 1 glass of vitamin water (any fruit/herb infused in water overnight) and 2 glasses of buttermilk throughout the day.
Drink lots of herbal teas and cut down on caffeine, alcohol and sugar. Herbal teas are good for prevention of any kind of infection and bloating.
5. Don’t put yourself under the pressure– Focus on the real reason for the season—it’s not food!! Stressing makes your body slow and shifts your focus from the actual enjoyment.
6. Make your own flavored ice cubes– An easy way to get your vitamins and minerals! Cut any fruit of your choice into small pieces to fit in the ice cube mould. Pour water over it and freeze as long as necessary. Put these flavored ice cubes in any drink and enjoy!!
7. Eat Smart Salads-Eating a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits in the form of salads are easy in this season as they are easy to prepare. Try the ‘Salad on the go’- Spicy Carrot Salad, Greek Cucumber Salad, Watercress Peach Salad, corn and cherry tomato salad, watermelon and feta cheese, Brussels sprouts and lentil, chicken and roasted veggie salad, quinoa and nut salad etc.
8. Have a protein rich snack before you head out– This will help you cut down on extra calories when you go out. Try having boiled eggs, hummus and raw veggies, peanut butter sandwich, chia seed and fruit smoothie or yoghurt and nuts.
9. Beat the heat with fresh juices-Juices like Water melon/ peach/ orange/ kiwi/ pineapple/ lemon, sweet lime, cantaloupe etc. Try making the juices at home so you can avoid putting any sugar/honey in the drink. Also note- Drink the juice unstrained only to get the fibre. This will ensure you stay hydrated in the scorching heat and your skin stays moisturized from within.
10. Dine early-Early to bed, early to rise! But how can you go early to bed if you don’t dine early? Try finishing your dinner by 8.30pm so you can go to bed early.
Stay fit & fabulous this holiday season!!