Summer’s finally here! And after a long, harsh winter, everyone is looking forward to backyard BBQs, day trips to the beach, and weekend getaways to the cottage. The different foods that usually accompany these activities – hamburgers, cotton candy, potato chips and hot dogs – are unfortunately hard to ignore, but do little to fuel your body with the essential nutrients you need.
As the temperature rises, it’s important to eat foods that will maintain your energy and prevent you from feeling sluggish. So instead of reaching for that hot dog or that can of pop, read the tips below to find out how you can make this summer your healthiest season ever!
Take advantage of fresh produce. With produce at its peak during the summer months, now is the perfect time to indulge in nature’s finest by eating the freshest vegetables. Instead of whipping up a batch of your famous potato salad for your next BBQ, put together a serving of mixed green salad. If you’re up to the task, create your own salad dressing. Do an Internet search, or check out recipe books to get ideas for different variations of salads and dressings.
Eat your berries. Like vegetables, the most flavourful berries are available in store. Instead of reaching for some apple pie a la mode, make yourself a delicious fruit smoothie for dessert. When choosing fruits, always make sure that you’re getting the freshest, and best quality fruit. If you’re unsure on how to pick produce, ask an employee in the produce department to help pick some out for you. Have some fun during this summer by going to different farmers’ markets or going berry picking.
Choose lean meats. Backyard BBQs and outdoor cookouts are common sights to see during summer. Eating the traditional cookout food – hamburgers, and hot dogs – are enough to expand your waistline and increase your daily fat intake. Instead of going for the traditional fare, why not choose leaner meats?
Some healthy meat alternatives include ground turkey, or skinless chicken breasts. For added taste, soak the meat in a marinade overnight and grill them to get that delicious BBQ taste. This way you can have healthy, nutritious food without sacrificing the taste.
We all scream for ice cream! As the hot and hazy days of summer go by, we often get the urge to reach out and for cool, sweet, refreshing snacks like ice cream sundaes, popsicles and iced coffee drinks. While it’s okay to treat yourself to a double fudge sundae once in a while, these high calorie treats can quickly become an everyday item to your meal. To satisfy your sweet tooth and not feel guilty about it, look for some healthier alternatives. When grocery shopping, buy low-fat versions of ice cream or sorbet. Experiment with different brands and remember to control your portions!
Running empty on water? With scorching hot temperatures,
and increased outdoor activities, more and more people are suffering
from dehydration and other heat-related illnesses. While it’s
easy to get caught up in your softball game, it’s extremely important
that you stay well hydrated while engaging in physical activities during
the summer. People who exercise strenuously, especially in hot and humid
temperatures, need more water to keep themselves hydrated. If you’re
mildly dehydrated, you may begin to feel symptoms such as dry mouth,
flushed skin, fatigue, and headache. If not treated, these symptoms
can lead to a more serious form of dehydration, leading to lower blood
pressure, dizziness, loss of consciousness and rapid heart rate. To
stay hydrated during the summer, keep a bottle of water at work, or
place it somewhere you can easily reach for it. Make drinking water
a habit by drinking it at the same times each day.
Need more help staying healthy during the summer? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. You can receive support through a variety of resources, including your EAP’s nutrition service. Call your EAP to see if you are eligible at 1.800.387.4765 for service in English, 1.800.361.5676 for service in French.
© 2005 WarrenShepell