1. Eat an abundance of fresh, seasonal, local and organic produce.
When we eat fresh food, we give our bodies the raw materials it needs to function. Fruits and vegetables are hydrating, alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, fiber rich (good for bowel regularity), contain enzymes, phytochemicals (the compounds that provide color, flavor and aroma), and an array of vitamins and minerals important for health and vitality. Try to eat all the colors of the rainbow! When we ensure our bodies are getting this broad spectrum of nutrition, we notice we feel lighter and brighter, and any unwanted / unhealthy eating habits seem to disappear.
Two special types of vegetables to make note of are:
-Sweet root vegetables, which are some of the best sources of low-glycemic carbohydrates for long-lasting energy (without drastically spiking blood sugar levels and sabotaging your waistline like refined / processed flour products and sugars can)
-Cruciferous vegetables, which provide support to the liver for detoxification (something most of us can do with a little more of!)
As you may already be well aware, buying certified organic produce and food products is important for reducing our exposure to toxic chemicals such as pesticides. In the US, since GMO ingredients are not required by law to be labeled on packages, buying certified organic is also a way to try to avoid them.
2. Eat balanced meals at set times.
We all want to ensure our metabolism is fully revved up so that we have enough energy to get through the day and so that we can efficiently burn away any unwanted / excess body fat. You may have heard of breakfast being one of the most important meals of the day – well that’s no lie. “Break-fast” literally means breaking your overnight fast. It is healthy to give the digestive system a break from dinnertime until breakfast so that all of your body’s energy can go to rejuvenation and repair, rather than digestion. When we do this, we get sounder sleep and wake up feeling ready to take on the day with our “A-game.” Lunch should be the most substantial meal of the day when we need fuel for energy in the afternoon the most, not dinner when we are winding down for the evening / night like we commonly do in Western cultures.
Ideally, all of our meals would contain a balance of macronutrients including a source of high-quality protein (wild Alaskan salmon, organic egg whites form pastured hens, organic tempeh, etc.), beneficial fats (avocadoes, cold-pressed and extra virgin olive oil, egg yolks, etc.) and low-glycemic carbohydrates (sweet root vegetables, legumes and quinoa – which double as a great source of plant protein), which work together to make us feel fuller and more energized for longer (allowing you to finally say farewell to mid-morning and afternoon crashes and nasty cravings)!
3. Snack smart!
Between meals, a lot of energetic, athletic and hard-working individuals get hungry between meals and need something healthy to give them a little extra boost – both physically and mentally. When unprepared, people become prone to reaching desperate measures and grabbing something on-the-go with added caffeine and sugar that ends up depleting their vitality, rather than fueling it (we can all relate to this with work office temptations and quick fixes). Plan your “super snacks” ahead by packing options that are loaded with nutrition and long-lasting energy, and fit conveniently in your bag in portioned sized servings so that you can access them whenever you feel the need.
Snacks should be thoughtfully considered like your three daily meals by balancing macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs) as previously mentioned in this article. A good example of this is nuts, which contain a source of all three macronutrients, as well as ample fiber. Two varieties to focus on are almonds and Cashews. Both contain a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E (an antioxidant to support skin health), zinc (a mineral to support the immune system), magnesium (the most powerful relaxation mineral) and iron (lowing your risk of anemia) – just to name a few. You can enjoy them plain or have fun by experimenting with new flavor combinations and added superfoods like Maca Maple Cashews, Cacao Hemp Almonds or Turmeric Tamari Almonds.
If you happen to be going away for the summer to an exotic far-away land and need something healthy to “nosh” on instead of that all-too-often, unappealing airport and airplane food, a good Superfood+ Snack Bar or Power Snack will totally hit the spot and your body will thank you for giving it nourishment from the highest quality nutrition sourced from plant-based superfoods! This also applies to those of you who will be spending time getting active in nature (swimming, surfing, hiking, paddle boarding, etc.) and camping under the stars with friends.
What are your summer snack go-to’s? Comment below!