How to Stay Healthy this Summer!
With summer just around the corner, I’ve put together my top tips on how to stay healthy in the hot weather! Bring on the sunshine
1) Stay Hydrated: When it’s hot, our bodies lose more water through sweat, which is why you will need to drink more in order to stay hydrated. The easiest way to tell if you’re hydrated is to check the colour of your pee – if it’s a ‘pale straw’ colour then brilliant, if it’s any dark then drink more! All fluids count towards keeping hydrated – water (see below on how to jazz it up!), tea, coffee, milk and squash (as well as fruit such as berries and vegetables!). Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water a day when it’s hot, which will also help to control your hunger levels (hunger and thirst can get confused!).
2) Jazz up Water: The easiest way to jazz up water is with either by making “detox water”, a cucumber limeade or by adding strawberry or lemon ice-cubes – simply fill an ice-cube tray ¾ full with water and then pop in either strawberry halves or lemon pieces before freezing and popping into water- the end result is a drink that is virtually calorie free but smells and tastes delicious! Smoothies are another great way of getting your ‘5 a day’ and keeping hydrated – check out my soya berry smoothie for inspiration! I’d stay away from the bottled ice-teas though (where the second ingredient is usually sugar) and instead have a go at making your own – simply brew your herbal tea (e.g. green tea) as normal, chill and top with extra water (adding a teaspoon of honey is optional!).
3) Lighten up your Summer Treats: Regular ice-cream is loaded with fat and sugar however you can make a super healthy banana ice-cream at home with frozen bananas, fat free fromage frais and orange juice! The end result is a super low-calorie ‘healthy ice-cream’ which is high in fibre and packed with antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. You could also try making ice-cream with a Yonanas maker (the ultimate kitchen summer accessory). If you prefer yoghurt to ice-cream then check-out my Healthy Eton Mess Recipe or Frozen Yoghurt!.
4) Eat Balanced: In the summer months we tend to show more flesh and because beauty really does begin on the inside if you’re eating healthily and keeping hydrated then you’ll not only be looking great but feeling good about yourself too. Think colour (fruit and vegetables), lean protein (eg beans, lentils, quinoa, chicken, turkey, fish), wholegrains/low GI carbs (eg oats, basmati rice, sweet potato, wholegrain pasta) and healthy fats (eg olive oil and avocado which are bursting goodness including the powerful antioxidant Vitamin E which is crucial for a healthy skin!). Putting it in practice: Swap beef burgers for turkey burgers, serve them in a granary bap and load them up with as much salad and grilled vegetables as you like.. or make a healthy chicken & quinoa salad!
5) Get Planning! Temptation is always with us, no matter what time of year – at Christmas and Easter there’s chocolate and in the Summer there’s BBQ’s and ice-cream, but you needn’t miss out if you’re trying to be ‘healthy’ – you just need to do a little planning. If you plan your ‘diet indulgences’ then you can make sure to eat that little bit healthier in the days running up to and the days afterwards. You could also throw in some extra exercise to burn off those extra calories consumed! I strongly believe in the 80:20 rule; if you’re living your life 80% healthy then you can afford to indulge the other 20% of the time! The most important thing is to really savour the treats and eat or drink them ‘mindfully’.
I do hope these tips inspire you to have a healthy summer without breaking the calorie bank balance.. Summer is such a great time to experiment with new recipes (such as my overnight oats which are perfect for breakfast), and also activities! With the days getting warmer there really is no excuse to get outside and do some some exercise - There are so many activities to choose from, such as walking, tennis, football and netball – there really is something for everyone! And if the sun’s out then you’ll also be soaking up some vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin!) whilst you’re at it (it’s also an excuse to invest in some new fitness gear which is great for motivation levels!!) .