by Cheryl Conklin
These days, it’s getting harder and harder to know what food products we can trust from natural flavors to plant-based diets, replica meat and more. Summer eating and meal planning can be especially difficult, if you have work commitments, various errands/chores, vacations and countless sporting events to attend. With everything going on, it’s simple to opt for an “easy-meal fix” at the local corner store, delivery app or fast-food chain. On top of that, summertime often contains numerous cool treats, such as BBQ, comfort food, ice cream and popsicles. With all this, it’s no wonder why summer can leave you feeling exhausted, out of shape, unhealthy and even sluggish.
While you may credit this fatigue to your busy schedule, family or kids, Best Health magazine notes that there is mounting evidence to suggest that what we eat affects our mental health. In fact, what we eat has an incredible influence on our emotional health including stress, anxiety, and sadness. So, if you want to boost your nutrition, physical and mental health this summer by making smarter choices, try incorporating some of the following holistic (i.e. natural), unprocessed foods into your and/or your family’s daily life. In this article, we will explain how to get started on your journey towards a energetic and fulfilling summer of healthy eating made easy.
Remember: Eat Breakfast and that’s full of Protein, Fats and Complex Carbs
Avoiding sugar and processed foods at breakfast will reduce the blood sugar spikes that leave you feeling moody, irritable, and hungry. Instead of skipping breakfast, stopping at the drive-thru or grabbing a carb-loaded granola bar, do some pre-planning and ensure your home is stocked with a few essentials, notably lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
If you find yourself feeling ravenously hungry shortly after breakfast, this is a good indicator that you have not fueled your body with adequate nutrients. Quick-rolled oats, eggs, seeds / nuts / avocados and greek yogurt are all delicious breakfast options that are sure to leave you satiated.
Think Light at Lunch
Preparing healthy lunches for yourself and your family can be time-consuming. As a result, many people end up at the cafeteria, drive-thru or nearby coffee shop. Often, convenience lunches are carb-heavy with trans fats, saturated fats and sugar, and it’s no wonder you feel sluggish after 1 p.m. Instead, eat a lunch packed with a variety of greens, colorful veggies, whole grains and lean protein.
If you don’t have time to prepare meals each night, consider creating a meal plan or starting a meal-prep routine that only requires you to cook for one or two evenings a week. Having ready-to-go meals will reduce the likelihood of purchasing that gluten filled sandwich or burger with meat from questionably raised livestock. You will also be cooking less and have more time to do other things like spend time with your family, friends and relax.
Don’t Eat a Late Dinner
Cooking over a hot stove is the last thing you want to do after a long day, long drive home or sitting in traffic. You and your family may be tempted to stop at the local family restaurant or fast-food chain for a bite. After a hamburger, pizza, sodium or sugar rich meal and/or drink, it’s very normal to feel a bit tired, bloated, sluggish and irritable.
If you want to sleep well and wake up feeling great, try not to consume large meals within 2-3 hours of going to sleep. At dinner, make sure you are getting a variety of lean proteins, vegetables, and clean carbs. There is a wide variety of online recipe forums that follow this dinner formula and contain healthy snacks as well as desserts too.
From there, if you decide to save the recipes for yourself, you might want to start putting together a recipe file so that nothing will get lost. Using this simple PDF scanner can help you keep your recipe files organized, allowing you to store digital copies and even share them with others, if you like.
Smart Snacking Choices
Snacking isn’t a bad thing in and of itself; it’s what we choose when we snack that makes or breaks the feeding. Rather than grabbing a chocolate bar or salty, fatty chips, choose whole foods like nuts, seeds or low glycemic index fruit.
And instead of a soda or sugar filled beverage to curb your thirst, when you want something a little more than water, make yourself a healthy smoothie or consider infusing your water with fresh fruits like cucumbers, berries or citrus fruits. Infusing your water or tossing together fruit, veggies or greens powder, fiber and a good protein or bone broth powder along with a healthy fat like nuts, nut butter or seeds is a great way to get vital nutrients, feel satisfied and a great tasting smoothie. It’s also quick and convenient.
To make it a meal replacement smoothie you can add carbs like oats or other types of carbs. To make sure you’re staying hydrated, which is different from drinking water, consider opting for decaf coffee since caffeine is a diuretic.
Nutrition and Health Coaching
Did you know that many insurance companies offer coverage for nutrition and health coaching? In fact, some even provide free services through telehealth! If your current insurance policy doesn’t offer this benefit, be sure to explore other options on the ACA exchange. It’s important to prioritize your health and wellness, and proper nutrition is a key component of that. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the resources available to you.
We accept TriCare and First Health Networks Insurance as well as Health Saving Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
Holistic gardening may help us connect to our environment with the use of our five senses. If you can find the time, it can do wonders for your well-being. You can represent your sense of taste in the food that you grow in a garden, which you can use to nurture your body. With that said, having a garden for organic produce can be great for your breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinners.
Run Wild My Child points out that you can plant snacks for your family, kids as well as friends and get them involved in maintaining the garden, enabling them to be more conscious of the environment while spending quality time together.
When you start thinking of the human body as a machine that needs fuel, you realize that what you are eating affects how you look, feel, think and sleep. There is more evidence than ever to suggest that what we eat contributes to mental and emotional health in addition to energy levels. If you want your body, mind and soul to function optimally and efficiently, consider implementing a few of these aspects and see if you notice an improvement in how you feel, look, think and sleep.
If you’re struggling to take charge of your weight, health or nutrition, 3natural Bionutrition can help!
Reach out today to get started with a FREE Discovery Consultation.