Summer tips and tricks

I am sure my readers in the Northern Hemisphere cannot wait for summer to arrive! Long holidays, warm sun and eating ice-cream are sure on top of the “to do-list!” One of the only thing most of us think about is:  sleeping in, going on holiday, enjoying treats like burgers and milkshakes, and ultimately just relaxing!

There are a big variety of healthier options to choose from when you would like to keep your weight in check and your diet going, even during the holidays and festivities.  Salads, yes, is a simple and easy light lunch (for example) to make.  We are blessed with lots of fresh ingredients that are readily available to us.  The plus side of it is that you can also make your own.  For example, if the usual lettuce, cucumber, tomato and feta cheese, is in need of a new look, why not add some grated carrots, grated beetroot, baby corn, baby spinach, and/or any other greens (avocado or peas).

For some fibre and extra protein, opt for chickpeas and/or beans.  High in fibre and low in calories!

Being on holiday doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself now and again.  The big rule of thumb is: it is not what you eat, it is the amount (and size), that matters!  Have an ice-cream or milkshake, or a latté, or whatever you want.  Just don’t have it every single day!  And not more than 1 either!

If you do have a cheat meal, for example, remember not to beat yourself up about it!  Instead of restricting yourself, relax and enjoy!  A great tip from another health expert is:  have a treat; just go back to your healthier eating patterns the next morning.  Most importantly is to relax, enjoy the break and, if you do pick up a kilo or two, go back to your exercise and diet-routines in the New Year!  The latter is not always easy…but New Year’s resolutions is another topic that we can look at later.  Even if you do eat and drink things you usually don’t or more than usual, just work it off!  How?  Go for a walk or a jog early morning or late afternoon after the heat of the day; have a swim in the ocean or swimming pool; instead of driving everywhere, why not walk (if you stay in a walking distance from where you want to be of course); hire bicycles and go for a ride!  Many options to choose from – even playing sport on the beach, for example, works up a sweat and is fun as well.

Other healthier options to choose from is a light salad dressing instead of salad cream; snacking on nuts, raisins, dried fruit and vegetable chips, instead of chips; adding extra fruit and vegetables (raw if possible), to your breakfasts and lunches, and opting for low-fat instead of full cream.  Not only are fruit and vegetables high in fibre and natural fructose, but it will also make you feel fuller for longer. 

Craving a hamburger?  Then go on – have one!  But instead of eating chips with it, ask for a side salad.  Or, like Lisa Raleigh (fitness trainer) would suggest, have the burger and chips, then eat a salad tomorrow!

Want a glass of wine with dinner?  Then have one…maximum 2.

Water, as we all know, is extremely important when we’re out and about in the sun.  Drink enough so that you stay hydrated.  Did you know that, when you are thirsty, your body has already started to dehydrate?  If you don’t like the taste of plain water, instead of spending lots of cash on bottled water, put some fresh mint, slices of lemon, strawberries or other berries, in the water.  Another good idea is to boil the tap water and let it cool down, then drink it as is or flavour it with one of the examples mentioned earlier.  It is not just a quick and easy way to drink water, but also healthier and less plastic polluting our environment!  Stay out of direct sunlight from 11:00 – 14:00.  Take extra care when you’re on the beach, because the sand and water reflect the sunlight (even when you’re sitting under an umbrella!  Put on sunscreen (especially when you have been swimming) and make sure your face and neck is well covered when you want to tan.  Also take care and put extra sunscreen on behind your ears, behind your knees, on your feet (top and bottom), and on your face (including your eyelids) and neck/chest-area.  Wear a hat!  There are many styles to choose from; just make sure that it covers your face and/or the back of your neck.  If you want some colour but don’t like lying in the sun, opt for a fake tan.  There are many products on the market and places to go to for a spray tan.

Do wear sunglasses when your outside for longer periods.  Your eyes are very sensitive to light and it is extremely important to keep direct sunlight out!  The bigger the frame, the better the eyes are protected.  Make sure your children also wear theirs when they are out and about. 

Wherever you are this summer, make sure your drink plenty of water, enjoy the variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, take care of your eyes, hair and skin and enjoy the sunny days! 

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