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How to be healthy this summer

By Carmela Pengelly 9 January 2020 641 Views No comments

Tips and tricks for becoming your healthiest self this summer.

You don’t have to drastically alter your diet and lifestyle to improve your health. Even just a few tweaks here and there can help you feel better, acquire beautiful glowing skin and maybe even lose some of the holiday weight.

Farm2Market nutritionist Carmela Pengelly gives you the low down on simple ways to be healthy this summer.

CLEAN EATING

Eating clean healthy food means cutting back on processed foods and eating more basic, natural foods. By doing this, you will automatically be giving your body a helping hand, enhancing liver function, digestion, and keeping cells healthy.

Here are 3 simple tips for cleaner eating:

1. Swap sweet fizzy drinks for kombucha or coconut water. You will drastically lower your sugar intake and boost gut flora at the same time.

If you can’t stand the idea of these drinks, switch to using cordials and dilute with natural mineral water – you will still be lowering your sugar intake quite significantly by doing this. A glass of cola contains about 35 g sugar, that’s 7 teaspoons, whereas one serving of cordial contains less than half of that.

2. Adopt a more balanced diet by reducing your portion sizes of starchy carbs, especially pasta, rice, and potatoes, and instead fill your plate with vegetables or salad. You can add a little butter or olive oil to your veggies for extra flavour and richness.

A portion of cooked rice or pasta should be around the same size as your clenched fist.

3. When cooking on the barbeque, avoid blackening of food. When food is blackened or cooked at very high temperatures it contains substances which can be potentially carcinogenic.

ENJOY THE SUN BUT NOT TOO MUCH

We need some exposure to sunshine to make adequate levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is extremely important, particularly for a healthy immune system.

But of course too much sun is not beneficial and getting the balance right is all part of adopting a healthy lifestyle. In the summer just a few minutes in the sun is enough to boost your levels of vitamin D, according to the Australian Cancer Council.

Try to stay protected the rest of the time.

SUN BLOCK TIPS

A common pitfall is to assume that your clothing or umbrellas are providing you with enough sun protection. Unwanted UV rays can still penetrate standard clothing and normal parasols or beach umbrellas.

Look for rashies, bathers, hats and umbrellas that specifically state that they absorb UV radiation. Alternatively, wear clothes with tightly woven fabric or layer clothes to protect yourself better.

Remember to apply a good quality sun screen regularly throughout the day. If you want to avoid the chemicals in standard sunscreens there are plenty of more natural products available now. Just make sure they state on the label that they provide both UVA and UVB protection.

PROTECT THE KIDS

In the heat of the day have the kids come inside.

A great indoor activity is to get them involved in making healthy snacks, such as ice blocks using some of the following ingredients:

  • coconut milk
  • blended banana, mango, or watermelon
  • diluted fruit juice
  • natural dairy or coconut yoghurt with chopped fruit
  • pistachios or chopped activated walnuts or hazelnuts

Or buy a raw ball making kit and use it as a base for the kids’ own creations. We recommend Good Mix’s Ball Bags raw ball mix.

You can have fun with them by adding extra ingredients; try rolling them in chopped nuts, cocoa powder or hot chocolate, hundreds and thousands, edible silver balls or melted chocolate.

PROTECT YOURSELF WITH ANTIOXIDANTS

Sun exposure causes free radical damage to skin cells. You can help to counteract this by eating more foods that are high in antioxidants.

Foods high in antioxidants include:

Green leafy vegetables and fresh brightly coloured vegetables such as carrots, capsicum, and pumpkin.

Black or herbal teas – sipping tea also helps to keep you hydrated. Make a big jug of sweetened tea, add slices of lemon and cucumber and store in the fridge as iced tea.

If you want something without caffeine, try beautiful Persian Rosebud tea from Mad Mountain Family Farm, an all-natural blend of rose petals, borage flowers, mint, lime and apple.

See our guide on seasonal produce for inspiration on cooking summertime fruits and vegetables.

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