Guest post by Katherine Kimber, founder of Nude Nutrition
Many of us have goals that revolve around health. Yet when the sun comes out, our social calendars fill up with after work drinks and dinners at rooftop restaurants. This can be one of the biggest sabotages of our goals! Of course, you want to get out in the long summer evenings and be a more social and the last thing you want to be doing is food prepping… So, how can you stay healthy this summer, while balancing a demanding social calendar?
1. Healthy summer foods for when you’re short on time
You’ve not got your lunch or dinner prepared? Buying pre-cooked lentils and pulses in a packet or tin is a simple way to boost the fibre, protein and vegetable content of any meal! If you are vegetarian or vegan, adding these to wholegrain rice and veggies will provide a good mix of essential amino acids. If you are a meat or fish eater, throwing pre-cooked gains, lentils or pulses into a side salad bowl with some pre-cooked meat or fish makes for a tasty 2-minute lunch or dinner! Healthy meal prep at its best!
2. Get moving – and bring a friend along!
What a better way to kill two birds with one stone than working out in the sun with a friend? Even going for a walk everyday is one of the simplest and cheapest activities you can do, and great for boosting mood and enjoying the sun while being active. There are hundreds of green spaces across London, and many of them connect with each other. Feeling extra adventurous? Why not plan to do an outdoor workout together next time, instead of heading to your local for a pint?
3. Have breakfast for dinner
We quite often think that eating a breakfast meal for dinner means you are not eating ‘properly’ or getting enough nutrition. If you’re short on time, it really is okay to have scrambled eggs or cereal for dinner. The only suggestion I would make is to always add some fruit or vegetables! Two eggs on wholemeal toast with some veggies is a perfectly balanced meal. Equally, yoghurt topped with fresh berries (the perfect healthy summer food!), sugar free muesli, and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds is also okay.
4. Stay hydrated!
More relevant than ever in this heatwave: buy a decent water bottle that doesn’t leak, and keep this on you at all times! There really is no excuse for not drinking enough if you always have a bottle on you. Thermos water bottles not only keep your water cool, they also help the planet as they’re reusable! Staying hydrated actually curbs hunger cravings, and means you’ll be less tempted to reach for the less-than-healthy options when you get peckish.
5. Swap your booze for low-/non-alcoholic drinks
I know, I know, but hear me out. Alcohol affects your sleep, meaning that food choices may be impacted the next day, and is linked to a number of chronic diseases! If you do drink alcohol, swap your pints for bottled brews and your double G&Ts for singles. Non-alcoholic beers, and other drinks such as Kombucha and flavoured sparkling waters are becoming very popular now too and are tasty non-alcoholic options. Going out and not having an alcoholic drink is really doable, and I promise you can still have a good time without it!
6. Learn to say no when you’ve had enough
You and I, we once were completely connected to our body’s hunger and fullness signals. As infants, we would push away food when we were done, and cry when we were hungry. In order to regain that control, we need to practice. If you are eating out regularly, then try these steps:
1) Order off the menu what you truly will enjoy, not what the diet says you should have
2) Slow right down… it takes a good 20mins to start receiving info from our stomach that we are satisfied. You could even put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls to help this.
3) Pay attention to your food, no phones.
4) Take a break – Divide your plate into 1/2 or 1/4, and break between each section. Body scan how you are truly feeling after each section. Are you comfortable?
5) Pick the best – eat the best first! Not last. You are then not having to force this down when you are full.
6) Don’t be afraid to leave food on your plate. The second half never tastes as good anyway. Think about how good it will feel to leave the restaurant not overly stuffed! Ask for the remains to be packed up in a doggy bag, and boom, that’s tomorrow’s lunch sorted!
To sum it all up…
Life is to short to eat foods you don’t enjoy, or to be restrictive with what you choose to eat. However, eating, boozing often, having late nights, not drinking enough water, and not eating enough veg, can take its toll on our bodies. I have suggested a few changes you could make to stay healthy this summer when you find yourself low on time. Try not to see these small positive changes as being ‘restrictive’ or being on a diet. Rather, see them as an act of self care. Your body knows what it needs, so listen to it.
Guest post by Katherine Kimber
Founder of Nude Nutrition