Now that the weather is finally warming up, you may be thinking about the upcoming Summer months, and how to tweak your diet to feel a bit healthier. Winter is all about comfort foods – roasts, casseroles, puddings, and while these are all well and good (and taste delicious!) now that it’s sunny outside you might be craving lighter meals that feel a little healthier.
There are several reasons why we tend to crave stodgy meals that are high in carbohydrates and fat during the colder months. Scientists have discovered that the colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours possibly trigger an evolutionary reaction to eat more to “fatten up” like other animals. It could also be due to a seasonal change in our hormonal balance, or possibly an attempt for a bodies to obtain serotonin (the happy hormone) from carbs as its receiving less than usual from sunlight. Whatever the reason, read on to find out how to kickstart your healthy eating habits and prepare for Summer!
TIPS TO KICKSTART YOUR HEALTHY SUMMER EATING
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet with a combination of different food groups. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends consuming plenty of vegetables and wholegrains, some fruits and protein, and a small amount of dairy, as well as limiting intake of added sugars, saturated fat, fatty/salty snacks, fast food and alcohol.
- Stay hydrated – Choose water as your main drink, instead of soft drinks or juice. Your body needs plenty of water, especially in the hotter months.
- Get plenty of sleep – Sleep is vital for your body to function and to heal and repair itself. Make sure you’re getting enough ZZZ’s to maintain optimal physical and mental wellbeing.
- Get moving – Regular exercise has so many benefits, such as reducing our risk of heart disease, type II diabetes and some cancers, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and strengthening our bones and muscles, not to mention improving our energy levels and mental health! Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
WARM WEATHER MEAL IDEAS
There are a whole range of meal ideas that are fast, fresh and flavour-packed, and don’t necessarily taste like they should be good for you. Instead of heavy carb-loaded foods, try swapping pasta for vermicelli or zucchini noodles, and instead of a stew with mashed potato try a barbecue with salad.
- Vietnamese Bún bowl – Heat our Pork San Choy Bow then arrange it in a bowl with vermicelli noodles, crunchy veggies like lettuce, cucumber & carrot, fresh herbs like Vietnamese mint and a dipping sauce on the side
- Zoodles – Get yourself a vegetable spiraliser and make some zucchini noodles! They are the perfect pasta substitute & you also get another serve of veggies towards your 2 & 5. Just blanch the zoodles quickly, then toss them through your choice of pasta sauce, our go-to is our Beef Bolognese.
- Rice paper rolls/San Choy Bow – Heat our Pork San Choy Bow and use as a filling with sliced capsicum, avo, crunchy lettuce and vermicelli noodles in a rice paper roll, or spoon into a lettuce cup for traditional San Choy Bow.
- Stir fry – Heat our Soy and Ginger Beef and serve on a bed of vermicelli noodles or brown rice. If you’re really after a veggie boost, add some extras of your favourites like broccoli, capsicum & carrot.
- Summer barbecue – Cook up your protein, whether it’s lean meat, seafood or tofu, boil some whole potatoes and then grill them on the barbie, throw together a salad or two, and voila! You’ve got a healthy, light, delicious meal.
- Dessert – Simply serve up some beautiful Spring/Summer fruits with a scoop of ice cream or Greek yoghurt (depending on how decadent you’re feeling!)
- Time savers – If you’re low on time and in need a quick meal you can heat and eat, try one of Dineamic’s Meals for One. Some of our favourites include the Lentil & Mushroom Bolognese with Spaghetti, Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry, or the Thai Green Chicken Curry with Broc, Cauli and Rice.
- Snacks – Try one of our Power Balls for an on-the-go treat that's good for you but doesn’t taste like it should be.
- Everyday Health Meal Plans – Get started on your healthy eating journey by sampling some of our favourite meals in our Everyday Health Meal Plans.
As we mentioned in the Healthy Tips above, hydration is super important! Water is needed to maintain every single function in our body, including regulating body temperature and keeping our cells healthy.
The general recommendation is to drink 8 cups of water per day, but more may be required in the warmer months, particularly if it’s a really hot day or you’re exercising. Our bodies lose a lot of fluid through sweat, so it’s important to replace that fluid loss. If you’re feeling dizzy or lightheaded, nauseous, have a headache, muscle cramps or a dry mouth, try drinking a glass of water.
Our top tips for staying hydrated are:
- Always carry a water bottle with you
- Have drink of water whenever you eat something
- Add some lemon slices, strawberries, cucumber slices or mint leaves to give your water a flavour hit
So shrug off the Winter blues and embrace fresh, healthy food to kickstart your journey to good health! Follow our tips for healthy eating and maintaining physical and mental wellbeing, and we guarantee you’ll be feeling great and ready for Summer in no time.
Tell us in the comments what your go-to summer meal is & what else you’d like to read about on the blog!