Holistic summer eating meal planning can be difficult, as you have work commitments, various errands/chores, and countless kids’ sporting events to attend. With everything going on, it’s simple to opt for an “easy-meal fix” at the local corner store or fast-food chain. On top of that, summertime often contains numerous cool treats, such as ice cream and popsicles. With all this, it’s no wonder why summer can leave you feeling exhausted and sluggish.
While you may credit this fatigue to your busy schedule, 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 stress, anxiety, and sadness. So, if you want to boost your physical and mental health this summer by making smarter choices, try incorporating some of the following holistic, unprocessed foods into your family’s daily life. Virginia Journal explains how to get started.
Remember Protein at Breakfast
Avoiding sugar and processed food at breakfast will reduce the blood sugar spikes that leave you feeling moody, irritable, and hungry. Instead of 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 pure proteins.
If you find yourself feeling ravenously hungry by 10 a.m., this is a good indicator that you have not fueled your body with adequate protein. Steel-cut oats, eggs, and yogurt are all yummy 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 or nearby coffee shop. Often, convenience lunches are carb-heavy with trans fats and white 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, and protein.
If you don’t have time to prepare meals each night, consider 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 white bread cafeteria sandwich. You will also be cooking less and have more time to spend in the sunshine with your family.
Don’t Eat a Late Dinner
Cooking over a hot stove is the last thing you want to do after a long, sunny day. You and your family may be tempted to stop at the local family restaurant or fast-food chain for a bite. After a large burger and soft drink, it is normal to feel a bit tired and irritable.
If you want to sleep well and wake up feeling great, try not to consume large meals after 8 pm. At dinner, make sure you are getting a variety of proteins, vegetables, and whole grains. There is a wide variety of online recipe forums that follow this dinner formula.
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 experience. Rather than grabbing a chocolate bar or salty, fatty chips, choose whole foods like nuts or pieces of fruit. And instead of a soda to curb your thirst, when you want something a little more than water, make yourself a healthy smoothie. Tossing together fruit, veggies, and seeds is a great way to get important nutrition and feel satisfied. To make sure you’re staying hydrated, consider switching to decaf coffee since caffeine is a diuretic.
Did you know that many insurance companies offer coverage for nutrition counseling? 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.
Holistic gardening may help us connect to our environment with the use of our five senses. If you can find the time to make this, it can do wonders for your well-being. We represent our sense of taste in the food that we grow in this garden, which we can use to nurture our bodies. But, really, having a garden to get organic produce from will be so good for our breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Adding edibles to your landscape may even improve your home’s value as well.
Run Wild My Child points out that we can also choose to plant some snacks for our kids and get them involved in maintaining the garden, making them a little more conscious of the environment while spending some quality time together.
When you start thinking of the human body as a machine that needs fuel, you realize that what you are holistic summer eating affects how you look and feel. There is more evidence than ever to suggest that what we eat contributes to mental health. If you want your body and mind to function efficiently, consider implementing a few of these steps and see if you notice an improvement in how you feel.
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