Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Be Super Healthy This Summer

It is easy in the summer time for me to grab a bag of chips instead of a healthy snack. I want to stay on track this summer, not just for the way I look but most importantly for how I will feel. I need more energy to fuel all the hikes, cycling and fun I want to have this summer!

Recently, I spoke with Emma Andrews, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Plant-Based Culinary Professional, and National Educator at Vega. Emma shared with me her top tips on keeping healthy this summer and how to make a super healthy smoothie as a delicious snack, yum!

What is the best strategy for keeping healthy this summer?It is all about consistency. This includes making healthier choices more often than not, and committing to bounce back when you fall off track.

Following through on meal planning and food prep time weekly, and intentional grocery shopping are great ways to stay on track. I always have a few recipes in mind when I shop and then I fill the rest of my basket with local, seasonal ingredients to keep costs sustainable and ensure my diet emphasizes real, whole foods.

You can never go wrong eating whole foods as the foundation to your diet. Fresh, nutrient dense foods help crowd out cravings.

Keep drinking lots of water, using fresh herbs and spices for flavor, and focus on getting enough rest each night and fresh air daily in this beautiful warm weather.

Are there foods that will help you stay on track this summer?Stick to dairy-free, gluten-free, clean whole foods that are rich in protein and fiber. Protein and fiber keep you fuller for longer because they take longer to digest. Other great clean ideas for satisfying cravings, through high fiber protein, and/or fat content include:
  • BBQ kale chips 
  • Cashew herb dip with diced vegetable crudité such as radishes, snow peas, and bell peppers
  • Nacho roasted chickpeas
  • Summer rolls with mango, lime and mint dipping sauce
  • Vegan cauliflower buffalo wings
Crowd out cravings with nutrient dense, whole foods will ensure lasting success. No matter what life changes come up, or unforeseen obstacles threaten to throw you off track (as road bumps are inevitable), always return to whole foods as the foundation of your diet.

Using a daily smoothie rich in plant-based proteins and greens is a great method to cover all the nutritional bases and keep you energized throughout the day.

Why are smoothies a healthy snack?
Nutrient dense (crowd out cravings)
Great way to cover your bases, all-in-one/all-at-once (build your day on a healthy foundation)

Tips to make the smoothie super healthy?
Use fruits with a lower sugar content (such as berries, melons, stone fruits, papaya, apple, pear), watch your portion size (keep it under 1 cup fruit), try and avoid using juice as a base (opt for non-dairy milk, water, coconut water, or chilled tea)
Use a plant based protein (easier to digest, clean-no hormones or antibiotics as can be found in dairy/whey, alkaline/contributing factor to maintaining calcium in the bones)
Hide your veggies in the smoothies

Tips to make the smoothie a fast healthy option?
Have non-perishable coconut water & non-dairy milk on hand (in bulk, or as a pantry staple)
Have a great shaker cup! If you need to shake and go (versus blending sometimes)
Preportion frozen fruit in baggies in the freezer
Bookmark recipes on your phone/laptop to access at the grocery store

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