There is no doubt that if I had to choose a season to get healthier, it would be summer. Here are nine reasons why there is no time like the sunny present to get started on healthier living…
1. The fruits we love are abundantly available. Summer fruits are some of my favorites, and local farm stands are everywhere. Some of the fruits that are especially “fruitful” now are: blueberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, watermelons, green and red grapes, and cherries. Some of my favorite childhood memories are stopping by Michigan roadside farms for the yummiest, juiciest peaches. Summer is a good time to take a day and do a juice fast…especially if you have a blender. Eating only fresh fruits and veggies in the form of smoothies and juices is a wonderful quick way to detox for a day this summer.
2. Heat and humidity naturally stave off hunger and cravings for heavy foods. If winter is a time for comfort foods, summer is a time for lighter fare. Salads, greens and other fresh veggies are great this time of year and we can eat them as a main course entree when we want something cool and crisp.
3. Fresh vegetables are everywhere and make great summertime snacks. My kids love carrots and dip or even cold peppers and hummus or ranch dressing. Even my younger kids are more apt to go for the fresh veggies in the summer.
4. Our clothes are hiding less of us. Let’s face it, summer is for sundresses and sleeveless shirts. It is also the season for bathing suits. There is a little more in incentive in the warmer months to stay fit and eat healthy…and no bulky sweatshirts or oversized sweaters to hide behind!
5. We are outside more in the summertime. While we might be burning more calories, we are often less likely to engorge on the unhealthy food, and to choose the healthier stuff instead. We are busy being more active and less likely to find ourselves hunkered down watching a football game, eating chips and salsa.
6. We are in better moods. The shorter days and less sunshine in the winter months have been known to cause the blues (seasonal affected disorder – sad – can affect many in the winter months). There is something about the sun that can brighten (literally) our day.
7. We are more likely to grill our food. Foods that are grilled are often healthier. Chicken breast, salmon, and even lean cuts of beef are good sources of protein, that together with a salad and some fruit make for healthy summer meals (although hotdogs and hamburgers are a little less healthy).
8. There is plenty of natural Vitamin D. Lately vitamin D has been a popular subject. Doctors are promoting it and health magazines are touting it. Vitamin D comes from natural sunlight which is certainly abundant in the summer months. We don’t have to take the supplement version…we have lots of the real deal!
9. The daylight hours are longer and therefore there is more time to exercise outside in the evenings or even in the early mornings (the sun comes up in Carolina by about 6 a.m.) Even at 8 p.m. It is still light out where we live and an evening walk is much more feasible in the summer. Just remember, water intake is crucial in the summer months, so we need to double our efforts to get more in!