Enter the Summer Consumption Paradigm Shift. Think of this mindset as the ‘summer you,’ the you that wants to slither and slink in sun dresses, the beautiful bronze goddess you, the you sans those god-forsaken muffin tops. To truly embrace this possibility, cut to the chase. Consider how you have been eating, and then consider making the necessary adjustments to really take your current “nutritional mood” to the next level.
Easier said than done, we know, which is why baby steps are the way to go. If, for example, Memorial Day and 4th of July barbecues left you with that dreaded flesh-belt that has a way of creeping up around the waistline when least wanted or expected—i.e., July—then maybe it’s time to ramp up for August by revamping your eating habits. Look more closely at the notion of seasonal eating, and the types of foods (and even ideas about eating) that will truly make the rest of your (and your family’s) summer healthier and more nutritious.
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According to nutritionist Maria Patricia Restrepo MD, founder of the Miami-based MPR Institute, “Nature is wise: it brings us heat in the summer, and with it watery produce, such as watermelon, berries (all), tomato, cucumber and squash (summer).” These, she says, are the keys to a well-hydrated, constantly cleansing body.
Here are some more of Dr. Restrepo’s seasonal summer eating tips to freshen up your diet and lighten up the scale:
KEEP IT REAL
Cut down on processed foods. Restrepo encourages her clients to take a break from “human food,” meaning all food products that are man-made. Instead, try to create menus and snacks that are based on whole foods and fresh produce. Think rice versus bread; sweet potatoes over boxed cereals; fresh turkey slices versus packaged cold cuts, and so on.
KEEP IT FRESH
Increase your fresh vegetable and fruit consumption; eat the seasonal ones, which are at peak this time of year. Summer is a perfect time to increase your raw food intake.
KEEP IT COOL
Emphasize your intake of cooling herbs, such as dill and cilantro, which are natural diuretics (a bonus since we tend to retain more fluids during summer).
KEEP IT WET
Water, water, water. You can also enjoy diuretic waters, which add a kick of flavor. Make an infusion of pineapple peel, for example, or agua de Jamaica for a more interesting taste.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Take a break from dairy, which creates mucus (read: bloating) in the body.