Summer is almost here! With vacations and summer activities for the kids, it can be tough for moms to find time to focus on our own health. As a certified health coach working mostly with women, many of whom are moms, this is something that I see frequently. As a mom myself, it’s something I struggle with occasionally, too.
It’s important to take care of ourselves and our own needs in order to feel happy, healthy and confident. Here are five easy tips to help you look and feel healthy and radiant this summer.
1. Eat more leafy greens.
This is easy to do in the summer when your body naturally craves more cooling, raw foods. One way to get more is to have a green smoothie for breakfast. Toss in a handful of spinach or kale, and add half a banana or half a cup of berries. Add protein in the form of plain Greek yogurt, raw nuts and seeds or your favorite clean protein powder. You won’t even taste the greens, but your body will reap the benefits. Leafy greens are rich in fiber, which is important for weight loss because it keeps you full and helps control hunger. Greens are also high in antioxidants, which help keep skin and hair healthy and beautiful.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Water is incredibly important for a healthy body. I recommend drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. (Example: if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water.) Your body is made up of about 60% water, and every system depends on it. You need water for healthy skin, hair and nails, and for digestion, heart rate, controlling body temperature and more. Jazz up your water by adding fresh fruit and herbs, such as strawberries and basil, or lime and mint. Herbal teas are also a refreshing substitute for water. When the temperatures rise, brew herbal tea and enjoy it chilled or over ice. Ginger, lavender, peppermint and rooibos teas are a few of my favorites. Add a few drops of liquid stevia to sweeten, if needed.
3. Limit processed carbohydrates.
Processed carbohydrates are healthy diet wreckers. Limiting or avoiding breads, pastas, crackers, cookies, cakes and other processed carbs will do amazing things for your body. These foods are high in calories and chemical ingredients and void of nutrients. Instead, choose plant-based complex carbohydrates such as fresh fruit and sweet potatoes, and whole grains like quinoa. These healthy carbs will keep your blood sugar levels even throughout the day, providing you with energy and fiber and reducing cravings.
4. Prepare meals at home.
This one is tough when life gets busy, but with careful planning and a little prep work, it is possible. When you prepare your own foods, you control the quality of the ingredients used, and you can avoid chemicals and processed carbohydrates. I recommend that my clients take time on Sunday afternoons to prep. A few simple steps on the weekend will go far during the week. Make a pot of quinoa, boil eggs and roast a pan of vegetables. For weeknight meals, soups are quick and healthy. Throw vegetables into a pot, add cooked chicken breasts or beans and broth. Bring to a simmer, and in 10 or 15 minutes, dinner is complete. Double that pot of soup for dinner later in the week.
5. Move your body every day.
Exercise has numerous benefits, including boosting metabolism, helping with weight loss, improving mood, decreasing stress, promoting restful sleep, increasing energy and slowing aging. Try for 30 minutes to an hour most days. If you can’t get a structured time in your busy summer schedule for exercise, be sure to move your body as much as you can throughout the day. Jump in the pool to swim with the kids or ride bikes around the neighborhood. Do what works best for you and for your schedule, just be sure to stay active.
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