Most people may not think about dieting when they think about summer. More likely, we think about vacations, swimming and pie on the Fourth of July. All of these are wonderful things. (That is, unless you’re desperately trying to stick to a diet, and someone is wafting the scent apple pie towards your face.) However, there are plenty of ways to stick to Phase One eating while still enjoying the all the great things about summer.
One of summer time’s finest traditions – barbecuing – is a great way to prepare a Phase One meal. The Phase One Diet encourages lean (preferably organic or grass-fed) meats. What better way to enjoy summer than with a grass-fed barbecued brisket or smoked, pastured chicken? Toss some vegetables on the grill, add a light summer salad, and you’ve got yourself a Phase One meal perfectly suited for summer time traditions. (Also, be sure to check out the recipes section of the site, where you can find recipes perfect for summer cooking.)
There was a time, years ago, when only certain foods – especially certain types of produce – were available exclusively in summer. Because of our mechanized, modernized and global society, a lot of seasonal foods aren’t necessarily seasonal anymore. Blueberries are typically available all year, as are peaches and watermelon. However, there was a time when those were only in grocery stores at specific times of the year, giving everyone something to look forward to.
We’ve more or less lost the idea of seasonal eating, and it would be interesting to study what the implications of this might be as it relates towards our health. Getting certain nutrients at certain times of the year may be beneficial in ways science hasn’t yet discovered. Now, with the rise of local farmer’s markets and CSAs, it still possible to get local, organic and seasonal produce at seasonally specific times. Try finding local produce that is “in-season”. Especially if you are on Phase Two, enjoy the inherent benefits of fruits like peaches and melons. These contain all kinds of phytonutrients that have shown to be beneficial for health. (Remember that they are higher in sugar, so enjoy in moderation.)
With the warmer weather, summer is a great time to take your exercise regimen outdoors and soak up the sun’s mood-boosting rays. Sunlight is actually a great, all-natural “vitamin D supplement” that is totally free. While you should always exercise caution (and always follow a dermatologist’s advice), getting some sun can be a very healthy accoutrement to any exercise activity. Couple that with the detoxification of sweating and the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and mood-boosting benefits of exercise, summer is a great time to get and stay healthy while improving your overall mood.
One of the best exercises to enjoy in the summer is swimming. Swimming has been touted as great exercise for many reasons, but specifically for people with joint problems, it can be particularly beneficial. Removing pressure from the joints of people with chronic pain can allow them to enjoy the benefits of exercise without the agony they may experience otherwise.
Summer can be a great time to regain, maintain and enjoy a healthy lifestyle!
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