As the sun continues to shine brightly our regular contributor Ruth from www.lethereatclean.com tells us what she’s been crunching her way through on these summer days along with top tips for not over doing it at picnics and barbecues and some super salad ideas.
Over to Ruth…
Summer means so many things, doesn’t it? But for me, the best bit is definitely eating outside. It’s only early July and already we’ve managed breakfast, lunch and dinner with the sun shining. So what’s been filling our cups and plates?
- Super salads
Whatever the weather, I love a salad. I genuinely find myself drawn to anything green and with a crunch but there’s something especially fun about summer salads and trying new recipes. This has definitely been my favourite so far: pomegranate, orange, tahini and quinoa salad, so many incredible flavours – and the tahini dressing was the business. The quinoa makes it a brilliant filler, you could almost (almost…) hold the barbecue meat.
I had a ton of oranges and carrots left over so I juiced them up with some lemons and poured into moulds for the most refreshing ice lollies. Just wonderful!
- Not so devilish desserts
There are so many brilliant brands out there at the moment doing wonderfully nutritious things with easy to access treats. At the weekend we gave the Coconut Collaborative’s Mango Snowconut a go, I promise you won’t be disappointed if you do too. A little bit creamy with a decent bite, it was a perfect accompaniment to some watermelon. It’s also dairy free which means anyone with an allergy that would usually miss out on the ice cream course can dig in too.
- Bottoms up
This has been my first sober summer in a very long time (ever?!). As my due date fast approaches, this third trimester has been about filling the gaping hole left by a crisp, cold Sauvignon Blanc. I must say a virgin strawberry daiquiri has come very close mind you. Poured over crushed ice with a squeeze of lime this mixer was a totally effortless treat. And it felt very fancy in a nice cocktail glass. Added bonus? It’s free from refined sugars and tastes just like proper juiced strawberries.
Top tips for your healthiest summer yet
There’s a general consensus that warmer weather makes us eat less but I’m certainly one of those people that’s leaner in winter. Summer tends to bring with it lots of temptations (ice creams, doughnuts on the pier, fish and chips on the front, bottomless barbecues and glasses of Pimm’s…) and before you can say ‘picnic’ you’ve notched up your recommended daily allowance of sausage rolls for the year, never mind one sitting! Here’s how I avoid too much of a splurge in summer:
Enjoy one decent plateful
Just because you’re at a picnic or barbecue don’t feel obliged to resort to multiple platefuls or continuous grazing. Do as you would if you were serving yourself dinner at home on a Monday night in October. Take a sufficiently satisfying plateful of whatever takes your fancy and call it a day once you’re done. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable come bedtime for it too!
Load up on fruits and veggies
Barbecues can so often be about hunks of meat sandwiched between a bun and picnics all a bit beige and carb-tastic. Scout out the salad or pack some crudités to share at a picnic. They’re a brilliant filler that will still leave plenty of room for your burger or scotch egg but not tempted to have unnecessary seconds.
One for one
Keep yourself hydrated especially when you’re drinking alcohol. Have a glass of water to every soft or alcoholic drink that’ll keep sugar and empty calorie content down and also ensure you’re not coming a cropper on the patio steps as night draws in.
Whatever you eat, however you choose to spend your summer whatever you do, enjoy it. Feel pleased to be peeling off those winter layers, don’t trouble yourself with self consciousness and remember how good that Vitamin D dose is for both body and mind.