Eat Like a Rock God (or Goddess)!
Choosing the right food and drink in the summer can be a challenge. We are what we eat – and what we eat affects how much energy we have, how we look, feel, and age as well as a host of other issues related to our health and wellness. I can’t think of a better start to a healthy summer, then to enjoy a more nutrient-dense, high performance, disease thwarting summer fare and start eating like a rock star.
Perk up a salad, chill by the grill and eat to the beet baby! It’s summer time.
My sunrise starts with awakening to the earthy-sweet smell of dew-dropped green grass followed by a breeze of music that makes the sound of summer. And at a glance, the flowering vines soon to bear their nutritious, delicious edible fruits, veggies, nuts and berries by harvesting the subtle touch of warmth and sunlight energy.
While the sun’s UV rays have the potential to damage skin cells and speed up our loss of water due to elevated body temperatures, I encourage you to get out and in the mood to eat good this summer. Taste the summer’s most tempting flavors of fresh fruits and veggies packed with antioxidant-rich nutrients! Nourish yourself with foods rich in Beta-Carotene, Selenium and Vitamin C like citrus fruits, bountiful berries, blush apricots, sweet melons, vine-ripened tomatoes, peppers, broccoli sprouts, brazil nuts and brown rice.
Hydrate yourself with my thirst-quenching Tea-riffic Drinks and Super Food Green Coolers. Drink wisely this summer – when the screaming summer heat starts to soar, I always increase my water intake to avoid throbbing headaches, pure exhaustion and even a collapse from sunstroke. I only drink small amounts, as often as needed, all day and night rather than too much water in one shot. When hopping around town, hiking, or cycling, I carry a cooler with me wherever I go, loaded with naturally sweetened water added with fruit like chilled peaches or orange slices.
Let’s get to “the good sun” for a moment, and give it high praise for its contribution to the circle of life. We are all infinitely dependent on the sun for its light and heat which gives us life itself. It produces our fruits and vegetables and essential nutrients that we need and our pets need.
Per Elson M. Hass, M.D in his book Staying Healthy with Nutrition (1992, p.307), the Latin word for vegetables means to enliven or animate. Quick burning carbs are easily converted to glucose, the body’s main source of fuel. The sun and its other partners in the garden, like clean air, good water, and fertile soil make it possible to grow fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries, tubers, roots, grains, and legumes. Many of these are not only high in water content and fiber, but they also carry a plentiful supply of nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, K, and B as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. These can be great alternatives to animal proteins and are low in unwanted fats.
Not only are they loaded with vitamins and necessary proteins – vegetables are also known as preventatives, inhibitors, and suppressors of free radicals, making them protectors from disease.
Some of my favorite vegetable groups and their benefits:
Onions: This not only includes the classic, delicious smelly onion that makes you cry – it also includes Brussel sprouts which are great for their folic acid and mineral content.
Nuts & Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which does wonders for your immune system.
Rice & Grains: These provide amazing B Vitamins, are great at getting rid of unwanted toxins and also aid in digestion.
Lugumes: Peas and beans are known for their high protein content and can be used as an alternative to eating meat.
Fruits: These are a great source of Vitamins C, A & E – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries (all the berries) are the best!
Tomatoes & Potatoes: Both of these are great sources of Lycopene, a game-changer in protecting your immune system and preventing disease, as well as Iron, which directly improves your hemoglobin and helps transport oxygen throughout the body.
Carrots & Celery: Both of these veggies are wonderful for juicing and are high in Vitamin A, B, and C, and can help reduce blood pressure.
Dark Leafy Greens: Dandelion and collard greens are best known for their Vitamin A content, kale is a powerhouse in calcium, and spinach is loaded with Vitamin K, A and C as well as manganese, magnesium, and iron. If you’re feeling adventurous, try growing your own greens!
Here’s a super easy recipe for your dark leafy greens: Roughly shred greens, lightly blanch in water, and toss in a dressing of oil, vinegar, fresh pink peppercorns and a little goat cheese. Enjoy!