The DO’s and DON’Ts of summer alimentation

First of all, this goes out mostly to people who live in places with 4 seasons, but also to those who live in very a warm climate. The Russian summer, for example, is very different from the Australian summer. These may seem as no brainers (I have to admit, most of them seem so to me), but I decided to write this after I noticed that really many people don’t really know what’s good for them when “things get hot”. The fast food culture has spread its long dark wings and whether we want to admit a lot, not that many of us eat healthy.

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Summer is the favorite season of most; whether this love is caused by great weather, vacation or mini skirts, one thing’s for sure: nobody wants to have a summer spoiled. A lousy summer alimentation is a top candidate at ruining your summer and also your health. Here are just a few things you should look for and look out in this wonderful season.

The DOs

Natural liquids

The first thing which summer requires from you is drinking more liquids than you would do in the rest of the year. This is caused by the heat which causes dehydration. Having enough fluids means you can work at full capacity and find pleasure in almost everything you do. In general, you should drink at least 2-3 l of liquids, but not everything works so you should really be careful what you drink. Here’s where this liquid could come from:

  • Natural juices;
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    summer is the natural time for many fruits (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, bananas, etc), and this juice not only is great for hydration, but it’s also very healthy, containing numerous vitamins your body needs to feel good. It’s the healthiest thing you can drink and the biggest step you can make towards a better summer and a better health.
  • Fruits;

    if you can’t or won’t make juices, there’s still something you can do, just as good: eat fruits. They also contain the same liquids and vitamins and just as the juices are, they’re really tasty. What you should do is resist the temptation of eating them really cold. It may seem good, but what you’re really doing is applying big termic variations to your body, which is not helping you at all.
  • Tea;
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    it’s a miracle maker since the dawn of manking. Every civilisation used it, and for good reason. Mint and green tea could be helpful as they have a soothing action, but any tea is good. Also, especially in extreme heat, people used to drink warm black tea, because it prevented sweating, thus the body remained hydrated for a longer period of time.
  • Water; tap water is great when you don’t have any of the above, but it’s recommended that you have a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Just be careful where you put it (especially in the car) as it could get really hot.
  • Light food

    Now more than ever is the right time to think about what you eat; you have quite a lot of alternatives and it’s time to give up the barbeques and stakes, and instead go for salads and other lighter food, especially because your appetite is mostly lower in the summer. Here’s what you could eat:

  • Vegetable salads;
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    if you’re thinking they’re not tasty, now more than ever is the time to change your mind. Tomatoes, salad, cucumbers, potatoes, everything is at its best now; and you don’t have to use just veggies, actually it’s great to add something else. Some olive oil (no pun intented), pepper, cheese (any kind), they all do wonders both for the taste and the nutritional qualities.
  • Cakes;
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    especially fruit cakes are a must in this time of the year. We all want something sweet once in a while, and this is the best way to suit our needs. Also, learning how to do this will almost definitely be a skill that will help you further along
  • The DONT’s

    Now that we took a look at the good things, let’s browse the “enemies”, which can really ruin what could be a fantastic summer, and could have a big impact on your health and mood too.

  • Alcohol; perhaps the biggest enemy of summer, alcohol can have a series of detrimental effects on you; and since summer is all about partying, alcohol is often in the center of attention, and people tend to forget the dark side of the coin. First of all, it was made by a process of boiling (or something similar), which makes it penetrant and makes it “dry out” your inside, without you even feeling it. Also, we tend to be less resistant to its effects in the summer, especially because dehydration.
  • Cigarettes; quitting smoking is not really as hard as you’d imagine. Every moment is a good time to start quitting (because it’s recommended that the quitting process is not done at once, but in steps), but summer could give you the mental boost your need. Ever felt that you just can’t get enough air because of all the heat?? Cigarettes amplify all that, because one of their first effects is to reduce lung efficiency and your ability to make effort and resist in harsh conditions.
  • Stakes and other “heavy” foods (fast food included); do I really need to say anything else here ?? Eating pork, sausages, stakes, and any other such food is virtually a mood killer, making you feel tired and sweaty. They’re really bad for your health too, as I’m sure you already know.


  • Credits for this great pic

    So after we draw the line, it’s obvious that what we’re supposed to be eating and what we are eating are definitely not the same thing; as a matter a fact in most cases they’re not even in the same league. What you need to understand is that you have to keep a balance, meaning that even if you can’t eat all healthy all the time you really should at least avoid succumbing to unhealthy foods, as it the one you are doing harm to is yourself. So without further ado, go and have the best summer you can possibly have, you’ve probably earned it.

    The balance of tastes: 4+1 for eternity

    Chinese medicine is an ancient yet very popular form of medicine, which bases treatment on the fact that illness is caused by the lack of harmony between the body and the spirit. According to its principles, a balance between the two can only be obtained through a balanced alimentation, which includes the 4 tastes (bitter, sour, salt, sweet) and spicy foods. Now I don’t know whether Chinese medicine is effective or not, but the principles it tends to apply are definetly a good example to follow.

    Bitter
    coffee
    Photo by narly

    Most bitter foods or drinks cause elimination of liquids, which helps prevent liquid accumulations. Salad, for example calms the inside of your body and regulates the body temperature. It’s also very good against stress, insomnia and neurosis. But not everything that’s bitter is good; if you drink too much coffee, for example, you could suffer from heart conditions and your skin could become very unhealthy and inestetic.

    Sour
    sour
    Photo by ComeUndone

    Sour foods have a positive influence on the physical energy and they also have a soothing action, working against anger, agitation and anxiety. This kind of foods includes grain, some fruits, some types of cheese, fruit tea and even beer. Great for finding your balance.

    Salt

    Usually, we consume way more salt than we need. The results is that the organs and blood vessels lose a lot of liquid which instead accumulates in the tissue. In order to prevent this, one should eat less salt, because it also damages the heart. Instead of using it, try using some green veggies instead.

    Spicy

    Modern times are exhausting for almost everybody. Whenever you feel that you’re just drained of energy, or that you’re cold inside or outside, it’s very good to eat some spicy foods. But not too many though, that wouldn’t be good at all. Recommended spices are white and black pepper, some pimento, ginger, onion or garlic.

    Sweet

    Out of sweet fods, organs extract the energy they need to function without any problems; recent studies have pointed out these advantages. But don’t think that eating cake or chocolate all day is something good! By the process of obtaining it, sugar loses its capacity to produce vital energy. But if you were to eat fruits, nuts, veggies, than the situation would be very different. Fructose helps organism fight diseases and escape from stress.

    So what should one eat, in order to have a balanced diet?
    balanced diet
    Photo by neloqua

    If your menu has everyone of these things, you’ll definetly be healthier, without doing anything. If it doesn’t have any of these, then your organism will not be able to function properly. Keep in mind that everything you do reflects upon you.

    Three things to drink and three not to drink

    Yo- could I get a cold beverage
    I need some leverage
    It’s sunny outside
    Some lemonade would be nice
    ~G. Love & Special Sauce~

    To drink or not to drink? That is the question on everybody’s lips today. Well, not really, but it’s still very important. Whether ’tis nobler in the thirst to suffer until you get the chance to drink something that’s good for you, or just to go to the nearest shop and get a soda? We’re gonna take a look at 3 things which are definetly good for you, and other 3 which are not so good, to say the least. If an angel and a devil would appear on your left and right shoulder, what would they each tell you to drink? That’s what this is about. Also, there’s a bonus!

  • The three good drinks
  • You may find the taste better or worse, that’s relative. The thing is they’re really healthy, and (as so many healthy things are today) cheap.

    1. Tea

    tea
    Photo by dragonflysky
    Tea has been around for thousands of years, and there’s a reason for that; it’s very good, it gives you a certain state of relaxation or freshness, depending on the tea. It’s very good with cookies, and other bakery products. Also, it’s very good in treating useful for treating tumors, abscesses, bladder ailments, lethargy, and so many other conditions. It comes in very numerous varieties, each with its own curative properties and with its own special flavour. You can drink it hot in the winter, or make ice tea in the summer. You can add lemon or many other things, it’s just up to you; and it’s very easy to make, and gives you an overall state of well-being. Some teas containe caffeine, but no reason to worry here.

    2. Natural juice

    juice
    Photo by VROG in Bristol
    By natural juice I don’t mean wrapped juice which claims to be natural and that kind of stuff! No way! I’m talking about the juice made from fruit or vegetables by squeezing or using a machine yourself. Juice is probably the best source of vitamins and antioxidants and it gives you an abundance of good substances. You can make juice of so many fruits and veggies that it’s impossible not to find one you think is great; it can be apple, orange, prune, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato, carrot, grape, strawberry, cherry, cranberry, celery, and the list could go on for a lot more. You can also combine two or more fruits, and again use your imagination to make something really tasty!

    3. Milk
    Now you can’t drink milk all the time; but you don’t have to! You can use it for cereals and that kind of things, and it’s very good to drink at night, some time before you go to bed. It will help you sleep better. Also, it contains Iodine which is very important for thyroid function, Potassium, all sorts of vitamins, and a great deal of calcium. It’s also good for preventing diabetes and a number of conditions.

  • The three bad drinks
  • 1. Soda
    Most of us drink soda, some more, some less. There has been a lot of fuss about whether it’s bad for you or not and to cut a long story short, it’s bad. Of all the beverages in the world, it probably has the worst reputation; and the bad thing is that it lives up to its reputation. The basic ingredients are carbonated water, caramel color, natural flavors, caffeine, phosphoric acid and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is one of the single most horrific ingredients in the food supply, but it’s cheap, so they use it. Even the sodas which claim to be natural use the same things! If you’re still not convinced, take a look at what happens to your body when you drink a coke!

    2. Coffee
    Coffee provides one of the most important and biggest business in the world. Recent studies have shown that in fact, coffee has a sum of beneficial effects, but in the long term, it does more harm then good. Also, the studies have had some contradictory results so it’s pretty hard to say for sure whether the benefits are that big. The thing is that coffee contains caffeine; and caffeine is a stimulent drug. It creates addictiveness, and the results could be magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesaemia, damage to the arterial walls, and increases the risk factor for heart diseases. But with some beneficial aspects, and with 1-2 cups per day bringing no serious threat, it’s definetly the least of evils.

    3. Energy drinks

    energy drink
    Photo by Lit’l C
    Energy drinks are wicked! In a not so great kinda way. They’re specifically designed to give you energy and calories, and boost your short term physical abilities. An energy drink contains amino acids, a large dose of sugar and about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Also, they increase the risk factor of several diseases and when you combine them with alcohol… no matter how fun it is, it’s not gonna do you any good!

    Bonus
    Is alcohol good or bad?
    First of all, when it’s in very large quantities, it’s bad; now I’m not quite the man to give you that kind of advice, but that’s just how it is. The more alcohol consumed, the greater the effect – speech becomes slurred, vision blurred, balance is lost and movements are clumsy; and that’s not the problem! But it does damage to you inside. Alcohol has been linked to a wide range of illnesses, such as the increased risk of mouth, pharyngeal and oesophageal cancers. That’s bad. But what about the French paradox? This reffers to the fact the alcohol moderated (!) intake combined with high intakes of fruit and vegetables leads to a very low incidence of coronary heart disease, even when the diet has a lot of fats. Then again, what would a party be without alcohol? Still, it’s up to you! Be careful with what you put in your body!

    Ten steps towards a healthy life

    meditate


    Photo by the constant skeptic

    Nervous tension, man’s invention,
    Is the biggest killer that’s around today
    Let the tension out or it will build and build inside
    And strike you down some day
    ~Kinks~

    Nowadays, a healthy life is getting harder and harder to obtain; that’s a fact. The food, the constant rush and go-go, the stress and all sort of things make us mentally and phisically tired, fatigue sets in and before you can do anything you’re dragged into a lifestyle which is filled with bad habits. What you should probably do, as take a time off and try to follow these simple steps; you’ve probably heard them lots of time before, but it’s good to have them all in one place, and they’re very useful.The first thing you have to do is be careful with the meat. Giving up meat may be a great idea, if you have a balanced died, and eat soy and other meat replacements, but for most people that’s never gonna happen. If you are one of those people, you should at least be careful with what kind of meat you eat. Hamburgers, fat meat, and other similar types are not good. At least three meals a week should be without meat. Also in the nutrition area, vitamin C is very important, along with folic acid and Zinc. You can find them in fruits, nuts, oysters, and cereals. Continue reading