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5 Nutrition Tips For A Healthy, Glowing Summer

Westwood Pilates

by Chanda Hinman

     You’re doing Pilates two to three times a week, stretching in the mornings and walking twice weekly. You’re even foam rolling! In short, you’ve got fitness covered. But what about the other 80% of the whole body health equation? Nutrition!

     Here are 5 easy to implement nutrition tips to keep your body in tip top shape this summer.

1) Try Probiotics

     Why are we suddenly hearing about Kombucha (fermented tea), fermented veggies (like Kimchi), Greek yogurt, and Probiotic supplements? Somehow, with the processed food and who knows what else we’ve been doing to our bodies, many of us have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in our guts. The symptoms include heartburn, bloated tummies and sudden food intolerances.

     While there may be something more to it for some, my symptoms immediately subsided when I started drinking ½ bottle of ginger Kombucha daily. I also sometimes drink a Bio-K+ Probiotic “shot” if I’m feeling a little off in the belly. Guess who suggested this? Nope, not my GI doctor! My Allergist! So if you are feeling some heartburn, before you jump into taking a prescription, try a simple Probiotic. It might make you feel WAY better. Plus, Kombucha is delish!

2) Infuse Your Water

     If you are like many, you’re having a hard time getting enough water every day, especially in the summer when Rosé is an oh so tempting replacement. Some of us are chronically dehydrated, which makes it difficult for our bodies to flush out toxins. To add pizzazz to the boring hydration routine (especially if you partake in the Rosé) try an infusion.

     My new favorite combination is Turmeric + Lemon + Pineapple. Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, packs a punch of anti-inflammatory properties, great for sore muscles after a long hike. Moreover, Turmeric outperforms many pharmaceuticals in fighting chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Arthritis and even Cancer. Turmeric’s rising popularity means that it is increasingly available.*

     Lemons are acidic, but alkaline in the body, plus contain a high dose of antioxidants and Vitamin C. Pineapple epitomizes the sweetness we crave from summer. It is high in the enzyme bromelain, an anti-inflammatory effective in treating bruises and sprains in case you take a tumble during a game of beach volleyball.

     Add some fresh Turmeric, a lemon wedge or two and a few pieces of chopped Pineapple to a carafe of fresh filtered water and let it soak for a few minutes before enjoying. Turmeric is potent. A little goes a long way!

3) Make Quinoa Your After 3:00 p.m. “Carb” of Choice

     Quinoa is a seed, but it cooks and tastes like a grain. It’s also: a) a complete protein, giving you all of the essential amino acids you need at any meal; b) a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index to keep your blood sugar low; and c) is high in magnesium, which relaxes the blood vessels, resulting in fewer headaches those that suffer from migraines. Bonus: It’s gluten free!

     My new favorite quick and easy dinner is 2/3 cup of Quinoa (I like the tri-colored, but any Quinoa will work), 1 cup of black beans, and 1/2 avocado topped with salsa. Easy, delicious and nutritious.

4) Eat Enough Food!

     I found myself lacking in energy until I started a nutrition plan that required me to eat MORE. Yes more. And more often! Yay! In addition to your usual 3 meals a day (which might be a little smaller once you start feeding yourself more often), try adding a small snack of nuts and fruit mid-morning, and a mid-afternoon snack of hummus and chopped vegetables.

5) Start the Day With Ch-Ch-Ch Chia

     Remember Chia Pets? Chia seeds have a much better use than sprouting on a terracotta “pet.” They are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, giving you nutrients needed for glowing skin, beautiful hair and healthy nails. They are also a great source of plant-based protein, soluble fiber and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.

     When soaked overnight, they absorb liquid, creating a “pudding” that’s a delicious start to the day. I soak mine in coconut milk and add ½ teaspoon of Vanilla extract and a few dashes of cinnamon. In the morning, I add shredded coconut, fruit and walnuts. Breakfast is ready!

     Have a fit, healthy and nutritious summer!

     * Note that those with gallstones, bile duct dysfunction and pregnant women should not use Turmeric without a doctor’s approval.