I am so grateful to be able to fill up two of the pages of Femina ME (one of Dubai’s hottest selling magazines) for the second time with my tips on how to handle the heat this Summer in Dubai (or anywhere hot really!).

What you eat during the summer months is a very important survival tool. See the write up below for more… Which also includes two fabulously delicious salad recipes! (You’ll never want to eat anything unhealthy after trying these-seriously!)

 

EAT RIGHT!

Summer is fast approaching & most of us will be dreading the heat & discomfort that summer brings. Fear not, as we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to survive, and even enjoy, the summer months!

 

  1. Eat smaller meals more regularly

Research suggests that our bodies don’t need as much food in summer months and if you think about this logically it makes sense… The heavier the meal, the more energy the body needs to digest it, making us feel more lethargic. If you want to feel more energetic despite the scorching heat, eat fewer lighter meals at regular intervals.

Great summer snacks are things like sliced cucumber, watermelon, celery sticks, cherries, tomatoes & strawberries: Foods that naturally contribute to your fluid intake, helping to prevent dehydration whilst giving the body the nutrition it needs without draining it’s digestive resources.

 

  1. Learn to love salads

I am a huge fan of salads and when better to eat them than in summer! Having spoken to a great number of women in the UAE, most find salads boring, but in actual fact there are so many different options for a tasty salad. You just need to use your imagination.

Find two of my favourite salad recipes below:

 

Apple, Cranberry & Walnut Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries

 

Salad dressing:

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar in a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup coconut oil

 

Instructions:

  • Toss all the ingredients together
  • Mix salad dressing ingredients together & throw over when ready to serve
  • Add grilled chicken pieces to this salad for a kick of protein
  • It will serve about 2-4 people as a main meal

 

Strawberry Broccoli Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli, stems removed & chopped (about 2-3 cups of florets)
  • 2-3 cups strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 avocado

 

Salad dressing:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey

 

Instructions:

  • Toss all the ingredients together
  • Mix salad dressing ingredients together & throw over when ready to serve
  • Add grilled chicken pieces to this salad for a kick of protein
  • It will serve about 2-4 people as a main meal

 

Some of my other favourite ways to make salads a bit more interesting is playing around with the protein you add to it, from salmon to tuna to chicken to beef, there are endless possibilities!

 

  1. Spice it up

Although it may sound counter intuitive, research has shown that eating spicy foods increases circulation, causing the body to perspire, helping to keep the body temperature down. It’s as simple as that.

 

  1. Berry boost

The simple (and delicious) solution for summer health problems such as dehydration, skin sensitivities and vitamin and mineral deficiencies is in fact berries! They’ll not only help your body look it’s best, but you’ll feel it too! According to Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN & president of Nutritious Life “berries increase blood flow to skin and decrease sensitivity to light, which improves skin’s appearance, structure and texture.”

Berries are full of antioxidants and are packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin K, vitamin C and B6. These little balls of goodness are serious super foods so eat up!

 

  1. Just add corn

Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. Did you know that two antioxidants found in corn, namely lutein and zeaxanthin, in fact act like natural sunglasses, helping to form macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays? It’s true. The same antioxidants may also help lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in people ages 60 and above.

 

  1. Cut down on the alcohol

Because Ramadan is bang in the middle of summer it gives us an even bigger reason to lay low. One drink per day is said to be good for you and I can whole-heartedly agree, however binge drinking is something you want to stay away from this summer. Along with making you feel like you’ve been hit by a buss, binge drinking negatively affects your brain, lungs, liver & heart to name a few. It is by far the worst way to put your body in a dehydrated state. A hangover in the summer months will affect you more than any other time of year so let’s start replacing the G&T with some lemon infused water. Yum! And you’ll feel so much better for it!

 

  1. Asparagus? Absolutely!

Toss in a salad, add to an omelette, or pile onto toast with a poached egg. Asparagus is one vegetable with serious health benefits that will not only keep your hydration levels up but also act as a multi-purpose accessory to many meals during the summer months.

What’s better is that this fine veggie takes only 4 minutes to cook, and can be served either cold or hot.

 

  1. Replace your electrolytes

For all the sweaty gym bunnies out there, this point is specifically for you, especially if you still enjoy training outdoors over the summer.

Fluid replacement is essential to avoid progressive dehydration and water isn’t the only thing that is lost during perspiration. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride are also lost in sweat and it is equally important to replace these. According to Shawn H. Dolan, Ph.D, R.D., C.S.S.D., “drinking plain water after high-intensity or long-duration exercise is not always effective for rehydration.”

Make sure to grab a coconut water or sports drink next time you sweat. Your body will love you for it.

 

  1. Never go anywhere without your water bottle

This may seem obvious, but is often overlooked.

First off, staying hydrated could help you avoid overeating. According to Keri Peterson, M.D., a physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City & a medical advisor “A lot of people confuse thirst for hunger,” says Peterson. “So they’ll tend to eat rather than drink water.” “If you’re craving a midday snack and want to make sure your pangs are caused by hunger, not hydration, have a glass of water first. Then see if you’re still hungry 30 minutes later”, says Peterson. This way you won’t only be keeping hydrated, but also using water as a way of complementing weight loss.

 

In Cameron Diaz’s book, The Body Book, (which I highly recommend you read) she reveals the easiest health trick ever: waking up in the morning & drinking a bottle of water first thing. “Once I drink the water, I feel it immediately,’ she writes. “I go from being a wilted plant to one that has been rejuvenated by the rain.” I can so relate to this! If you start your morning feeling hydrated chances are, as long as you are sipping on your water bottle for the rest of the day, that you’ll keep up your hydrated state all day long!

 

How much water is enough you ask? Because fluid losses are accentuated in warmer climates, our water intake should naturally increase in the summer months & is also dependant on how much exercise you are doing.

I found a great way to calculate exactly how much water you should be drinking on a daily basis with this water calculator: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/water_calculator.htm

 

Generally, if you want to know wether you are drinking enough water, the key is in your pee (quite literally). Your urine should be a pale yellow colour.

 

Water doesn’t have to be boring either. Add some cut up strawberries and mint, or another favourite of mine is lemon & ginger.

 

In conclusion, your water bottle should be your new best accessory over the next few months.

 

Hugs & Healthy Regards,
Amy

xox