Summer?s here which for many, barbecues and ice-creams first spring to mind. Followed by a nice cold drink to wash it all down with. After all, when the weather?s hot the last thing you want to do is have your head in an oven and be standing over a hot stove making a big cooked meal.
Instead, smaller, fresh meals are much more desirable to eat during the summer months. You?ll feel more refreshed and with less cooking, you can sit back and relax while the sun is shining!
Sounds great, right? Well, for you to enjoy more hours in the sun and less time scouring the kitchen cupboards, it?s a good idea to know what you?re going to eat. Creating a meal plan for the week ahead will save you time and make it easier to follow a balanced diet; with your meals planned, you?re less likely to reach for the pile of takeaway menus. A meal plan can also assist with your weekly shopping budget and can actually save you money. After all, one trip to the shop a week to buy everything, is likely to cost much less than a trip to the shops every night to pick up something for dinner ? we all know when you pop in for just one item you come out with more! Planning makes everything perfect.
Another top tip for eating in the summer months is to prepare meals in advance. It means for those days when you?re busy enjoying the sun, or when it?s really hot and you can?t muster up the energy to cook, you?ll have a meal ready to go. From mixed salads and ready chopped fruit, to vegetable chilli and ice lollies, pre-make your meals and put them in the fridge or freezer, so anytime you feel a little peckish or need a quick meal fix, just head for the kitchen and grab your meal. For some quick cool meals for summer see here.
Talking of salads, why not add some fruits into your salad? Watermelon, blueberries, apricots, pineapple, cherries and strawberries are all proven to be extremely nutritious. But if you?re not too keen on eating fruits, then try making a smoothie instead. It will be just as nutritious and refreshing, and you?ll probably find it goes down much better! For some yummy smoothie recipes, see here.
Smoothies are a great way to fill up on nutrients, but drinking lots of water is extremely important too ? especially when it?s particularly hot outside. Water will keep you hydrated and maintain your body temperature. One top tip is to keep a jug or large bottle of water filled up in the fridge so you can cool down and quench your thirst with a cold drink instead of room temperature water from the tap. Why not add a slice of lemon or some mint to make your drink more refreshing and flavoursome? For more information on water and other drinks and the effect on your health see here.
So, there you have it. From planning your weekly shop to preparing your meals, these are just some of the ways you can get the most out of summer by spending less time in the kitchen and more time outside. And if you get the chance, why not combine both food and sunshine by dining Al fresco!
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