SUMMER SNACKS AND RECIPES: FIT & HEALTHY THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER
Summer is the time of year when a lot of us worry the most about looking fit. This is further complicated by the fact that summertime is usually accompanied by picnics, summer cocktails, yummy ice cream… We could go on. :) And, since it can get quite hot out there, it might be even harder for us to stay physically active. Luckily, we’ve prepared a couple of tips!
Fun fact: A recent survey has shown that the average person stands to gain about 2 kg during the summer holidays.
Have a large salad as your first course
With a large salad, you can fill up your stomach with something that’s actually good for you. A salad is normally full of vitamins and fibre, but low in calories. This way, you’ll be able to approach the following courses feeling less hungry and less likely to overeat.
Did you know that there is food which takes more calories to eat, digest and process than it naturally contains?
Yes! This is known as “negative calories” and it usually refers to food which is high in fibre and water. This makes the difference between calorie intake and calorie expenditure negative. For example:
- Celery: a serving of 100 g of celery provides us with about 14 calories, however, the body uses 30 calories to metabolise it
- Lettuce. is very satiating and contains a large amount of fibre, having a boosting effect on the metabolism
- Cucumbers: full of vitamins and minerals and a great intestinal purifier
- Capsicum: rich in fibre, folates, vitamins and antioxidants
- Pumpkin: high water content, full of fibre and very satiating
- Onions: helps promote blood circulation
- Carrots: incredibly nutritious
- Tomato: rich in vitamins and minerals
- Asparagus: boosts the metabolism and a good source of vitamins and minerals
- Pear: very satiating, full of fibre
- Pineapple: aids the digestions and helps purify the intestine
- Melon: rich in vitamin A that can be converted into powerful antioxidants
- Watermelon: has a diuretic effect, full of vitamins and minerals. Recommended for diabetics, as it has low sugar content
Ideally, you should combine negative-calorie foods with other protein and healthy fats.
Combining salads with fresh cheese, turkey breast and olive oil will do the trick. If you’re trying to go vegan, add lentils. With the added protein, your dish will be complete.
Lentil stew with rice and veggies
Good hot or cold, this dish has it all: fibre, protein, vitamins & minerals.
200 g lentils
100 g rice
½ of a green bell pepper
½ of a yellow bell pepper
100 g pumpkin
1 small courgette
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp of sweet paprika
Wash and clean the peppers and cut them into small cubes. Chop the onion and garlic. Thinly chop the carrots. Peel, wash and dice the courgette. Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and dice the pumpkin.
Heat oil in a saucepan and saute the onion for three minutes, stirring. Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Add the carrot and pumpkin and saute for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and paprika and mix it well. If you want an even healthier recipe, cook the veggies with the lentil instead of sauteeing them.
Add water, the lentils, bay leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper Let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and courgette and cook for about 20 more minutes or until the rice is done.
Physical activity helps
Of course, the importance of physical activity cannot be overstated. Don’t forget about doing something sporty at least a couple of times per week!
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