We are looking at ways to cultivate balance and ease during the most social season with the support of friend Madeleine Gates, Naturopath & Registered Nurse at Omoi Wellness.
As we transition into summer, our body needs extra support and nourishment especially while we enjoy the most social season of the year. Having a strong foundation provides your body with resilience so you can enjoy those lavish meals and late nights.
1. Support your digestion
While indulging in more decadent meals that you may not normally eat through the year, you might find your gut needs some extra support to avoid bloating and digestive discomfort.
- Taking a small amount of apple cider vinegar before meals
- Beginning meals with bitter food like radish, radicchio and rocket can support stomach acid and digestive enzyme production which help us to digest our foods better
- Eat slowly and mindfully where you can
- Stash some herbal teas in your pantry, these will become a go-to to support digestion after meals - fennel, liquorice, dandelion root, peppermint, ginger, lemongrass and chamomile are excellent. Enjoy making your own blend. Try serving your favourite blend strong and on ice, instead of alcohol or plain water.
2. Eat seasonally, with plenty of colour and fibre
We know that fruits and vegetables are more nutritionally dense when grown seasonally and locally. Enjoy the seasonal produce of summer like stone fruit, strawberries, mangoes, capsicum, cucumbers and tomatoes; and aim for a wide variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables to boost antioxidant levels and support liver detoxification.
Aiming for high fibre meals (e.g. a dinner plate that is ½ full of vegetables) will support daily bowel movements, feed your beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome as well as support detoxification.
3. Start your meals with protein and good fats that will support balanced blood sugar levels
Starting your meals with protein and good fats, instead of refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta, will stabilise your blood sugar levels after meals and encourage less of a blood sugar crash which can look like anxiety, tiredness and irritability. Protein-rich meals keep us satiated for longer so we are less inclined to snack between main meals.
- Protein sources include red meat, fish, eggs, poultry, dairy, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tempeh and tofu. Buy organic where possible.
- Going for a small walk after dinner is a good way to support balanced blood sugar levels while having the added benefit of unwinding from the day and getting some fresh air.
4. Keep hydrated
During summer we need to drink 2-3L of water every day. This can include benefitting from fruits and vegetables with a lot of water such as cucumber, capsicum, celery, tomatoes, watermelon, oranges; as well as herbal teas.
- If you find it hard to drink water, add some fruit like orange or lemon slices to give it some flavour, while also supporting liver detoxification.
- On extra hot summer days or when exercising and sweating more, a higher intake on water is needed.
5. Move your body and sweat
Moving your body daily improves circulation and lymphatic flow while sweating supports toxin elimination from the body.
Exercise is usually something that drops off in the social season, however coming back to routine is self-care that maintains resilience and energy.
6. Sip on green tea
Support our nervous system and swap coffee for green tea over the busiest time of year. Green tea has an amino acid in it called L-theanine that promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves sleep quality.
7. Prioritise sleep and self-care.
Self-care is essential to a strong foundation to promote resilience over the season and prevent being run down or fall ill. It looks for different for everyone, and can include:
- 7-8 hours of good quality sleep to help your body recover from the increased level of social activities
- Getting lost in a book or enjoy a magazine
- Book a massage - touch strengthens the immune system
- Go for a walk in your neighbourhood
- Massage your face with your moisturiser in the evening
- Take a pilates or yoga class
- Sweat in the sauna
- Swim in the ocean
- Try a guided meditation
8. Extra support for your nervous system and liver.
The increased stress on our nervous system and liver over summer may call for extra support.
- Increasing nutrients and vitamins such as magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, NAC and zinc through your diet
- Herbs to include are skullcap, oats, passionflower, ashwagandha, holy basil, reishi, schisandra and St Mary’s thistle
For additional support, you can get to know Madeleine and work with her at Omoi Wellness.