HEALTH/FITNESS


THE SEASON FOR CHANGE

Summer is a perfect time to kick those old habits and adopt new ones that would be fun and sustainable. Like editing our wardrobes, we need to review our dietary habits and exercise regime from time to time. In order to achieve optimum health, the three essential components are good nutrition, regular exercises and plenty of sleep. The importance of sleep is often underestimated, but it is the time when our bodies rest and repair themselves.

Sustainability is the key, I often advise my clients to make dietary changes that are sustainable and compatible with their lifestyle. Summer is a fantastic season to experiment with those wonderful fruits and vegetables. With an abundance of sunshine and hot temperatures, our bodies cease to crave for those heavy, rich dishes known as comfort foods. The dietary changes do not have to stop at home. We can continue with our new habits when we dine out at restaurants. Summer menus are filled with seasonal produce, it is important to make intelligent choices at home as well as when we are out.

Here are six essential foods I would recommend for the summer:

Wild salmon is high in protein and low in contaminants. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which benefit the heart of healthy people and those

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at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Quinoa is considered a superfood, it is ideal for vegetarians and is gluten-free. It is also an excellent replacement for rice or pasta. High in protein and fiber, quinoa is very versatile. It can be served hot or cold, added to a salad or stir-fry.

Garbanzo beans are a good source of copper, folate and manganese. They are a nutrient-dense food and pack tons of protein, fiber and other nutrients into your meal.

Kiwis are high in Vitamin C, they pack way more vitamin C than oranges, almost one and a half times more. Vitamin C is to boost the immune system, fight infection and repair and regenerate body tissues.

Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are rich in fiber, an important nutrient for weight loss and maintenance because it keeps you feeling full and helps control your hunger. Some leafy greens such as collards and kale, are particularly rich in calcium.

Avocados contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and they provide nearly 20 essential

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nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E and folic acid. They are delicious alone or added to salads to increase the protein consumption.

Exercise in a way that you will continually enjoy.

When is a good time to start a new exercise routine? Anytime, but summer motivates us to engage in outdoor activities. Research shows that long, brisk walks are beneficial to the muscles, the joints, the hearts and the overall well-being. For those who prefer working out in a gym, hire a personal trainer to work out a new program that is fun and invigorating. A health farm for a week or two is sometimes a good way to kick-start a new diet and workout regime. Most importantly, find something that works for you and that you would enjoy on a regular basis.

Be good to yourself.

The summer review of your past workout routine and dietary habits is about crafting a strategy that builds the foundation of a successful program to follow for the rest of the year. The goal is to have something that is enjoyable, easy to follow and fits in with your current lifestyle. In any case, do not forget to treat yourself occasionally.

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