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Lighten Up and Cool Down

Submitted by Marilyn Gordon Ed.D. RDN CSSD LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

No question about it, the climate has been H-O-T and humid here in South Florida! As we move through the summer months, it is a good idea to adjust the diet to a “lighter” way of eating. If you find yourself feeling tired, lethargic, and weighed down by the heat; a dietary change may be just what you need. Large food portions, too much alcohol, heavy meats, fried foods, oils, and salt will heat you up and weigh you down.

Begin making a change with smaller portions of food at your meals. After eating less, you will feel satisfied and energized. Consider eating more of the “cooling” and moist foods such as watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, grapes, leafy greens, asparagus, zucchini, and cucumbers. Cilantro is a cooling herb that can be used in avocado and mango salsas. A great lunchtime idea is to try a chilled melon soup or cold cucumber soup in addition to half a sandwich.  There are numerous recipes to be found online.

Throughout the day besides drinking water, you can flavor your water with calorie-free fresh lime juice and mint leaves. Other cooling beverages include coconut water, organic milk, or homemade watermelon juice. Light snacks include frozen grapes, organic yogurt, or 100% frozen fruit pops.

We are fortunate to have access to the NSU Recreation Complex to beat the heat and stay fit but spending time in nature is also important.  Consider a 15-20 minute early morning walk as the sun rises or an early yoga class to make your day brighter and invigorated.