Summer is the best. In every part of our country, we have fresh food. We can eat in season and it’s plentiful. What a variety that comes. If you are like me living in the Northeast of the country, we know that there isn’t a lot of growing happening outside of this window, so eating locally and seasonally is much harder, and much less variety in the other seasons.
Why does it matter?
Our body needs variety. It needs variety for many things which include digestion, vitamins and minerals, blood sugar balance, and more. Different fibers are found in different plants and different macronutrient ratios in different animals. There are vitamins and minerals only in some plants, and in some animals.
If we eat only ONE type of plant or animal ever we only get THOSE nutrients, ALL of the rest we need are unavailable to us and we will develop dysfunction. We store VERY FEW nutrients in the body for the long haul. A few yes, but not many. That means we need to replenish our stores through food all the time.
Tips for Changing Your Nutrition (AKA your body imbalances) this Summer
1- HYDRATION – of course, the weather is warmer, time to keep on that hydration. Water is needed in every single body function. Especially in digestion and support.
At least half your body weight in water daily is a BASELINE. That doesn’t compensate for caffeine beverages or alcohol. You need even more water to compensate for those. It doesn’t compensate for sweating or movement or activity. It’s simply the starting point for you. So know you need a good 12 ounces or more for each of those scenarios listed.
2- Grab NEW and DIFFERENT fruits and vegetables at your local market this summer
Get out of the grocery store and go to the Farmer’s Market. Go online, and use your browser to search for what is near you. If you don’t know what the vegetable or fruit is in front of you – ASK the farmer, and talk with them about preparing it. OR buy it anyway – and then look it up at home to research great ways to cook and/or eat it raw (if it’s OK to eat raw). This is the BEST way to break habits. Do we all want to just stick with what we know only – sure – but really our body needs MORE than that. Eating habitually creates gaps and overgrowth of certain microbes in the gut.
Even if all you choose is ONE new fruit or vegetable per week to introduce to yourself and your family that is a great start to more variety, and by the time summer is over you will have a MUCH more varied routine! Something to continue as the seasons change! Grab the fall fruits and vegetables when that season comes etc! It will also give you excitement to return to what you loved when that season rolls around again.
3- Expand beyond CHICKEN AND BEEF.
These are the two most overeaten types of meat that I see. Both come with overgrowth consequences if they are all-day every day routine meats with NO variety and have been this way for years.
Don’t get me wrong – pastured chicken and grass-fed beef are PART of a weekly routine, but they should never be the ONLY meats eaten on a daily basis.
The most under-eaten and least sought after animals with the GREATEST benefit are from the SEA. Be sure you are eating a wild-caught fish, and if eating local water fish be sure you check with local limits on eating that fish based on pollution levels. HOWEVER, eating in rotation and variety from LAND AND SEA is the best way to eat safely. You will keep toxin levels FROM ALL the animals lower by eating variety.
Fish and seafood (wild-caught) have an amazing healthy fat balance, (omega), amazing protein, and aren’t fed GRAINS which cause so many problems in many clients I see. Fish like salmon, haddock, and cod are great options that are more readily available and tend to be cleaner fish. Shrimp, mussels, clams, and more are amazing for so many minerals and other nutrients. If something in this sea animal kingdom is “farmed” it should be a last resort and ORGANIC. Otherwise looking for wild-caught is best. Rotating these meats with your LAND animals is very important. CREATE VARIETY with your meat also.
If you are struggling to figure out what is going on with your digestion, or your nutrition or food sensitivities reach out – let’s consult. Summer is a great time to start to make a change that can last you all year!