How to enjoy the summer in a good shape, and at the same time benefit from nature and beautiful weather? A healthy, well-balanced diet, hydration of your body and meals suited to your capacity; these are the rules listed by our expert and dietician, Agnieszka Piskała. In conformity with these rules, our master chef, Dominik Moskalenko, prepared light dishes for hot days. With all the extra strength gained from food, you may as well start the workout. Adam Besztak, the trainer, has prepared a special “summer” set of exercises for parts of the body that are a real nuisance.
In the season, when your kitchen abounds in fruit and vegetables, it is easy to create a diet that will have a positive impact on your looks and sense of wellbeing. A well-balanced diet that is suited to the weather, combined with physical activity is a simple recipe for summer in a good shape.
- Seasonal vegetables and fruit definitely prevail in the summer diet since they taste best in this period, are low in calories as well as... hydrate your body perfectly, which is of crucial importance in hot weather. Summer meals continue to follow the principles of a healthy, well-balanced diet, based on the pyramid of healthy nutrition. Still, carry mineral water on you at all times to quench your thirst and stay hydrated.
- Your summer diet on hot days ought to be light, and the number of hot meals ought to be limited. When the temperature of the environment is high, your body uses up plenty of energy to prevent overheating. Summer is the ideal time for light soups (including fruit soups), salads, fresh vegetable salads and garden salads, as well as milk-based beverages such as milk-based fruit smoothies, vegetable smoothies and tropical fruit juices which have cooling properties.
- In the sizzling heat, beware of greasy meals that are high in calories and sit heavy on the stomach. This is an extra challenge for your body which has to digest the food and at the same time fight against meal-induced thermogenesis (the process of heat production in organisms during digestion). After heavy meals you will be drowsy, tired, you will have problems with concentration and physical activity.
- Stay away from perishable foods in summer: raw meat, tartare, sushi, cheesecake made with raw eggs and homemade mayonnaise. Such products only take a couple of hours to cause foodborne illness if not kept refrigerated. Also, avoid melted and refrozen ice cream. It may contain salmonella, a group of bacteria that cause a wide spectrum of diseases.
- A beauty diet for the summer abounds mainly in seasonal raw vegetables and fresh fruits. They deliver vitamin C, an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and making collagen to improve the texture of the skin. In your everyday menu, go for red and orange vegetables and fruits (tomatoes, carrots, peaches, apricots). Beta-carotene found in them rejuvenates your skin that is dry from the sun, and at the same time enhances the colour of your skin, preserving its natural tan that lasts even a few weeks after your holiday.
- The summer diet must contain unsaturated fatty acids in the form of oily seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), nuts (walnuts, Brazilian cashew nuts) and vegetable oils that enhance the skin structure by rebuilding the intercellular cement of the epidermis. Vegetable oils, e.g. sesame oil, are not only a delicious addition to salads, fresh vegetable salads and garden salads, but can also be rubbed into the skin as a natural repair and regeneration balm.
- Sweet carbonated drinks are not recommended in hot weather. Although they seem to quench your thirst, in fact they can cause dehydration. Medium-mineralized natural mineral water is your must-have every day. It is completely calorie-free, it refreshes, hydrates and cools your body, cleanses it from toxins and replenishes important electrolytes lost in sweat owing to the minerals (magnesium, calcium) found in water.
Why don’t you try out light meals that are perfect for hot days? Easy to prepare, they contain lots of fresh, seasonal ingredients. You can prepare them beforehand and leave in the fridge to cool.
Lithuanian chilled beet soup with a bacon chip
serves 10 (10 servings 250 ml each)
Preparation time: 1 hour
- 5 bunches of beet greens
- 500 g cucumbers
- 250 g radishes
- 1 l natural yoghurt
- 1 l milk kefir
- 100 g (3 bunches) of dill
- 3 bunches of chives
- 10 soft-boiled eggs with runny yolk (boil from 3 to 5 minutes)
- salt, pepper
- Sokołów raw-smoked bacon
Clean and wash the beet greens and then separate the stalks from the leaves. Finely mince the stalks and then cook them in boiling salted water. As soon as the water comes to a boil, add finely chopped leaves.
Mix all the ingredients, add a bit of wine vinegar to help preserve the red colour of the beet. When the vegetable stock comes to a boil again, take the pot off the heat and put it into ice cold water. The leaves in the stock must be cooled abruptly to preserve the crispiness and colour of beet greens.
Peel the cucumbers and cut them along into halves. Get rid of cucumber seeds. They contain too much water which you don’t need. Grate the seedless cucumber on the grater surface with large holes. Do the same with cleaned radishes. Mix the grated vegetables and remove excess water.
Add the vegetables to pre-cooked beet greens. They must be drained from the excess stock beforehand. Keep the vegetable stock for later use.
Put all vegetables and finely chopped herbs in a pot. Add yoghurt and kefir, season with salt and pepper, and mix all ingredients thoroughly. If the soup is too thick, add the leftover vegetable stock.
Keep the thoroughly mixed and seasoned soup in the fridge.
Raw-smoked bacon chips
Place the chips on greaseproof paper and put them into the oven preheated to 170°C for about 8–10 minutes.
The excess fat will melt away for leaner bacon chips. Put the chips on a sheet of paper towel to get rid of excess fat.
Serve the chilled beet soup with eggs and bacon chips.
Green beans salad with soft-boiled eggs
Goes well with any kind of meat or cold cuts. You can also add seeds or nuts.
Serves 3, preparation time 45 minutes
- 200 g green beans
- 200 g purple potatoes
- cherry tomatoes 3 colours
- 50g parsley leaves
- 1 bunch of the green part of green onions
- 5 hen eggs
- 3 tablespoons smooth mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 clove of garlic
- 50 ml olive oil
- salt, pepper
Cook the beans in boiling salted water (for about 3 minutes), then put them into ice cold water. After cooling and draining, tear the beans along into halves.
Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters, the green onions into thin slices at an angle, add fresh parsley leaves. Boil the eggs soft (4–5 minutes).
Combine the mustard and honey in a bowl, add a finely chopped clove of garlic and olive oil. Mix thoroughly, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Mix the vegetables with a small amount of the dressing and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Soft-boiled eggs are a perfect match for the salad.
A set of exercises – walk into the summer
1. Jogtrot 8‘
2. Jumping rope 4 x 20
3. Squats / possibly pushing your leg backwards 4 x 6/8
4. Lunges 2 x 8
5. Burpees 4 x 8
6. Running plank exercise 2 x 20“
7. Plank 2 x 20“
8. Sit-ups 2 x 12
9. Oblique sit-ups 2 x 8
10. Sideways trunk bends from a lying position and touching your knee with your palm 2 x 8