Ever wonder why it’s so easy to eat healthier in the summer?
Perhaps it’s the fresh fruits and vegetables that surround us in summer. I do find that all the veggies and fruits from my favorite farm stand, which I know were picked the morning I bought them, taste better than anything I can buy in a grocery store.
Or, maybe, it’s just that we are more active in summer, and the heat makes our bodies crave more nutrients.
Or, it could simply be that we all want to look our best in shorts and tanks, so we make more of an effort to eat healthier in summer.
Whatever the reason, I am thrilled when I see everyone around me eating more greens and fresh fruit, and less processed food.
The Mediterranean diet is the one most recommended by doctors and nutritionists, and has been for several years now. In this case, “diet” is not an accurate term. The Mediterranean “way of life” is a better description. Eating fruits and veggies that are in season, walking every day, and far smaller portions of protein than what is generally served in American households. I have included a photo of the food pyramid used to describe this way of eating. As you can see, physical, and social activity are listed at the bottom. After that, the largest area of this depiction is for fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, herbs and spices – YUM! Fish, seafood, and water are the next largest section with poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt next, and then that tiny little space at the top is meats and sweets. Since that is the way I have been eating for a long time now, I understand the health benefits, but the problem I have had is finding a dessert that works for me. So, what about dessert? Personally, I LOVE a bit of dark chocolate for dessert, but when guests come over, I find it hard to choose something more exciting to serve that is also good for us.
Being me, I did more research on deserts in Mediterranean cultures and discovered that fresh fruit is the go-to dessert! That makes the daily dessert within a Mediterranean diet quite different than the typical American selection, that’s for sure!
Cool – I LOVE fruit!! Only problem is, not everyone likes to have an apple for dessert, or a peach, or some blueberries…
So, let’s get creative! I’ve enjoyed grilled peaches many times in summer. Sprinkle then with a bit of honey and YUMMM. Also grilled pineapple slices. Or, even pears pouched in pomegranate or cranberry juice with a dab of honey. Reduce the sauce and serve your poached pears over Greek yogurt, or sheep yogurt.
Another favorite of mine is a fig stuffed with a bit of goat cheese and sprinkled with nuts. This is especially good in the fall. Apple crisp is another lovely, sweet choice for a fall dessert or even a simple fruit tart, sprinkled with a bit of dark chocolate! Got to get my chocolate in there… Use your imagination, and leave the ice cream, pies, and pastries behind!
Here is a link to my grilled peaches recipe if you’d like to try it.
And, because I’ve received some requests for this video again, here is my demonstration of how to get up from the floor safely. Some of my students have shared this with others at the beach who are attempting to get up from one of those low beach chairs!
Best of Health,