8 Ways To Stay Healthy All Summer

8 Ways To Stay Healthy All Summer

From endless rosé to countless BBQs, there’s no denying summer can often be a time of indulgence. But with a few expert tricks up your sleeve, you can stay healthy and still enjoy yourself. Here, dietitians Robyn Henry and Lydia Worsley – from the renowned Parker Practice – share their secrets...


Eat Seasonally

If there’s one way to instantly improve your diet, it’s eating seasonally. Eating fruit and vegetables that are ripe and ready in your local area means they are brimming with vitamins and minerals and ensures you are doing your bit for sustainable living, too. Aubergines, courgettes, watercress, strawberries, raspberries and cherries are in season now, so eat these in abundance. At the Parker Practice, we’re fans of Bircher-style overnight oats made with oat bran, which is 50% higher in protein and fibre than porridge oats. Serve them with a fresh cherry compote sweetened with a small amount of stevia for a summery breakfast option. If you prefer a savoury breakfast, stock up on seasonal watercress and make a salmon, watercress and cheddar frittata, which also works well for lunch. A creamy courgette dhal made with coconut milk is a fantastic supper option, while something like a roasted aubergine and ricotta dip is great to serve with crudités.

Start Your Day Right

At the Parker Practice, we believe in eating three balanced meals each day, as well as two snacks, each one with balanced food groups. It’s important not to eliminate any food group or make it the enemy. Combining a little of each macronutrient (protein, fat and carbs) at each meal supports the balancing of blood sugar levels and hormones. Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast if you are looking to lose a few pounds – increasing studies show those who eat breakfast are better able to maintain their weight. For a refreshing summer breakfast, try a yoghurt and summer berry compote, or a smoothie made with mango, papaya and ginger. If you’re making a smoothie, our top tip is to include some Greek yoghurt, which will increase the protein content and keep you fuller for longer. If you prefer a hot breakfast, try a purple porridge made with oat bran, blueberries and fresh figs.

If you're making a smoothie for breakfast, include some Greek yoghurt, which will increase the protein content and keep you fuller for longer.
If you're making a smoothie for breakfast, include some Greek yoghurt, which will increase the protein content and keep you fuller for longer.

Exercise Daily

At the Parker Practice, our mantra is ‘pay your daily rent’ – so even on the most challenging days, do something. We believe that small amounts of movement daily is integral to a healthy lifestyle – move your body each day and it quickly becomes a habit. As the temperatures rise, it’s still important to exercise, but be savvy about how you do so. Avoid working out at the hottest points of the day – instead head out in the early morning or evening when it’s a little cooler. Invest in some moisture-wicking and breathable workout gear, too. Aim to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise across the week, including some form of strengthening activities on at least two days. Remember that a structured workout isn’t the only form of exercise that counts – walking to work instead of driving or having a walking meeting, for example, can maximise your daily movement without overheating during the summer months. 

Be BBQ Savvy

Chances are you’ve already got several BBQs in the diary, but they needn’t always be unhealthy. Barbecuing, or grilling, is actually a healthy cooking method which uses minimal additional fat. If you are hosting, offer a selection of lean protein options, such as chicken and fish. Parker Practice staples include Louise’s Maynard chicken and mustard burger and salmon burgers – serve these with air-fried sweet potato fries and a red cabbage coleslaw for a guilt-free grill. If you’re hosting vegans or vegetarians, try homemade chickpea burgers. If you are serving red meat, such as sausages or burgers, remember these options contain far higher amounts of saturated fat, so eat these in moderation. When loading your plate, aim for a palm-sized serving of protein and always fill your plate with vegetables first. Non-starchy vegetables such as grilled peppers, courgettes and aubergine are a good choice – they are brimming with fibre and will keep you fuller for longer.

Stock Up On Summer Essentials

If you have the right ingredients to hand, you’ll be better prepared to make a quick, healthy meal or snack when the time comes. Legumes and pulses are a must-have – whether that be chickpeas, lentils, cannellini or butter beans, you can scatter them into salads for additional texture and flavour. Just remember to choose pulses tinned in water and not brine. Ice cube trays can also be handy – freeze your own iced coffee for a cooling drink or create your own frozen yoghurt or ice lollies with a popsicle tray. It also goes without saying that your fridge should always contain fresh produce with which you can make a spontaneous salad – Cos lettuce, green beans, red onion, artichoke, peppers, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs are Parker Practice staples. It can also be handy to pre-freeze slices of lemon to add to sparkling or still water for a zesty twist.

Stay Hydrated

Making up two thirds of your body, water plays a vital role in everything from regulating body temperature to keeping your skin and digestion healthy. When the temperatures soar, you should reconsider your water intake as higher temperatures and humidity increase the speed of evaporation from the skin, which means you sweat more. Keep an eye on the colour of your urine, which is a handy gauge of hydration levels. Aim for a pale straw colour, and don’t wait till thirst kicks in to take a drink. Dehydration can manifest as tiredness, headaches and a lack of concentration. Aim for two to three litres per day, sipping regularly.

Look After Your Liver

With summer socialising back on the cards, it’s safe to say Pimms and rosé will be making an appearance. While alcohol isn’t banned at the Parker Practice, we do advocate a sensible approach to drinking. Consider opting for a white wine spritzer – made with equal parts white wine and sparkling water as well as a scoop of ice and some fresh lemon. When it comes to spirits, gin and vodka are cleaner choices – just remember to serve with a mixer that contains low or no carbohydrates, such as slimline tonic. If you are looking to cut back on alcohol entirely, a glass of sparkling water with a dash of lime concentrate, a few mint leaves, cucumber spirals or frozen berries with a slice of lemon served in a gorgeous glass is a great substitute. When drinking, try to avoid salty snacks such as crisps and nuts, which can increase thirst and mean you end up drinking more than planned. 

Get An Early Night

Getting a good night’s sleep when it’s hot can be tricky, but making your bedroom a cool sanctuary will pay dividends. At the Parker Practice, we see that clients who sleep well – consistently seven to eight hours per night – will achieve better results. If you don’t get adequate shuteye, you could see a 30% drop in results. Set a reminder on your phone to be in bed by 9pm – if possible – and try to avoid screens past this point, too. Where possible, try to keep your bedroom cool – ideally around 18°C if possible and keep it as dark as possible for good quality sleep.

For more information head to TheParkerPractice.com and follow @TheParkerPractice on Instagram

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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