May you be Full, Fresh and Delicious!

Although Portland has been bringing the heat for… what seems like months, it is now official! Bring on the Summer! I like to think of the summer solstice as a big invitation to hit the RESTART button. You have made it through the first half of the year – congratulations! – what a wonderful time to reflect, take stock and move forward…vibrantly! It is easy to loose site of this chance to check in as the summer projects, trips, family visits and social gatherings begin to flood in – I feel you! So here it is – the opportunity to give yourself permission, hit the RESTART button and give yourself a nourishing recharge to get more out of your long hours of sunshine and adventures!

For most of us, the seasons are a marker for change, times when our realities shift, schedules transform and our internal landscape takes a turn. Not always good or bad, one way or the other, but a turn. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, summer is the season of the heart and small intestine – what a wonderful time to nourish yourself! As your in house Nutritional Therapist and the newest member of the Watershed Wellness team, I am here with some summertime tricks to feel energized and able to meet the busy buzz ahead!

#1 – Take hold of the bounty!

This season is full, literally bursting at the seams, with fresh and local fruits and veggies. One of the best ways to meet the hustle and bustle is to pack in the freshness! When time is scarce, try to make every food encounter count and be adventurous – try a new veggie or grab a new recipe with a twist. Simple blended soups and breakfast smoothies are a great way to get a huge boost of fruits and veggies in your day!

* Ask yourself if what is in front of you is… Colorful? Fresh? Nutrient dense?

#2 – Take it from the top … balance your blood sugar first thing!

Remember that how we start our day will determine our blood sugar for the rest of the day. That means get breakfast EARLY and make it SMART! Try to eat your first meal within an hour or so of waking and preferably before caffeine. It is nearly impossible to steady our blood sugar later in the day. Remember if you start off wobbly, you may be in for a blood sugar roller coaster for the rest of the day making your energy levels hard to sustain and this often leads us craving the next pick me up. Save yourself the ride and start the day off right!

*Ask yourself if your breakfast is complete with all of your macronutrients – fats, carbs and protein?

#3 – Commit to meal prep time and make it fun!

Open up the doors and windows and let the breeze blow through the kitchen. Maybe put on your favorite album for some sing along kitchen dance moves (these are always the best) – and before you know it prep will be done and fun! Take this time to wash and cut your veggies, steam your beets, harvest your garden, and cook a carb – a pot of quinoa, bake some sweet potatoes or slow cook some beans. These multi-tasking power sessions have such a pay off for the rest of the week and can really bring magic and ease to what’s hidden in your pantry and fridge! When time is tight, make it easier on yourself without having to go out to eat or run to the store. Know your needs so you can meet your needs!

*Ask yourself if having a dedicated prep day could change your shopping routine to include more fresh foods?

Alright! You are off to a great start with these tips and tricks! Happy summer and be well!