I’d like to be real with you. I’m not always a rockstar. *hair flip** Summertime eating is incredibly difficult for me! On the plus side, extended hours of light make me early to rise, immediately energetic (which is awesome), the gardens are pumping out produce like it’s their job (literally, good work garden!) and there are so many things to do! Relationships are thriving, people want to meet up and reconnect. Even not-so-great days at the office can feel much better knowing we have 4+ hours of light post-shift.
My problem begins with the heat. I’m now a Minnesotan so I can’t bash the heat because soon we’ll find ourselves again in the land of snow. But in the hot months I find very few meals to actually be satisfying to me. Unless it’s a big bean burger off the grill, but that can’t be my everyday! I’ve never been the biggest fan of eating too many raw and cold foods. I tend to be a warm-food person. I prefer roasting and soups to cold salads.
But perhaps I simply haven’t found the right ones... I laugh a bit to myself because I am all about listening to my body and getting it what it asks for. But in the summer my mind says - Ain’t nobody got time for that! The sun is shining! The garden needs watering! Get out there and soak it all in! Here 9pm rolls around, I’m still not hungry. What’s this woman to do?
As a health coach, it’s even more important that I use the strategies I teach others! Take the time to address the behavior that is not serving your big-picture goals. Here is an insight to how I structure working through these types of issues. I hope this leaves you inspired to work through any behaviors that aren’t serving you.
Create an action plan.
1. Identify the Behavior.
I’ve identified the behavior that isn’t serving my grander interests - skipping meals. I’ve been ignoring cold food because I “don’t know what I want”. Boo me. That’s a lie. We always know what it is we want, it’s whether we’re ready to listen to it. OK, next step.
2. Understand the Facts.
Listen to what my body wants. Instead of accepting the falsehood “Nothing sounds good to me in the summer”, I can instead actively identify the truths. In this instance, I do find myself eating juicy fruit. I snack on grapes and nuts. I seems to crave tangy/salty foods like pickles and pasta salads. I crave greens, but not raw greens - Ok! I can work with that.
3. Clarify my intention.
I intend to eat each meal of the day.
4. Identify potential blocks.
I may not be hungry for dinner. Certain foods might not sound good.
5. Adjust and Apply!
If I’m not super hungry for dinner, I need to accept that and plan for it. I can make my lunch intentionally light, cool and larger to accommodate my decreased appetite in the evening (which has additionally benefits anyway!) I can incorporate cooling herbs include dill, parsley, cilantro, and mint. I can increase cooler vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and zucchini. I can eat my greens blanched instead of steamed - cooking the green but immediately cooling them in ice water.
Try something New.
I may benefit from trying new recipes. It’s time to hit the books. I’ll need to schedule time to invest in myself by trying new recipes that might fit my summertime needs and my demanding schedule! I schedule this like a work event, because it mostly is. Even if you aren’t a health professional or coach, the way you fuel yourself reflects in your job performance, in how you relate and communicate with others, and how you meet your goals! If I take time to reorganize my workspace, I can certainly take time to reorganize my nutrition for this next hot season.
We are always evolving. Let’s face it, adjust, and enjoy!