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Nutrition

Beat the summer slump with this energy reset meal plan

July 24th 2018 / Angelique Panagos and Ceri Jones / 0 comment

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We love the balmy fun-filled evenings of summer, but late boozy nights followed by days fuelled with caffeine and sugar are a recipe for an energy disaster. If you’re feeling less than fresh-faced, try this summer reset to get back to your best

Did someone say summer party? The sunshine, BBQs and pub garden dates filling our summer calendars are extremely good for the soul, but with an increase in social gatherings we can see a massive increase in alcohol consumption and fried fatty foods, yet low vegetables, low water intake, and a lack of sleep - all of which can leave you feeling energy deprived.

While the parties are fun, it’s all about moderation, as when in excess it puts massive strain on the body and can leave you feeling flat. What’s more, it’s important to get plenty of sleep. It’s lighter for longer and we are up later and later, which in turn can throw our natural body clock (circadian rhythm) out of kilter.

This in itself can sap our energy but it has a knock-on effect on our cortisol levels; if our body clocks are in chaos, our cortisol levels will be, too. Going outside as much as possible during daylight hours is important, as there’s a part of the brain that needs regular daylight stimulation to maintain circadian rhythms.

Simple steps such as keeping blood sugar levels balanced by avoiding sugary, processed foods and sugary alcoholic drinks, and making sure our daily diet is made up of seasonally rich produce can really support our wellbeing over the summer.

What to eat in the summer for more energy

Eating seasonally is a great way to keep our energy levels boosted at any time of the year. In the summer, we are able to stay naturally hydrated and cool by eating water-dense berries, cucumbers and leafy salads.

  • Vitamin B-rich foods act as co-factors in converting food into cellular energy: eggs, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, watercress, cabbage, peas, beans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

  • Magnesium-rich foods act as co-factors in converting food into cellular energy: green leafy vegetables, beans, almonds, cashews, quinoa.

  • Vitamin C-rich foods act as co-factors in converting food into cellular energy as well as being important for the last stage of energy release: peppers, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, lemons, kiwi fruit, peas, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes.

  • Chromium-rich foods involved in making insulin more potent: wholegrains, wholemeal bread, rye bread, nuts, oysters, potatoes, green peppers, eggs.

  • Get plenty of essential fatty acids. These aid our energy production, improve our metabolism, and increase the rate at which oxygen is used: salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, herring, hemp seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, omega 3 enriched eggs and flax seeds.

  • Eat good quality protein with each meal: fresh fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu, lentils, beans, pulses and legumes.

  • Water is an important part of a healthy diet! Dehydration can cause mental fuzziness, fatigue, headaches, and additional symptoms. Drink water throughout the day to avoid feeling any of these.

The summer energy reset meal plan

Try this one day meal plan for an energy boost that will help you recover from all those summer parties. Click through for the full recipes.

Breakfast

Beetroot and Orange Smoothie - see the recipe on Ceri's website here

Pea Puree, Poached Eggs, Chilli Butter and Pea Shoots

Lunch

Mediterranean Stuffed Romano Peppers, Courgette Fritters & Charred Spring Onions.

Dinner

Scallop & Strawberry Salad with a Basil-Lime Dressing

Or

Radish and Radish Top Pesto Quinoa Salad with Yellow Courgettes, Pine Nuts and Feta

Dessert

Iced Berries with Vegan White Chocolate Sauce

Snacks

A piece of seasonal fruit such as an apricot with a handful of almonds

Angelique Panagos is a leading nutritionist and author of The Balance Plan and Ceri Jones is a certified Natural Chef, recipe writer and tutor

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