Summer diet clean-up for a fresh, new you

Summer diet clean-up for a fresh, new you

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ATLANTA -
These are the dog days of summer-- which is also the time that a lot of people fall into a slump.  You might just want to curl up inside the air conditioning and stay cool, but summer can be a great time to shake things up and take advantage of fresh food and longer mostly sunny days.

When it comes to eating, summer is full of fresh-- from berries to tomatoes to corn on the cob.  And according to local health and fitness consultant Cara Weaver, that means it's the perfect time for a fresh start.

Weaver makes a living helping people find their inner healthy person.   If you've been thinking about trying to eat a little better, she says this is when you should do it.  And, Weaver says, you can start by hitting your local farmer's market and looking for color.
   
"You may find that the more crisp, cool vegetables and fruits appeal to you more," said Weaver.  "It's a great time to go overboard with those and learn which ones you like and learn how to use them in your diet.  Learn how to use them in your meals."
 
As you start to find vegetables and fruit you like, cut back on the processed foods.

"Processed foods are thing in boxes and bags," Weaver said.  "That's the easiest way to find them.  They're in the middle aisles of the grocery store, and the least amount of time you can spend there, the better for your body, the better for the long run."

When you do choose processed foods, Weaver recommends you go for whole grains.

"The breads and the crackers and the pastas, you choose more of the whole grains, the complex carbs, that keep you fuller longer," she explained.

Weaver says summer is a good time to switch to eating several small meals a day rather than three huge ones.  That will keep your energy up when the thermometer inches toward 100 degrees.  She also recommends lightening up on the meat you eat.

"Choose lean proteins over the fattier meats," Weaver said.  "The hamburgers, the steaks, the bacons.  So, go for fish and chicken and boiled eggs and lean protein sources."

Summer is also the perfect time to get outside, go for a walk, or take an outdoor fitness class.  Just remember to drink plenty of water. 

"A good rule is to drink some lukewarm water with lemon in it in the morning," Weaver said.  "It flushes your metabolism out.  That's a great way to do it. Water all through the day."
    
Staying hydrated is important because your blood and body fluids are mostly water.  So if you're not getting enough fluids, your heart has to work a lot harder. 

If you're going to be outside and sweating a lot, you may want to rehydrate with a sports drink to replenish some of the electrolytes you're losing.

LINK: More info, tips and more from Cara Weaver
 
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