During very hot weather, we tend to fall back on behaviour that is convenient but not always the best choice for our gut and overall health. Such as grabbing a cold can of sugary lemonade from the fridge or tucking into a tub of ice cream from the freezer. Anything to cool us down will do!
However, sugary food and drinks lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can make us even more tired in this heat. So, how can we stay cool, healthy and productive? Here are our top tips:
Cold steeped tea – it’s a thing
Hot tea, when you are already boiling? No thanks. Instead, put one or two tea bags of your favourite herbal, black or green tea in a jug with cold water and place in the fridge overnight.
Enjoy straight or with a slice of lemon and some ice cubes. Keep topping up the jug with water and you can make it last for two days – so it’s also super budget friendly!
Yes, you can make friends with salads - and lunch bowls
If possible, get any cooking done when your home is the coolest – typically in the morning. Or don’t cook at all and prepare salad boxes or lunch bowls for the week.
The trick to make salads satisfying and satiating is to add enough protein – so make sure to add boiled eggs, tinned tuna, smoked salmon or marinated tofu cubes. Cooked or grilled, and then cooled vegetables are another way to add interest and flavour. Green beans, aubergines, asparagus or courgettes work well for this.
If you don’t have access to fresh salad leaves, cook up a large amount of quinoa and use that as a base. Cooked quinoa also freezes well, so you can keep small bags in your freezer.
Alternatively, for a tasty open sandwich, make this zesty mackerel pate – delicious and lemony, it’s perfect for a warm day. And healthy too.
Frrrozen fruit – yes please!
Our favourite summer fruit is watermelon – thinly sliced and frozen, it is a great replacement for sorbets, which are laden with added sugar.
You can also freeze slices of pineapple or mango and use frozen blueberries, raspberries or cherries as ice cubes for a glass of sparkling water.
Churn-free, sugar-free ice pops – also guilt-free!
Who doesn’t like ice cream? Luckily, staying healthy doesn’t mean missing out. It’s super easy to make your own ice pops, without the need for an ice cream machine.
You have full control over the ingredients, and by using seasonal fruit they won’t be expensive either. Here are some of our favourite recipes: Fresh fruit popsicles, indulgent peanut choc pops and fancy chocolate-coated pops.
Loose fitting clothes – don’t go too tight
It’s the perfect time for casual clothing, flowing dresses and oversized shirts – ideally made from cotton, bamboo or linen. Polyester-based fashion may look trendy, but on a hot day it’ll prevent your skin from breathing and create extra sweat.
Put a cold, wet cloth on your neck – seriously, this works!
Cooling down your body’s pulse points helps cool down overall body temperature. Arm yourself with a cold, wet cloth (or several) and put it on those precious points found on your neck, insides of your elbows and knees, tops of your feet, insides of your ankles and inner thighs.
You can even keep a few cloths in the fridge, so you always have one handy. What we like best about this method? It’s so much cheaper than air conditioning!