Balance includes a mix of being healthy and letting loose and enjoying life. For example, I like to take an 80/20 approach to eating healthy, which includes eating nutritious foods about 80% of the time and indulging in some of my favorite treats about 20% of the time. This guideline can be used in all areas of your life; fitness, time with family and friends, personal time, relaxation, work, etc.
Summer is the time of year that people look forward to after a long, cold winter. According to a recent survey from Balance Bar, it’s also the time Americans feel the most Balance. As we look forward to it, we can use the spring to get into the right mindset. Here are some ideas to help you maintain Balance this summer.
- Spend time with family and friends- Summer is short and jam-packed with activities. It’s important to find time in your schedule for family and friends. You don’t have to plan a big party, sometimes small outings together are even better than a big event. Personally, I cannot wait to take my daughter on warm walks outside and take her to the pool for the first time. I’m also looking forward to leisurely outdoor lunches with good friends. Sure, it feels good to stay on top of chores and your to-do list, but there is nothing like spending quality time with loved ones.
- Embrace summer produce- Summer has the freshest and tastiest produce available! Stock up on stone fruits (peaches, plums, cherries), berries, fresh tomatoes, corn and much more. Incorporate a fruit and/or vegetable into each and every meal for a boost of nutrition and flavor. With summer produce being ripe and delicious, it will satisfy any of your sweet cravings.
- Get active- In the winter, I feel trapped inside due to the freezing temperatures, ice and snow. Therefore, when it’s warm, it is great to get outside and be active doing what I love. Great options for getting outside include going on a walk, swimming, biking, running or playing outside with your kids. It doesn’t matter exactly what you do as long as you’re moving your body. Exercise is vital for maintaining Balance this summer and there are many ways to make working out feel more like fun than work!
- Indulge in summer treats- Part of Balance is not always eating perfectly. This means you can have that grilled hot dog, ice cream sundae or fresh fruit crisp. Treat yourself to what makes you happy, and then eat healthy the rest of the time. By depriving yourself of all the tasty summer treats, you are more likely to overeat later. Instead, stick to normal portion sizes or try my 80/20 approach and remember to enjoy.
- Don’t do TOO much- During the summer, we have a tendency to overbook and overdo ourselves. To stay in Balance, it is important to take care of yourself and take me time. Try spending alone time doing something you love, such as enjoying a cold smoothie outside while reading a book or relaxing in a hammock. Take pleasure in doing the simple things and enjoy your summer.
Amanda Hermandez, MA, RD*
*Amanda Hermandez writes awesome articles as a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar®. We also send her delicious Balance Bar® products for free, so…best job ever? And speaking of deliciousness, check out the incredible new Sea Salt Caramel Nut Balance bare® bar.
Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.