If ever you’re going to change your lifestyle habits, now is the time of year to do it!
With the sun shining and a bounty of Irish fare in season, you can start some healthy habits that will boost your vitality, immune system and energy. If you take the summer to build up some momentum, these habits can become yours for good.
So, here’s our top 5 healthy habits to start in the summer:
  1. Berry, berry nice: Summertime means juicy strawberries, raspberries, loganberries and later, blackberries and blackcurrants. These colourful gems are packed with vitamin C and loaded with antioxidants, so there is no better time to incorporate them into your diet. Eat fresh with some low fat natural yogurt and 2 tablespoons of low-sugar granola (less than 10g per 100g) for breakfast or a sweet treat, or blend into a gorgeous, healthy berry ice cream (recipe here).
  2. Eat your greens: With the range of salad leaves in season, summertime is the best time of year to get into the habit of eating your daily dose of green leafy vegetables. Loaded with bone-friendly nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, green leafy vegetables are also a good source of B vitamins, iron, folic acid and vitamin C. Pair with something sweet, something salty and a fabulous zingy dressing. So, think pomegranate and creamy goat’s cheese with a lemon vinaigrette, or orange and beetroot. Alternatively, blend into a green smoothie using this recipe; a large handful of spinach, ½ an avocado, 1 small banana, the juice of 1 lime, 250ml OJ, and 250ml water.
  1. Get something fishy going on: Matching fish with summertime recipes always makes it much easier to incorporate it into our weekly diet. Oily fish, in particular, offers enormous benefits to our health, including playing a role in balancing our hormones, reducing inflammation on the skin and supporting our brain function, to name but a few. Think salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines. It goes so nicely with salads, such as our smoked trout and apple salad (recipe here) or works well in burgers served with a gorgeous green salad, such as our very popular salmon burger recipe (recipe here). 
  1. Breathe in the fresh air: With long summer evenings and higher air temperatures, there really is no excuse for not getting out for some exercise on a daily basis. Start with 30 minutes of walking - by yourself, for some ‘me’ time, or with a friend - building up to a pace that makes it difficult to talk. Check out your local running clubs if you fancy taking it up a notch, or consider aiming for one of the local 5km Park Runs on Saturdays, if you live in Dublin. Regular exercise helps with weight management, boosts your mood and helps to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.
  1. A nice dose of Vitamin D: Summer is the best time of year for topping up our Vitamin D stores in Ireland. Safe sun exposure, for a maximum of 20 minutes, avoiding the hottest part of the day, can ensure that we achieve optimum levels of Vitamin D, essential for our bones and immune system. So get out there and soak up some rays. It’s best to have your Vitamin D levels checked by your GP or nutritionist, and take a liquid D3 supplement if you are found to be deficient. We recommend NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support spray.
There is something so joyous in a lovely warm summer’s day, so go with the momentum and start a new habit today!
For more ideas and recipes on how nutrition can help you, log onto www.glenvillenutrition.ie, or find us on Facebook.
Nutritional Therapist