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Posted by The Woodlands on August 1, 2023

During the summer, food becomes fresher, the weather allows for picnics and barbecues and there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in delicious treats and meals with those you love!

However, summer foods can also contain unhealthy amounts of salt, sugar, and fats. While these items are okay in moderation, it’s important to be mindful of what’s on the menu so you can maintain a balanced diet. 

At The Woodlands at Canterfield, our luxury senior living community believes dining should be a celebration of good taste, good health and good company. To help you reach your summer health goals, our team shares some helpful tips to improve and maintain your nutrition. 

Mindful Eating is Key

The word “dieting” tends to make people think that in order to lose weight or reach their wellness goals, they must completely eliminate every sugary treat and comfort food. 

However, restrictive dieting can be a dangerous practice. When a person begins to severely limit the foods they consume, it can increase their awareness of said foods, leading to a food binge or overeating as soon as they get the chance. In addition, older adults have lower calorie needs than other age demographics, so restrictive diets can cause more harm than good to summer health goals. 

Instead, mindful eating is encouraged which “focuses on your eating experiences, body-related sensations and thoughts and feelings about food, with heightened awareness and without judgment (hsph.harvard.edu).”

Everything is okay in moderation, especially when surrounded by the summer temptations of a tasty ice cream cone or a delicious burger at a family cookout. Rather than cut out all of these items, focus on how these items make you feel or why you’re indulging in them. Are you eating ice cream with friends and socializing, or grabbing an ice cream cone because you’re bored? These distinctions can help you start to make mindful, healthier choices when it comes to food! 

Stick to Fresh Produce

Plenty of ripe and delicious produce is available during the summer, and fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense and packed with flavor. Challenge yourself to try fresh produce to spice up your summer meals, or gather friends and family to take a trip to your local farmer’s market for a special day full of fun.

Here are some excellent options for seasonal produce during the summer:

  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Corn
  • Okra
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Mangos

In addition, “a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check (hsph.harvard.edu).”

Swap Out Ingredients

If you do what to indulge in something but maintain your summer health plans, try incorporating plant-based ingredients or healthy alternatives. For example, instead of throwing hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, try kebabs instead. These can be made of beef or chicken and delicious fresh vegetables or fruits. 

You can also swap out ice cream for frozen yogurt, which has less fat than regular ice cream – and it’s nearly impossible to detect the difference in taste!

At The Woodlands at Canterfield, our dining experience is redefining what luxury senior living means and serves as a center of joy for residents. Our meals are full of nutrients and unique flavors, culminating in a celebration of good health and good taste. Our chefs create dishes that fuel the body and the soul and help residents achieve their summer health goals.

By practicing mindful eating, incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet and making healthy ingredient swaps when possible, you’ll be on your way to reaching your summer health goals and enhancing your wellness.

We invite you to experience our first-class dining for yourself! Schedule your visit to The Woodlands at Canterfield, join us for a meal and discover luxury senior living dining in West Dundee, Illinois!

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