THE HEALTHY COTTAGE LIFE: A NUTRITIONISTS COLLECTION OF TIPS & STRATEGIES


With the long hot days of summer here there will be many of us heading up to the cottage to enjoy some relaxing and fun family time together. Cottage life usually means a lot of sun, snacking, barbecues, more snacking, late nights, the occasional “cold one” around the campfire and bugs… lots and lots of bugs!

We often spend a great deal of time getting ready for the trek up the highway to our home away from home; there’s a ton of clothing to pack, outdoor entertainment items, indoor entertainment items, grocery supplies, sun protection, bug repellent… and the list goes on. It’s important to do some important planning as we’re getting ready to pack up for our summer cottage “life”… planning that will help ensure that our cottage days are fun-filled, relaxing and HEALTHY!

Healthy Meal and Snack Planning:

Take full advantage of the local produce markets that are abundant in “cottage country” during the summer months! Our main meals don’t have to be elaborate and they don’t always need to be a hot cooked meal, they just need to be nourishing!

Incorporating healthier snack options is important; purchase local products that are natural, whole, fresh and delicious!

  • Veggie Up! Choose local, fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables from an array of colours. Enjoy them raw on there own, in a great salad, steamed or roasted on the barbecue… enjoy them however you choose to prepare them but just enjoy more of them! We should all be aiming for 5-10 servings per day

  • Scour the local area for healthier snack options; fruits and vegetables make great snacks, local honey, local homemade ice creams, homemade crackers and breads (whole wheat, rye, zucchini, banana, sesame seed etc.), homemade popsicles made with real fruit juices

  • Scour the local area for fantastic eggs, milk, cheese and meats; purchase locally from a small farm that believes in the importance of whole, natural food items from animals raised freely without the use of antibiotics and hormones.

  • When barbecuing avoid the use of aluminum foil, hydrogenated items such as margarine and overcooking your food items.

Staying Hydrated

Supplying our bodies with adequate amounts of fluid is important and although It's true that alot of beverages (coffee, tea, soda, alcohol) contain significant amounts of water, they also contain other ingredients that have a duretic effect and can contribute to dehydration. Coffee, for example, can cause us to excreet more water then it is actually giving us ; so although you may be taking in fluids, you may not be properly hydrating yourself.

So to ward off dehydration and its side effects, it is best to provide our body with an adequate amount of good quality drinking water. Good quality drinking water should be free of germs, chlorine, flouride and undesireable chemicals. A general guideline to ensure that we are properly hydrated is to consume eight eight ounce glasses of good quality drinking water per day.

Watermelon is a great hydrating choice on these hot and humid days! Try out some of these great tasting watermelon smoothies and ENJOY YOUR LONG WEEKEND!

WATERMELON-COCONUT SMOOTHIE

This one is so easy to prepare yet DELICIOUS!

-cut about 1/4 of a whole watermelon into small cubes and freeze overnight (covered with saran wrap)

-chill your favourite brand of coconut water overnight in the refrigerator

- when ready to prepare just place in the blender on low speed until it is starting to mix together nicely and then crank on high speed until well mixed

-and VOILA thats's it .... will make about 2 6 oz servings

WATERMELON-CUCUMBER SMOOTHIE

Combine all of the following in the blender

1 cucumber peeled and cut into small pieces

4 cups of watermelon (that has been cut into cubes and froze overnight in the freezer)

1/4 of a fresh mint leaf

1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice

Blend together starting on low speed until starting to mix together nicely and then finish on high speed until well blended

WATERMELON-STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE

Follow the exact recipe above but instead of cucumber add 1 cup of fresh strawberries that have thoroughly washed and froze overnight

WATERMELON-PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

Follow the exact same WATERMELON-CUCUMBER SMOOTHIE instructions but instead of adding cucumber add 1 cup of fresh pineapple that has been cut into small cubes

WATERMELON-STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SMOOTHIE

Combine all of the following in the blender

1/4 of a fresh watermelon (that has been cut into cubes and froze overnight)

1/2 cup of fresh strawberries (that have been washed and froze overnight)

1/2 cup of fresh rhubarb (that has been cut into small pieces and froze overnight)

* add a little bit of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

Blend together starting on low speed until starting to mix together nicely and then finish on high speed until well blended

Relaxation To The Max

Who doesn’t have stress? We all have it, right? Yes! Stress is necessary for our survival. It’s perfectly natural, and is part of being human. Stress becomes a problem when it is ongoing. Chronic stimulation of the stress reaction leads to hormonal and metabolic imbalances that adversely affect a