Beat the Summer Bloat and Lower Your Inflammation!

For some reason, the arrival of summer always makes me feel like a beached whale. The heat increases the difficulty of the simple workouts that feel oh so good the rest of the year. I spend more time indoors, in front of the computer or the TV, and with couch time comes the salty summer snacks of my childhood and beer.

Before I know it, I have slowly transitioned from energized and active to lethargic and bloated. Even my joints join in the fun and feel stiffer than normal. You know what they say! A body in motion stays in motion, and my body prefers the air-conditioned couch to the great outdoors when the mercury goes up.

So how do you combat this summer bloat and inflammation situation? Well, the years I’ve been most successful are those in which I have signed up (and pre-paid) for lots of physical activity. Some years this comes in the form of running events and races, typically with some yoga thrown in for good measure. Other years, it tends to be a combination of golf and tennis that does the trick and keeps me active. The key, though, is in the diet.

Hydration is very important to keeping energy levels high. In the heat of the summer, when it gets really hot and humid, it can be good to supplement that water with electrolytes. My go-to is coconut water, but I have friends who prefer maple water, watermelon water and other natural hydration options. Food is important too, though!

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Summer is great for healthy eats. I personally love peach and watermelon season, and if you add some feta and pine nuts, you have a salad! When I was little, I would head out to my grandparents’ farm and pick berries right off the bushes. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries…you name it! All of these are great for reducing inflammation and bloat. Bonus points for these too, because they have a high water content (hydration!).

Grilling is a favorite summer pastime, and think of all the healthy things you can put on the grill: seasoned romaine hearts, lean chicken, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, squash, tomatoes, and even pineapple! There are so many great, delicious anti-inflammatory foods out there that the options truly are endless. This is partially why it can be so overwhelming when you’re in the aisle at the grocery trying to decide what to make for dinner. In fact, when I end up at the store without a plan, I gravitate towards easy. Frozen pizza, hot dogs and prepared salads top the list. However, with a little pre-shopping prep, I can make healthy choices in the aisles without the stress.

To help you with your pre-shopping prep, we have compiled some of our favorite anti-inflammatory recipes into a fun ebook! Maybe you will make every recipe in here, maybe you won’t make a single one, but at the very least, it can help get your creative meal-prep juices flowing. Sign-up for our mailing list at naturesedge.com to get a free copy of this ebook today!

Happy Summer!

*Check out our line of special supplements, specifically formulated to help tame the flames of inflammation too!


Healthy Eating: A Few Basics

The holidays are long gone, and it seems everyone is looking for new, exciting ways to beat the bloat. Statistics show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail before the second week of February, and that includes resolutions to eat healthy! I have to admit, returning to my normal eating habits is tough after several weeks of celebratory snacks (I’m look at you fried foods and cookie swap cookies!), but when I get back to healthier eating habits, my overall health and mood improve.

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Several of my friends jump right into a cleanse or Whole30 type of diet challenge for the month of January as a way to reset their clocks. I prefer a gentler easing back into more nutritious choices. Whatever your method, we can all agree on a few points to keep you feeling your best:

·      Incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Packed with nutrients and low in calories, fruits and vegetables can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. If you have been eating chips or crackers over the holidays, try replacing those snacks with an apple or chopped veggies.  

·      Cut back on (or cut out) added sugar. This one seems simple but can be harder than one thinks, simply because our American diets have LOTS of added sugar! Removing or reducing consumption of sodas or sweets is an obvious step here, but what about all those foods you thought were healthy, like granola bars, yogurt and fruit juices? These are some of the biggest culprits of hidden added sugars, so make sure to read the nutrition labels before selecting a particular granola bar or yogurt. If you are unsure, pick up a few different brands in the super market and compare the sugar content in each. Still unsure? Read the ingredient list. Items with fructose, agave nectar and corn syrup, to name a few, probably have lots of added sugar. And don’t forget that alcohol is sugar too!

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·      Eat breakfast. Do you find yourself hungrier for lunch on days you eat breakfast? That is totally normal! Eating a healthy breakfast helps kick start your metabolism, but it also can help regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day, helping you feel more energetic. Make sure you are incorporating protein into this important meal!

There are an overwhelming number of ways in which we can improve our diets, but focusing on one or two changes can help make the adjustment feel less overwhelming.

We want to hear from you: What are your favorite post-holiday diet changes that set you up for success in the new year?


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