It is officially summer time. Thoughts of peach pie, cold beers, ice cream cones, lazing on the porch, and lying in the hammock start to flood my mind when I think of what summer means. I enter this summer season after too much travel over the past four months. If you are anything like me, you know that travel can mean eating out meal after meal, thinking that sitting by the pool covers your daily exercise, and trying the variety of the local beers (okay, not all at once, but with your many meals out). All of this has been fun – I’ve soaked it all up. But, now I am ready to kick off the summer season with my new motto: get fresh and refresh!
Here’s my plan.
Fresh In terms of food, summer is the perfect time to get back to the basics. The farmers market is rife and ripe with produce – greens, squashes, tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, berries, melons. Seeing the beautiful produce makes you wonder how you could want to eat anything but these beautiful goods. So, I plan to focus on the fresh – get back to the basics where a piece of fruit is sweet enough to sate my palate at the end of a meal. With inspiration from these fresh and wholesome flavors, the summer will be full of vegetables, fruits, and creations made from these natural ingredients. And, instead of cold beer and glasses of white wine, I am going to experiment with delicious infused waters and cool iced teas and lemonades. Okay, so some of these things will inevitably require a bit of sugar, and the possibility of drinking a margarita on a rooftop deck is almost guaranteed. But, certainly, it is advisable to consume mindfully – a tough, but important lesson.
Refresh Movement is somewhat antithetical to the heat of the season. Yet, summer is a great time to refresh an exercise routine. I am fairly good about getting exercise in my day, but I know I could do a lot better. My main pitfall is consistency. This summer is going to be all about flexing my will-power muscle (maybe I’ll call it my well-power muscle) to establish a steady pattern. I am one of these people who feels blobby without some form of exercise each day – I need it to feel refreshed after a long day of work. One strong motivator is the marathon I’m running with my brother in October. Well, okay, let me clarify: we are running half of the marathon each. Still – this is something I need to prepare for. A couple of years ago I would not have batted an eyelash at running 13 miles in one stretch, but I have let this go with grad school, recent moves, new jobs. So, it is time to refresh this and get my game back! Summer is great for establishing a running routine: the long hours of light, the good weather, rain that doesn’t chill you to the bone. Let’s not forget that it also takes time to get used to summer running temps. Yesterday, I went out for a short 30 minute run when it was 88 degrees. Not cool. Not cool. at. all. But, still when I got back I felt nothing, if not refreshed. Heat is something you can grow accustomed to (at least that is what I’m telling myself), and bringing a bottle of water along is easy enough.
Summer is also perfect for swimming in lakes and ocean waves, taking long evening walks down unknown roads, playing outdoor tennis with the ladies from the office, cycling to your heart’s content, and on, and on, and on….
So that, my friends, is the plan. Let’s get fresh and refresh!