Contributor: Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, FAND
Summer is a time for sunshine, more relaxed schedules, vacations, road trips, and fun. However, this can also be a time where blood sugar management may get trickier with flexible schedules. Regardless of what is on your agenda, if you can stay consistent with your meals and snacks (especially in terms of carbs and portion size), you will feel better.
Staying hydrated is another important factor during the summer. Water is your best choice of beverage. Want to make it feel more special? Add a few pieces of fruit or herbs such as basil/rosemary/mint and voila you have transformed it into a fancy “spa water.” Here are two of my favorite spa water ideas:
Berry Bonanza Spa Water
To make my berry bonanza spa water, wash and dry 1/4 cup of raspberries, 1/4 cup of blueberries and 1/4 cup of strawberries. Cut the berries into large, coarse pieces. Add the berries to a pitcher of water and let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, strain before serving.
Cucumber-Mint Spa Water
To make cucumber-mint spa water, wash, dry, and thinly slice one cucumber. Make sure to keep the skin on as most of the beneficial nutrients are in this part of the vegetable. Wash and dry one sprig of fresh mint leaves, then bruise them slightly with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon. Add the cucumber and mint to a pitcher with about two liters of water. Chill the water in the refrigerator for one to two hours to allow the flavors to meld.
Have some trips planned for your summer? Here are some travel safety tips to keep in mind:
- Try to stay consistent with your meals and medications
- Take extra medication and supplies
- Have some shelf-stable carb-protein snacks with you in case of delays
- Keep your blood sugar monitor with you
- Have some quick acting carb options readily available in case of a low blood sugar
- Keep an empty water bottle with you to fill up after you go through TSA/security checkpoint at airports
- Have a list of all your medications and dosages with you
Besides eating right, hydrating, and following these travel tips, do incorporate regular physical activity. Take advantage of the warm weather and enjoy some time at parks, beaches or outdoors. Remember to wear sun protection and stay hydrated.
Finally, let’s dive into some summertime food and fun activities:
- Make a fruit kabob: Banana (1/2 banana) and Apple(1/2 apple) Kabobs drizzle with 1 tbsp Peanut Butter
- Invite friends to go for lunch and then a walk after (to help increase insulin sensitivity)
- Get in the pool, grab a kick-board, and get kicking
- Too hot outside? Go to an indoor mall and enjoy walking and window shopping
- Pick up a new hobby - try gardening or yoga
- Go to a tea store to try out new flavors, and make fun summer iced tea
- Get grilling with a variety of colorful veggies (Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Eggplant, Orange Bell Pepper, Tomatoes, Onion ) and Extra -Firm Tofu
- Make homemade smoothies with Greek yogurt and fruit instead of homemade ice cream
With just a little planning, you can enjoy a safe and fun-filled summer!
Contributor: Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, FAND is on a mission to help people with diabetes "Eat Well. Your Way. For Life."", and thrive with diabetes. She is the author of My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes. Vandana received her BS in Nutritional Science and Coordinated Dietetics and became a registered dietician nutritionist in 1997, and has been a certified diabetes educator since 2008. She is an active member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), the California Dietetic Association (CDA), and is currently a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Learn more about her at vandanasheth.com.