July 9, 2010

Enjoying the Heat Wave

Posted in Food, Health, Serbia, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 am by Liliana

Pleasures of summer

Pleasures of summer

Large parts of the US and the world are suffering from an intense heat wave. The temperature and the humidity are high. The sun is unforgiving in its glare. It is not fun being outside.

The best thing to do is stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (between 10 am and 3 pm.) Stay in a cool place. Even if you do not have an air conditioner, you can take precautions. Open your windows during the night, and close and shade them during the day. Don’t exert yourself too much.

It is important to keep hydrated so drink lots of water. There is no substitute for water. Everything else (lemonade, sports drinks, coffee, etc.) should be in addition to it. Sip water all day or take frequent water breaks.

Eat small meals. Try eating a few smaller, lighter meals rather than one big portion. You will generate less heat and not feel as full.

Eat lots of fruit. Watermelons, strawberries, apples, cantaloupes and grapes are some of my favorite choices for hot summer days and all have a high water content. Try juicy peaches and other seasonal fruit – all at the height of ripeness, freshness and deliciousness.

Eat lots of vegetables. Fresh, crisp, refreshing salads are a perfect choice. Lettuce (so many varieties to choose from,) cucumbers, celery, spinach and peppers are all over 90% water. A bit of kosher salt, a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and some lemon juice – what can be more delicious?

Eat hot peppers, they make you sweat, and this process cools you down. Peppers are a big part of the Serbian culture, hot peppers and sweet peppers, all kinds of peppers. One of my favorite summer salads is Serbian Roasted Pepper Salad.

Don’t forget salt. Salt retains water, but since there is salt in so many foods we eat and in most sports drinks, don’t overdo it.  Let common sense be your guide.

Best wishes to all my readers. Stay cool but don’t merely endure this lovely season. Enjoy your summer. Revel in its pleasures.