Summer: The hottest time of the year, filled with sun, sand and sea.
I love summer! I mean you can laze around the pool, get golden brown sun kissed skin and eat plenty of ice cream and tropical fruit. We are so lucky that we have an extended summer and especially over the festive season. The person who said ” everybody dreams about a white Christmas” never had a perfect summer Christmas.
Summer is also that time of year where most ladies wished they tried harder with their diets and didn’t eat all that pizza or pasta with loads of wine during the winter months. I use to dread summer too, especially with my fat body. Earlier this year, I also promised myself that I will fit into my bikini when summer is here. So the big question is, am I wearing my bikini this summer. The simple answer – NO.
That might be a bit disappointing to you, but to me it is empowering. Not because I cannot fit into it, but just because I decided not to measure my progress with the same measures that society would. This summer will be the first year I am comfortable with my body and my curves. Embracing the parts I love and accepting the parts that still need work. One thing is sure, bikini or no bikini, I will have a great summer.
Summer is also about enjoy fresh food. We generally eat salads just because the thought of cooking in an already heated kitchen is just to much for me. Plenty of braai’s around the pool and even potjie kos (black cast iron pot used to cook stews). We also enjoy home made coolers with no added sugar or any other hidden ingredients. It is so easy to eat healthy during summer months.
We love making ice tea (Recipes) for hot summer days. It is so easy and you can play around with flavours. We make a base and just add whatever we feel like to it. We use Rooibos tea, as it is naturally caffeine free and its another proudly South African product. Take 3 bags of tea (whatever tea you prefer), pour 4 cups of boiling water over them and allow to steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow to cool by adding ice cubes to the jug. Now for the fun part. Flavour your ice tea! We love a lemon and mint combination. Taking slices of fresh lemon and a few fresh mint leaves (all from our garden) and adding it to our infuser jug. For a more sparkling drink we just add some sparkling water. You can add berries, ginger, basil, cucumber and even some slices of watermelon. It is such a versatile drink.
For lunch during summer we developed this easy to use guide. Not that I think you really need a guide. Select your protein of choice. We generally go for chicken, fish or biltong (beef jerky). Then we add whatever veggies we can get from our garden or have available in the fridge. Lettuce, cucumber, green beans or peppers. Whether you make a salad or just put them together as a meal. Always remember to add a healthy fat. We like our home made mayo or avocado – when it is not too expensive. Alternatively you can make a herb dipping sauce with coconut/olive oil. You can also add some berries, nuts or cheese to your meal if you like. We seldom do. But if I have strawberries or blueberries available I will have a few.
What will summer be without ice cream (Recipes). We use to eat loads of fruit sorbets and ice cream during the summer. But since Little M can’t have any of it, we managed to make some home made coconut milk ice cream for her. We have a very small and basic ice cream maker but it works wonders. Again, you can make any flavour ice cream you like, but we normally make a strawberry ice cream for little M. Just add your coconut cream to a pan over a medium heat. Add xylitol to sweeten to taste. Add your home made strawberry puree (add strawberries in food processor and blend) and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract. Let the mixture cool down and add to ice cream maker.
To us, summer is about making memories. Spending time in the sun (always wear sun screen), lazing around the swimming pool and enjoying light and easy meals. We treat ourselves to the occasional Mocha shake (Recipes) when we don’t feel like drinking ice tea or infused sparkling water. Enjoy your summer, whether you fit into your bikini or not. Life is about making memories and I can promise you whether you wore that red bikini or your sexy full swimsuit will not make a difference.