Words Alyce Tancredi, the Surfing (student) Dietitian
Being healthy and surfing go hand in hand and as the new decade begins we are more aware than ever about how important eating well is. So we asked the Surfing Dietitian to give us some tips on seasonal eating.
As the year goes, the seasons change and eating with the seasons is both good for your health and good for your bank account. Choosing fruit and veg that are in season means they are often more available and cheaper, and we want to make sure we are still including these foods, so we keep our bodies strong, our guts healthy and have lots of energy to surf. Take a look below at what fruit and veg are in season each month!
When we think of winter food, we go straight to something warm and comforting, which is understandable. It can be easy to overindulge in food and reduce our time moving in the colder seasons with the water not being so warm. So, here are a few ways to keep you healthy through winter so you can keep surfing all year long.
You need more energy in the cold!
To help keep us warm in the winter – even in a wetsuit – our body shivers to generate heat, which uses up some of our energy that we have for the day. This is a natural reaction, so we need to make sure that we keep our fuel stores topped up during winter so we can surf for hours. So, making sure you eat plenty of good quality carbs (wholegrains, starchy veg, legumes) can give us the fuel we need to both warm up and power through our day.
Don’t forget to drink up!
We can still get dehydrated in the cold! It is something that many of us forget to do as we don’t feel the thirst that we do in summer – but we still sweat and work hard! Whether you’re on the waves or in the gym, drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during (if possible) and after your workout. Dehydration is very bad for our body and can lead to hospitalisation if your fluids are too low, so still aim for around 2L each day. If you want something warmer, try having a herbal tea to warm you up – perfect drink post surf!
Get some Vitamin D!
Many people don’t get enough exposure to the sun, which helps our bodies produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D help to keep our bones strong but requires sunlight to active the synthesis in our skin. In winter, we tend to stay indoors and have our skin full covered up particularly in a wetsuit, so we may miss out on this very important nutrient. If you can’t get into the sun, there are small amounts of Vitamin D in foods such as eggs, fish, and UV exposed mushrooms, but often not enough to meet requirements (but still include them). Some foods have added Vitamin D in them, including milks and margarines. If you are worried about your Vitamin D levels, please seek advice off your GP to see if you require supplementation.
Mixed Bean Soup Recipe
- 1-2 large tins of mixed beans, rinsed and drained
- 4-5 cups of any veggies you have – beetroot, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, swede, swiss chard, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms, winter squash
- 1L-2L of vegetable stock (low sodium if possible)
- Mixed herbs as desired
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- Empty vegetable stock into large pot with mixed herbs and garlic. Heat up pot to near boiling.
- Chop up veggies as necessary (leave the skins on) and add to the pot. Add the drained beans in as well.
- Cook the soup for a couple of minutes boiling, then reduce to a simmer and let sit for as long as necessary.
- Dish out and enjoy! You can also freeze some if you made extra for winter.
*Add as much stock, veggies and beans as you feel you need.
- Coffee powder – freshly ground or instant (however much you need)
- Milk – lite or plant based (as much as needed)
- ½ tsp ground ginger (heaped)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (heaped)
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- Brew your coffee to the desired strength.
- Add in your milk or froth your milk (with spices) to desired consistency.
- If not frothing milk, add in your spices and stir well.
When its warm, we find ourselves drawn to the cooler foods that taste delicious and fresh. We often find ourselves outside and moving more as well as spending more time in the sun, so often the focus of nutrition changes. Including variety is still always key and eating seasonally can help this. Check out the fruit and veg below that are available during the warm season and cook with as many different foods as you can.
Always eat breakfast
As the sun comes up earlier, we may find ourselves out on dawn patrol catching waves, out running, swimming, at the gym, doing yoga or whatever takes your fancy as we are much more motivated to get moving, sometimes being so busy we forget to eat. It is, however, still important to make sure you eat your breakfast. As the name suggests, breakfast means to ‘break the fast’ after sleeping, and it gives us a chance to kickstart our digestive system and fuel our body for the coming day. Eating a good breakfast with plenty of fibre, protein and unrefined carbs can also prevent overeating at other times during the day – so fuel up early!
Opposite to winter, we know we get thirsty in summer so make sure you are keeping up the fluids and our needs are increased during this time. Carry a water bottle (preferably filled with water) with you throughout the day and make it a habit to take a sip – for example, take a sip at work every time a customer walks in, or when you’re typing a new paragraph or when a commercial comes on TV. We lose our body’s water content through three main ways: through sweat, urination and through behaviours such as breathing and talking. Also being in the saltwater draws fluid out of the skin, so it is even more important to drink water on a summer’s day surf. Top up your fluids every chance you get to keep your body flowing, as it also helps with digestion!
Enjoy your fresh foods
As said before, summer is the perfect time to take advantage of cravings for fresh foods. Why not make a fresh salad to go with dinner, or take some fresh fruit or veggies sticks as a snack to work? Work with what is available as it is cheaper to eat seasonally, and everyone always needs a fresh salad – veggie or fruit at social gatherings or surf meet-ups. When food isn’t cooked, it is good for our gut as there is a high fibre content still in food (which is reduced with cooking) so not only is it good for us, it also makes a feel fuller for longer! Enjoy fresh foods with the skins on when you can, to boost that fibre content even more.
Tofu Rice Paper Rolls
- 8 rice paper roll sheets (or more if desired)
- ½ block of firm tofu cut into strips
- 1 green pepper cut into strips
- 1 red pepper cut into strips
- 1 carrot cut into sticks
- 1 zucchini cut into sticks
- 1 avocado cut into strips
- Olive oil for cooking
- Low sodium soy sauce for dipping
- Cook the tofu in the oil until brown and crisp on the outside. Set aside.
- Cut up all other vegetables and set aside with tofu.
- Prepare the rice paper roll sheets according to instructions.
- Place ingredients in the centre of the damp rice paper rolls so a pile of ‘sticks’ is formed. Roll the rice paper roll from the side, the tops and bottoms and roll into a log shape to finish.
- Serve with some soy sauce and enjoy!
Summer Smoothie Bowl
- ½ banana (can share a full one with someone)
- ½ cup of fruit of choice for blending, fresh or frozen – mango, berries, apples etc.
- ½ cup of fruit for topping, fresh or frozen
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 cup of milk of choice
- ½ cup of rolled oats
- OPTIONAL: protein powder if desired or can use a no added sugar nut butter such as peanut butter
- Place banana, ½ cup of fruit and place in blender with cinnamon, milk and protein powder/nut butter. Blend until smooth.
- Empty blender contents into a bowl. Sprinkle over oats and chia seeds and ½ cup of fruit and enjoy!