Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Who's hungry in the heat?!

In my neck of the woods, it is just too hot to be hungry.
Our local temperatures and weather are causing warnings to be issued. Excessive heat can be scary.
 I push the liquids and have written a reminder about the heat: Summer is Here!

Summer is a time to careful and mindful of others. 
It's a time to be understanding of family, and patient as a Mom.
Kids can get cranky.
Adults can get cranky, and routines can dissolve right along with anything melting out in the sunshine.
I love our meal times together. I haven't been cooking a lot. My whole family seems to be nibbling a lot. Which is fine. It's just as a Mom, it seems for me hard to get used to.

So I question, Why do our appetites go down with the heat?  

It's actually not an easy answer to find; at least I didn't come across it so easily. But I did find some answers. Now, I am not a professional, but as I personally understand it-  in the cold weather our bodies need the extra nutrients in order to create and maintain our core temperatures of our bodies. However, in the excessive heat- the opposite is true. Our bodies have to fight to cool down our body's core temperature and fight to maintain a healthy temp. It does so through liquids, sweating, and naturally cooling. Think of an evaporative cooling system- water is pumped outward onto pads and air blown by picks up the moisture and cools down the air. Sweating and our bodies is very much like this. Water (Sweat) is poured outward and air blows by thus cooling the skin. It is vital part of being able to maintain health in the heat.
As gross as it sounds- In the excessive heat,  you actually want to sweat! Your body will crave liquids to perform and maintain this function. When it doesn't have enough you will become dehydrated. If you eat instead of drink fluids, your body's systems have to divert blood flow and fluids to process the food, and this takes away temporarily from your body's ability to maintain it's natural cooling system. That's why you get a nauseated feeling, after eating heavy in the high heat. Your body wants to reject this function and continue maintaining your core temp. Your body is in a kind of survival mode at that time, and will give you clues to help you be at your best.

Now, yes, you must eat in order to survive- but during the high heat of the day- it might be wise to avoid heavy foods. Eat small, eat light, and try to listen to your internal voice as to weather or not you need food or a glass of water.  Foods with a lot of water content are fantastic- small portions- snack on watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh berries. Salads!  Infuse water with fruit and gain the extra nutrients naturally. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Nibble, allow kids to nibble. It's okay to divert off the normal routine. safer and healthier for everyone!

Rest when you need to. Water water water, fluids fluids fluids.

Have fun, Be smart about it. Be safe!

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