Summer is in full swing, and it's time to embrace a healthy and energized lifestyle to look and feel your best. In today’s article you’ll discover our top tips and low-carb snack ideas to help you stay active and feel your best all season long.
Pay attention to your gut
It’s been said pretty often that the gut is the second brain of the body. The reality is that the gut and the brain are connected both physically and biochemically through (amongst other things, but most importantly) the vagus nerve and the nervous system. The nervous system is characterized by so-called ‘neurons’ that tell your body how to behave. As they are predominantly located in your brain, it was initially thought that the brain determined human behavior.
Contrary to the initial belief that the brain solely determines human behavior, an astounding revelation is that neurons, the cells responsible for transmitting signals, are not limited to the brain alone. The gut houses an astonishing number of neurons, approximately 500 million, forming a strong connection with the brain through the central nervous system. This interconnectedness explains why stress, for example, not only affects the brain but also disrupts the signals sent via the vagus nerve, leading to gastrointestinal problems.
Moreover, the gut and brain are connected through chemicals called neurotransmitters, which control feelings and emotions. When we neglect our diet or consume unhealthy foods and beverages, it negatively impacts our gut health. As a result, we experience a decline in overall well-being, lacking the energy and vitality needed to engage in work, exercise, socializing, and fully enjoy life's pleasures.
Unlocking the power of a thriving gut and nurturing a strong gut-brain connection can revolutionize your well-being. Promote a healthy gut-brain connection and elevate your mental and physical health with these effective strategies:
- Embrace a balanced diet. Ditch the carbs, or at least lower the amount you’re consuming, and focus on whole nourishing healthy foods such as healthy fats, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts.
- Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration, which is essential for optimal gut function.
- Incorporate probiotics and fermented foods. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that boost your gut health. Include foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods in your diet.
- Reduce stress. Chronic stress can negatively affect the gut-brain connection. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that you enjoy.
- Get regular exercise: Physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on gut health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Prioritize quality sleep: Sufficient sleep is essential for overall health, including your gut. Aim for 7-8 hours each night.
- Listen to your body: Identify how different foods make you feel. Everyone's gut is unique, and certain foods may affect individuals differently. Pay closer attention to any food intolerances or sensitivities that may be affecting your gut-brain connection.
- Stay mentally active: Engage in brain-stimulating activities such as reading, puzzles, learning new skills, or engaging in creative pursuits. Mental stimulation can positively influence gut health.
Unlock the potential of your workouts
One of the many benefits of working out is that it helps increase your energy levels. However, when it comes to choosing a workout, do you know which one is best for you?
In one of our articles, we explore the contrasts between HIIT and LISS workouts. If you're new to these terms, he’s a brief introduction to each. Contrary to HIIT (high-intensity interval training) LISS is a great way to move your body without putting it under too much pressure. It stands for Low-Intensity Steady-State and is a method of cardiovascular exercises in which you practice aerobic activity at a low-to-moderate intensity for a continuous, and usually extended, period. When doing this type of exercise the goal is to keep your heart rate around a steady 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Low-intensity steady-state cardio provides a range of benefits that contribute to your overall health. These include improved blood flow, reduced stress levels, a lower risk of heart disease, and enhanced brain function. Remember, not every workout needs to be extremely intense to be effective. LISS offers a gentle yet impactful approach to exercise.
Make the most of the summer season by incorporating more activity into your daily routine. Instead of relying solely on your car or public transportation, consider walking or biking to work and other destinations. It's a refreshing way to stay active, enjoy the outdoors, and reduce your carbon footprint. Additionally, take advantage of the warm weather by going for a swim in the ocean or pool. It's a fun and invigorating way to stay active while keeping cool.
Low-carb snack ideas
Elevate your summer nutrition with our top low-carb snack ideas. Fuel your body with delicious and healthy options that will keep you feeling your best all season long.
Funky Fat Chocolate
Our Funky Fat Chocs are considered to be functional foods mainly because of 2 reasons: the ingredients used to make them are all natural organic-certified ingredients that don't harm your gut. The other reason being that one of the main ingredients of our bars is the MCT oil powder (medium chain triglyceride fatty acids): a super healthy fat that disolves quickly in your body, boosts ketone production and provides long-lasting energy. They’re perfect to take on the go or to use in plenty of creative, delicious, and most important, nutritious recipes.
Keto Sugar-free Chocolate Ice Cream
Indulge in the delightful combination of creamy white chocolate inside and crunchy hazelnut outside cover in these easy-to-make mini ice creams. You can prep them in advance and have them ready to enjoy whenever you feel like it; as a healthy keto snack or as a dessert.
Low-carb & Keto Choc & Berries Smoothie
Smoothies are perfect for this time of the year (well, who are we kidding… they’re perfect all year round!) That’s why this choc & berries smoothie is one of our absolute favorites. It is so easy and refreshing to make, that you’ll be making it all summer long! With its incredible taste and health benefits, it's the perfect guilt-free treat.
Double-Chocolate Keto Granola (with nuts & seeds)
Nuts & seeds are a great snack, especially if you need something on the go. They’re rich in healthy fats and packed with nutrients, they’re pretty easy to carry with you and they’re super healthy. You can buy them in the store, but make sure that you’re buying the whole ones, meaning, you have to avoid the fried ones. Also, you can mix them with the Funky Fat Chocolates bar you like the most to have a perfect double-chocolate keto granola.
Embrace a healthy and energized lifestyle this summer by prioritizing your gut health, staying active, and enjoying delicious low-carb snacks. Let this summer be your time to thrive with a healthy mind, body, and delicious nourishment.