Dr. Tara's "Fave Five": The Final Days of Summer

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s the final week of August.  Before I tackle the back-to-school madness with three kids (our schedule is one complex jigsaw puzzle!), I thought I’d share five things I love to do (and eat!) to celebrate the final days of summer.

1. Eat Outdoors 

Family dinners outdoors are wonderful, but I also try to take some of my solo meals and snacks or even enjoy my morning coffee outside.  If you ask me, food simply tastes better when it’s eaten en plein air on a beautiful day.  Beyond that, I often find it easier to slow down and be more mindful.  I stop to listen to the birds and feel the sun warming my skin. I breathe. I pause. I savour what I’m eating. And I feel grateful.

2. Visit the Farmers Market & Devour the Late Summer Harvest

I am pretty much obsessed with the late summer produce we get here in Ontario.  Farm fresh field tomatoes, sun-ripened peaches, plump juicy berries, and crisp cobs of sweet summer corn — heaven!  Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I’ve been enjoying these goodies on a pretty much daily basis!

Here are a few of my favourite summer recipes.  Let me know if you give one a try!

Peaches & Cream Smoothie Bowl

My chicklets adore peaches, and we go through multiple baskets every August.  This smoothie recipe is loaded with all of the goods — veggies, fibre, healthy fats, and plant-based protein.  Yet it is super simple to make and tastes as delicious as it looks.

Frozen Yogurt Bark

If you’re looking for a quick, nutritious, and delicious summer treat (think snack, dessert, or even fun breakfast), this is it!  Frozen Yogurt Bark can be made with dairy or non-dairy yogurt and your choice of toppings.

Peach & Tomato Caprese Salad

This caprese salad is based on a recipe from the latest Canadian Living magazine.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it!  We’re talking late summer at its finest. Instead of making a vinaigrette, I opted to let the produce shine and simply dressed the fruits and veggies with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

“Chocado” Truffles

Decadent little chocolatey treats should be enjoyed year-round — especially when they’re nutritious, delicious, and super easy to make!  (Hint: They’re made with avocado and cacao which may just become your new favourite combo!)

3. Read for Leisure

Dr. Tara enjoying a good book in the Maldives

Dr. Tara enjoying a good book in the Maldives

I love to read but often find myself reaching for books I think I “should” read.  Every summer, I make a point of enjoying a few novels. Not for work. Not to “better myself”.  Simply for pleasure. That being said, please send your suggestions my way. The plan is to squeeze in at least one more recommended read before the madness that is September ensues!

4. Go Walking

After returning from the Maldives, I was too jet lagged to dive back into my higher intensity workouts.  Instead, I focused on Pilates and light resistance training, and added in some afternoon and evening walks.  Hubs has joined me several times and we both agree that it makes us feel great to spend more time outdoors. We soak in a little vitamin D.  We disconnect-to-connect, both with each other and with nature. We let our minds and conversations wander. We appreciate our bodies for what they can do (not how they look).  And we stop to appreciate the beauty around us.

5. Quote of the Day

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” 

— Henry David Thoreau