It's Summer, Eat Well Outside!
It’s summer time! After a spring that flirted with being hot or cold, there is lots of sunshine in our future. Thankfully, there is a holiday coming Saturday, June 18th that is going to help us get into the summer spirit: International Picnic Day. If you want to know how to celebrate, it is pretty simple: get out from under that blanket, and go sit on top of one! Now before I try to convince you to partake in a picnic Saturday, I want to dive deeper into the origins of this manner of eating.
Let’s get some of the facts from its origin:
- The start of picnics occurred post-French Revolution, when royal parks became open to the public.
- After debate of the word being problematic, etymologists confirm the word originates from the word “pique-nique” which literally means to eat a meal outdoors.
- For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the picnic has evolved into a Christmas tradition to celebrate the warm holiday season.
- In 1955, the film Picnic starring William Holden and Kim Novak picked up six Oscar nominations and won 2 of the 6
- The largest picnic ever was held in Portugal on 20 June 2009, where 22,232 people picnicked
Now that we got the history lesson out of the way, let’s talk about why we should all be celebrating. As a community, we are still getting back in the swing of things socially. It was a tough couple of years with the sickness that won’t be named. International Picnic Day is a perfect opportunity to catch up with some family, friends, co-workers, spouses, pets, or just about anybody!
Not only did these last two years affect all of our social lives, the population’s mental and physical health have both taken a steep decline. Both of these are so important, and believe it or not, picnics will most definitely assist you:
Fresh Air: No matter how you slice it, there is just nothing like nice fresh air. Sitting indoors all day everyday is not the best way to live. We NEED those deep breaths of fresh air. Not only is it so much healthier than the indoor air, it does so much in reviving your day. It gives you the jolt of energy any type of caffeine can, in the most healthy way possible.
Stress Relief: Are you stuck in your office all week? Are you stressed out by different projects and deadlines? Well going outside can help eliminate all of that. Studies have shown that there is scientific evidence that natural surroundings cause a 12.4% decrease in cortisol level, 7% decrease in sympathetic nervous activity, 1.4% decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a 5.8% decrease in heart rate. That is a very scientific way of saying that going outside will relieve you of your stress.
Seeing Family and Friends: As I mentioned before, this is a perfect holiday to see the people you care about. The last couple of years has stopped us all from seeing these people who are crucial in our lives, and a picnic is a great opportunity to introduce them back into your everyday life.
Mood: Picnics are fun! Not only are you sitting outside on a beautiful day eating a fantastic meal, but you are sitting with the people you know best. Whether you're letting everything off your chest, or cracking inside jokes, you will have no choice but to smile through it all.
Sunlight: Sunlight does absolute wonders for our immune systems. It provides us with the free Vitamin D that stimulates our bodies into reacting properly to infectious pathogens, that includes protecting us from the flu, colds, and a multitude of different viruses.
Healthy Food: A crucial part of a good picnic, is tasty, healthy food. It is a good way for you to show off your cooking skills by creating some of your favorite summer meals. Now, if you are anything like me, you do not have a culinary bone in your body. If that applies to you, I got you covered with some delicious meals provided to you on this very website.
This is a simple yet delicious meal consisting of strawberries, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and natural chicken on a beautiful bed of greens. There is also a vegetarian option for those interested.
The Asian Crunch Chicken Salad is a nice and light option for a summer picnic lunch. Packed with flavor, the salad contains sweet tangerines, crunchy cashews, chow mein noodles and all-natural chicken on top of mixed cabbage sprouts and romaine lettuce. To top it off this comes with a tasty honey sesame vinaigrette! There is also a vegetarian option!
Eat Well cannot wait to celebrate this exciting holiday accordingly, and we hope you will join in on the festivities!