Summer Nights Al Fresco

Lauren Silva

Having the perfect dining experience requires a few different things: good food (of course), good company, and a good setting. For most of us, our busy schedules can make a slow, relaxing meal with friends and family seem impossible, let alone an experience that highlights our natural surroundings.

But then, summer comes. Suddenly, time seems to be on our side again. Moments feel longer, the sun sets later, and we feel inspired to dine al fresco.

Aside from the excitement that comes with any change to your typical environment, enjoying a meal outdoors can provide your body and mind with a host of notable benefits.

Why It’s Time to Dine Al Fresco

Being outside has a powerful effect on your stress levels. With the ability to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, fresh air immediately puts you in a more relaxed state. And if you’re hosting a dinner party, a little bit of nerves are always to be expected. Simply allowing yourself a few deep breaths of fresh air will ease muscle tension, decrease your stress hormone, and allow you to fully enjoy your time with friends and family.

Whether it’s the air on our skin or the open space to move around, being outside can have us feeling more intune with our bodies. Take advantage of this feeling. Before dinner, take stock of your body, noticing any tension, stress, or nerves. Once you’ve assessed how you’re feeling, let that go. This mindfulness practice can play a big part in your eating experience, as well. Enjoying each bite and really chewing your food can ease digestion, lessen any stomach issues, and allow you to enjoy your meal to its fullest.

Isn’t it funny how simply bringing the food outdoors can create such a different dining experience? You’re granted an opportunity to combine your healthy lifestyle with healthy cooking. The outdoor space provides a setting for kids to play, adults to mingle, and pets to join the fun! Experience the natural mood boost by getting outside, cooking up a delicious meal, and enjoying it amongst your friends and families.

Lastly, enjoying a meal outdoors provides you with a bigger space to entertain. Instead of pulling extra chairs into your dining room, you’ve got an outdoor space that can more comfortably accommodate your loved ones. Whether you’re hosting a huge get-together or an intimate family dinner, each meal outside feels like an occasion worth celebrating. With a simple change in setting and scenery, you’re left feeling much more satisfied.

With so many reasons to dine al fresco, the only thing left is the menu! Fresh summer produce is delicious and vibrant and serves as the perfect star to any dish. At DEFINE foods we love to eat seasonally, which is why our summers are full of peaches, corn, and zucchini, just to name a few!

To learn some of our favorite summertime recipes, join us for a Cooking Class demonstration, hosted by Central Market Houston. You’ll leave with tips and skills to make five easy-to-create, sure to please, dishes that would make for a show stopping al fresco dinner party.

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