Summer is often a time we associate with better health; we are more active outdoors, and overall we feel better because we are in the sunshine. But there's also camping with hot dogs and hamburgers, drinks on the patio and lazy days in the sun. And around this midway point through our summer days, we start to feel ready again for September to come back so we can slide back into our regular routine (until the Holidays, our next big obstacle of the year).
So, what are some ways you can stay healthy and active this summer to avoid feeling awful during arguably the best time of the year?
1) Drink lots of water. Suns out and we naturally need more water to begin with. Couple that with the possibility of extra alcohol, more activity and the fact that most of us don't drink enough water to begin with and you have a recipe for dehydration. Carry a water bottle and squeeze some fresh lemon into your water or add some berries for an extra splash of nutrients and flavor! Or, try Stur drink mixers, which are similar to Mio's but free of artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
2) Invest in a good quality body oil (no, not to lather yourself in before you sit in the sun). Winter is infamous for dry skin, but the summer months are just as hard on the skin. I love avocado oil; I add a couple drops of my favorite essential oils and put it on before bed. Some other options for skin oils:
Coconut oil, evening primrose oil, argan oil, almond oil, or grape seed oil. I've also gotten creative and blended shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and castor oil with lime essential oil and I absolutely love it for intensive skin care. Body scrubs made of sugar and coconut oil, or olive oil and salt are also cheap to whip up and helpful to exfoliate. Do not exfoliate skin too frequently!
3) Use quality sun care. Natural sunblocks are very effective and free of harmful chemicals. They are great for those with sensitive skin, and those looking to have more environmentally friendly body care products. No matter what brand you go with, sun care is something that must be applied several times a day, which amounts to a lot of junk being absorbed through your skin if you are using chemicals.
4) Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. This is perfect for the summer time because the extra vegetables and fruits will get us some extra water AND they don't require an oven to prepare! In the mornings, I boil eggs, or make one or two seasoned chicken breasts in the oven while it's cool so I can add them to an evening salad. Barbecuing is also a great way to beat the heat but be sure not to burn your meat as that can create AGE's (advanced glycation end products) that are harmful to your health. I also love to make quinoa salads loaded with veggies for lunch because it's fast, and can be eaten cold. Salads don't have to be boring, so if you're a Pinterest fanatic like me, you can most certainly find some creative ways to dress up a salad.
And, I can't forget about my favorite part of summer. Smoothies with fresh berries!! There is nothing about a hot summer day that makes me want a hot breakfast. Smoothies are a perfect way to start your day, and a great way to obtain some nutrients. Creative options are endless, just make sure to throw in a protein source to start your day properly. Other additions to throw in your smoothie: chia or hemp seeds, flax oil or seeds, hemp or fish oil, bee pollen, greens such as spirulina or chlorella or Mega Foods Smoothie Boosters.
5) Spend some time outside everyday. Nature is such a crucial part of our existence and for many of us, summer time is the only time we really connect with the Earth. I hate everything about winter. I don't participate in any fun winter activities (for my safety-I'm not graceful) so I have nothing to look forward to when the snow flies other than Jillian Michael's DVD's and warm winter elixirs. But, summer time I am in my glory. Even sitting outside for ten minutes while I enjoy my morning coffee, or enjoying my supper on the deck makes me feel more grounded and at peace. If you are even more ambitious, do some stretching on the grass, a trail walk or yoga in the park!
6) Try new things! Summer is a time for fun and adventure. Here are some of my suggestions for this summer:
a) Zevia sugar free soda. If you do enjoy pop, but want to cut back on the sugar and artificial sweeteners these are a great alternative!! They are also handy if you have an evening that involves a little bit of alcohol, as this drastically cuts back on your sugar consumption. Let's face it: many individuals are not having just one of any kind of beverage in the summer time.
b) Bare organic mixers- speaking of alcohol, these are organic blends that you can mix with your choice of alcohol. I hear they are awesome, and are a great choice to bring to a friends BBQ.
c) Coconut bliss salted caramel ice cream- summer is a time a time for frozen goodies but for many of us, ice cream is a no-go. This ice cream made of coconut milk is a very tasty treat! PS: being made from coconut milk does NOT automatically make it healthy. It serves as a great option for those sensitive to dairy, so make sure to monitor portion sizes
d) Organic ketchup. I actually prefer the Simply Natural Organic Ketchup to Heinz because it has more of a tomato flavor, and less sugar per serving!
At Grove Health, we really believe we have the best of both worlds. Not only do we have foods to keep you healthy, we've got a great selection of premium quality supplements as well. Here are two supplements to keep you going this summer, with very little effort and very little expense, so you can still afford to entertain your children:
1) Protein powder.
If you're busy with the kids and on the go, it's super easy to mix up a smoothie with some berries and hit the road. Protein alone does not constitute a meal but we do have meal replacements available for the extra busy!
2) MegaFood multivitamins for men or women:
These vitamins are made from whole foods with no synthetic or chemically altered vitamins. They are free of common allergens and non-GMO verified. Even more awesome is convenience. At one per day, these can fit into anyone's routine, and because they are whole food, they can be taken at anytime; with or without food!!