[first published in the Oxford Review on July 12th, 2012 - modified]
Hydration When my clients ask me what to drink I am often heard replying, “Only water is water.” So drink water this summer – at least 500ml of water upon rising. If you are going out for activities and exercise drink at least that per hour since you can sweat a lot when it is hot. Most people, at baseline, need a good two litres of water per day – more in hot weather or with sweating and exercise. This summer please make a conscious effort to swap your sugar-sweetened beverages (pop, juices, and sports drinks) with water!
Vitamin D Another one of my sayings is, “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” This applies to sun exposure (as well as other things). Getting appropriate sun is vital for vitamin D production, but remember, when you are enjoying the sun and outdoors, protect yourself from overexposure to sunlight by wearing a hat and using natural sunscreens that do not have excessive chemicals. Check your local health food store for more details (click here for some brands and info). Additionally, there is a lot of scientific support for using Aloe Vera gel for overexposure. It is actually a good idea to have an aloe plant growing in your home for any kind of burn. The cooling and healing gel inside the leaves will soothe any sunburn. It works great.
Exercise If you have not yet started an exercise program then it is time to get going. If you have been exercising all along then keep up the good word! Physical activity is important for keeping the heart strong and healthy. Exercise also helps to keep you happy (endorphins), your immune system working smoothly, and keeps your blood glucose in check. The summer is a great time to get outdoors and participate in some refreshing activities like hiking, biking, swimming, or tennis. Reconnecting with these activities will help keep your body and mind aligned.
Whole Food Enjoy the bounty of Nature. Now is the time to get some fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their local organic best. In the summer we often consume foods that are light and cooling like fresh vegetables and fruits, raw vital enzyme salads, and lots of freshly squeezed lemon water. Also, remember to include some protein with one or two meals. It isn’t always fun to cook in the heat so remember that there are a number of light nourishing proteins that don’t require cooking. Nuts, seeds, sprouted beans, yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese seem to complement fresh fruits and vegetables nicely (the kefir is especially nice and loaded in probiotics).
Family We work a lot it seems and sometimes we don’t get to see our families as much as we would like to. This summer I challenge you to take some special time with your family, kids, friends and pets and get outdoors. When I was a kid my favourite time of the year was when we would go to the beach, tent and build a fire. When not on holiday, and at home, my sister would ‘make’ me jump rope all day (don’t worry I enjoyed it – most of the time). When I think back my best memories don’t have any to do with the TV, video games or my computer. My best memories are ones with my family.
Refresh Chilled herbal teas are wonderful. We use flowers and leaves (or tea bags) in a clear glass jar filled with spring water. Some of my favourites are hibiscus and rosehip (together), red clover flowers, peppermint, chamomile, or lemon grass. We grow some of the plants ourselves and sometimes we use tea bags. Chilled herb teas are flavourful, and medicinal. They will leave you feeling refreshed, happy and invigorated. Adding a little orange or lemon peel, a sprig of rosemary or a few jasmine flowers can put a nice little sparkle in your glass.
Unplug Stop. Breathe. Deeply. We are so connected to our technology now that it is becoming a problem. We are always partially engaged (called ‘constant partial attention’). This summer make it a priority to leave your cell phone at home and/or take a week off from TV. It isn’t easy, but it is doable. You will be surprise how good you feel.
As Always – Eat Healthy. Get Unplugged. And Smile!Read More →