wrote by Stephanie Oswald Certified Health Coach (IIN, graduated 2014) and an Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Summer is a time for fun in the sun, lots of outdoor activity and enjoying the icy treats that help us stay cool. So how do we prioritize our health while still enjoying ourselves and getting the most out of the season? Here are a few health promoting tips for the summer.
Be conscious of the hidden sugar and heavy caloric density in your favorite ice creams and icy dessert drinks. There is space in any diet for your favorite foods and treats, and ice cream and icy dessert drinks are synonymous with summer. But do you know the impact these food choices can have on your health in when consumed in excess? Excessive sugar intake has been linked to lowered immunity, increased weight and premature skin aging. Be mindful of these treats and choose to have the smaller option and not every day. Better yet scrap the store-bought versions and try making our own at home with healthier ingredients. Some of my favorite summer treats are Banana “Ice Cream” and homemade iced lattes, both of which have no added sugars and are delicious and satisfying.
Hydration in the hot summer months is so important, as we are usually more active and have a greater water loss from the heat. A great way to stay hydrated is to eat lots of water rich fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, watermelon, celery, radishes, green pepper, spinach and strawberries are all over 90% water! Snacking on fruit and water rich veggies or having a big salad with spinach daily can help you stay adequately hydrated this summer. If you have a hard time drinking enough water (the general daily water recommendation is 8, 8oz glasses) try buying a big water bottle you love, to carry around with you and remind you to drink. You could also try infusing your water with flavored chlorophyll, lemons, limes, mint, cucumber or berries for added flavor. To avoid heat stroke or exhaustion ensure you keep yourself cool by drinking lots of water with electrolytes (I add some Himalayan pink salt to my water for the electrolytes and minerals), wearing a hat and finding shade or going indoors when you start to feel the heat tiring you out.
The summer months are a great time for fresh local produce. Hit up your local farmers market to support local farmers and to eat fruits and veggies packed with nutrients. Local means they do not have to travel as far, which can degrade the nutritional quality of produce. Choosing to shop at farmers markets can mean more nutritional bang for your buck.
Choose healthy options while camping or spending time at the cottage. It’s easy to feel like we want all the junk food we can have when away on holidays, but a summer filled with these unhealthy choices can really get us off track. Making small swaps like having a salad or baked sweet potato instead of French fries with your burger and choosing a whole grain bun can increase the nutritional value and quality of your meal significantly. Instead of snacking on trans-fat filled chips, candy, cookies and chocolate bars, try choosing fresh fruit, nuts or kale chips instead. Summer trips can mean excessive alcohol intake which taxes our livers, contains excess sugar, creates inflammation and can cause dehydration. Choosing to go easy with your alcohol intake by limiting the amount you have, taking in additional water when consuming alcohol and choosing lower sugar options like vodka or gin and having them with lemon and club soda instead of sugary mixes, can help lower the harmful impacts these drinks can have on the body.
Protecting your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays is especially important during the sunny summer months. Sun protection is important to avoid premature aging of the skin and to prevent the development of skin cancer. Making sure you use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen everyday (even when its cloudy) can help keep you protected.
Staying healthy through the summer months is not about depriving yourself, it’s about making mindful choices, eating lots of nutrient dense foods and limiting excessive intake of junk food and alcohol. So, enjoy these summer months, while protect your skin from the sun, hydrating and getting out into nature for some awesome new adventures!
Beat the heat with this Chlorophyll infused mint lemonade recipe!
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Tsp. Land Art 5x Chlorophyll in mint
- 5 mint leaves
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 Tsp. honey
- Ice cubes
- 1.Juice 1 lemon.
- 2.Muddle the mint in the bottom of a large glass (8oz) with the lemon juice.
- 3.Add in the chlorophyll, water and honey and mix until well combined.
- 4.Drop in your ice cubes.