Who doesn’t love summer? Summer makes us feel great. After our winter of social distancing and taking precautions, it is truly wonderful to be able to get out in the sunshine and go for a walk. Veggies and fruit are in season and plentiful; our menus change to crunchy salads and tasty barbecues. We try to make the most of these longer summer days.
But even though summer gives you many health benefits, what should you do when you don’t feel great? Maybe that cold you got back at the beginning of June is still lingering. Or maybe you just don’t feel as peppy as you think you should. Perhaps your skin is dry and itchy, and you can’t figure out why the extra humidity isn’t helping.
Sometimes we forget to keep our health at the forefront during the summer. Warm summer nights on the patio mean we indulge in a few more drinks. A couple months of sunshine make us feel like we can eat more ice-cream. Hot days on the beach entice us to indulge in a few more potato chips than we usually would.
It’s normal. We all do it! It is nothing to feel bad about. Enjoy these few blessed months of warmth while you can! But don’t forget to look after yourself too…
How to Stay Hydrated and Why!
It is important to drink lots of water, and not just when it is hot outside. Your body NEEDS water to function properly since your body is close to 60% water. Your blood alone is made of 90% water so if you are not hydrated then every part of your body that your blood flows is affected. Your red and white blood cells are only as healthy as the fluids they are bathed in. Think of it like a fish tank, the fish are only as healthy as the water conditions in their tank. Your brain is close to 75% water and lungs are about 83% water, which is why you can often subdue a headache or alleviate cold symptoms if you drink extra water.
Make sure the water you are drinking is chlorine free so it doesn’t damage your beneficial gut bacteria. Similarly with the fish tank analogy above, anyone who has fish will let tap water sit for 1-5 days before using it in the tank so that the chlorine won’t hurt the fish. You can do that with tap water before you drink it or you can buy filtered water. At Healthworks we use a filtration system to not only purify the water but to make it more alkaline too. If you are looking for a source of quality filtered water you can bring in your refillable containers and we’ll top you up with this essential hydration ingredient!
You can also stay hydrated by mixing yourself a refreshing smoothie.
Check out these recipes:
1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut beverage or purified water
1/3 cup frozen berries
1 tablespoon Naka Nutri-C
Blend all ingredients well. Enjoy!
Low-Carb Superfood Smoothie
½ cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup purified water
1 scoop New Roots Fermented Superfood Blend
1 scoop Vital Whey Protein Powder or Alpha Science Protein Complex
1-2 tablespoons hemp seed.
Blend all ingredients well. Enjoy!
Get out in the sun for a bit every day without sunscreen and get some Vitamin D! Depending on your skin pigmentation, 30 minutes for lighter skin and 1 hour for darker skin can give you many benefits. If your skin is sensitive to sun, break this time up into sessions throughout the day. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur.
Vitamin D is important for healthy bones and teeth, and gives us improved resistance against certain diseases like MS, heart disease, and the flu. But did you know that this amazing vitamin also balances stress hormones and regulates moods to ward off depression? That’s because vitamin D regulates adrenaline, norepinephrine and dopamine production in the brain. As if that’s not enough, Vitamin D may boost weight loss as well! The benefits are many, so make sure you’re getting a regular dose of Vitamin D.
If you’re not able to get into the sunshine every day, consider taking an oral supplement, such as Naka Pro Emulsified Vitamin D which also has vitamin K in it. This combination helps with absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus which is important for strong bones and teeth. The presence of vitamin K makes sure that calcium is directed to bones and teeth, rather than being collected in the arteries. This combination of vitamins also helps those with diabetes, cardiovascular issues, COPD, immune and respiratory ailments.
Naka Platinum Vitamin D Sublingual Spray is also a convenient option, without the vitamin K.
Now that you’ve gone out into the sun to make vitamin D, let’s eat some foods that have vitamin K. Some of our favorites are: kale, spinach, dandelion greens, sauerkraut, broccoli sprouts and blueberries.
Here’s a juice recipe that will help keep you hydrated!
1 cup fresh dandelion greens
1 green apple
½ inch piece of ginger
Juice from 1 lemon
Optional: 2 stalks of kale or a cup of spinach
Put ingredients through a juicer or blend them and strain out the pulp. Enjoy!
Eat loads of fresh vegetables and fruit! Jane’s Health Adventure has lots of salad and low carb recipes that you and your family will enjoy. Jane is very creative with food so check out her instagram at www.instagram.com/janeshealthadventure
We also have a handy Costco shopping list at the clinic that can help you make sure you are getting good value for your money. Making a list of your favorite fruit and veggies to have on you when you are shopping can help you make sure you stock up on these antioxidant type foods. Challenge yourself to try a new fruit or veggie each week this summer. You never know what wonderful flavors you will find if you only try! These foods can also help you have regular bowels and a clear complexion.
Keep active, use health apps!
Go for a walk or a run. Hop on your bike and explore the river valley. Find a nice cozy place in nature to stretch and practice deep breathing. Hit up a beach and go swimming. There are so many activities that are fun (and free) in the summer. Visit www.strathcona.ca/recreation to download the mobile app for parks, events, early childhood and drop-in recreation schedules in the Strathcona area.
Another app that’s helpful is Running Room. You will find advice, active wear, events and a community to support your efforts to remain physically active.
If you don’t care for doing long exercise routines or have limited time, try jumping on a mini trampoline for 5 minutes, three times a day. Or, try doing HIIT, high intensity interval training. It can be as simple as doing as many jumping jacks as fast you can for one minute and then rest for 2 minutes. Do this four times for a quick pick me up in the middle of the day. This helps the lymphatic system to move waste because your muscle movement is what pushes the flow of fluid through this system so that you can eliminate more toxins from your body. Check out this video that shows how to do a HIIT workout without any equipment, right in your own living room, or your garage, or your yard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvo2snJGhtM
Keeping the bugs away, naturally!
Check out this all natural recipe for making natural bug repellent to keep those pesky mosquitoes away while you are being active outside.
take time to lay on a blanket in a park, on the beach or in the shade of your own yard. Put away the phone or laptop and chill out for awhile. Sitting in front of the TV may seem relaxing but it is still stimulating, so put on some gentle music instead.
If you need some extra help, book yourself in for a Live Cell Analysis with our Natural Health Practitioner. He can help you figure out what might be lacking, or slim down that guess list of supplements that you actually need to be taking.