I just love summer. The beach. The sun. Homegrown tomatoes. Hammocks. And it’s a great time to jumpstart some healing and get your wellness on.
What does that mean? Well, more energy, less pain, less fatigue and fewer pounds around the middle. But where do you start? Here are ten easy ways to get started this summer.
1. Take a Trip to the Farmer’s Market
Visit your local farmer’s market each week. In fact try to do the majority of your weekly shopping there. Stock up on fresh fruit and lots and lots of vegetables. From apricots to zucchini, bring home a rainbow of goodness and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a self-healing program. They are full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and anti-oxidants that your body needs to heal.
Too hot out there? If, like me, you are sensitive to the heat, go to market early, dress light, wear a hat and don a wet bandanna around your neck. But go. Those raw fruits and veggies will help with your sensitivity.
2. Go Swimming
Speaking of heat, cool off with a few laps. Not only is swimming one of the best forms of exercise, but you can stay cool at the same time. Perfect combination. And don’t forget that getting exercise and staying fit will help you recover from, or stave off future occurrences of, chronic illness. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.
3. Nap Time
There is nothing better than a summertime nap. We know we should be getting 8 hours of sleep every night, but with the longer days, that can be a challenge. If you are waking with the sun, try taking an afternoon nap to give your body some down time so it can heal and restore. Better yet, take your nap under the shade of a tree if possible. Ah, how delish. Pure summer.
One of the best things about summer is the berries. Strawberries. Blueberries. And my favorite, raspberries. Not only are they packed full of disease prohibiting, health promoting, detoxifying phytonutrients, they are delicious and easy to add to any dish. Add them to your morning cereal (gluten-free, of course) or to your lunchtime salad. Pure sunshine.
Aaaah. Just the word seems to cool me off. One of my favorite melons is watermelon. Not only does it taste amazing, it is hydrating, cooling and alkaline producing. Can’t get much better than that. Melons are sweet enough to stand up to any baked goodie. So don’t save the melon for picnics, be sure to have a fresh ripe melon on hand so you can enjoy it everyday.
6. Turn Off the Heat
Forget your stove and oven this summer. There is no better season to have fun with creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favorite raw veggies, naked or with a light dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.
- Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless.
- Fresh herbs are a wonderful option to mix in, as they are packed full of flavor and healing nutrients.
- Experiment with adding diverse forms of protein to your salads, such as nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, fish or poultry. Canned Alaskan salmon is my favorite.
- Pick up a light and healthy dressing at your local health food store, or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.
7. Have Fun and Experiment
Summer is a great opportunity to experiment and try a new vegetable from your farmer’s market. What are some creative flavors you’ve never tried before? Fennel and mint? Daikon radish and arugula? Summer squash with watercress? Mix it up – you may discover a new favorite.
8. Take a Sun Break
Getting sunshine is a delicate balance for our health. There is much conflicting news – get your sunshine, don’t get your sunshine.
I say get practical. First of all, get out there. Whether it be the beach, the garden, or the pool, get your Vitamin D the natural way when you can. But if you are going to be out more than 20 minutes, set a timer and put on your sunblock when it goes off. That way, you get the best of both worlds – Vitamin D and skin cancer protection.
9. Take a Dairy and Gluten Sabbatical
Gluten and dairy can interfere with our body’s healing processes. But don’t fret, the beauty about summer is we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods. That means we also need less of the dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. So while your body is craving less heavy foods, try taking a sabbatical from dairy and gluten. With all those wonderful fruits and vegetables, you will hardly miss the dairy and gluten.
10. Spice it Up.
Just as there are warming spices to keep you warm in the winter, try some cooling herbs and spices this summer. Mint and basil are my favorite. Try a mint and lime cooler to quench your thirst. You can also indulge in basil or cilantro pesto. Toss in some cumin and cayenne pepper into your salsa. All will help you stay cool while packing a nutritional punch.
So what are some of your favorite ways to stay healthy in the summer? Please share your favorite ideas in the comments below.
About the Author
As a former lawyer, I know the havoc a stressful lifestyle can play on your life. I lived it. As a holistic health coach, I blend my own healing experience and studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Center for Mind Body Medicine, with years of counseling clients together in a caring, loving, supportive experience that enables you to take charge of your healing journey and become a Wellness Hero. I also write about radical self care and wellness at Owning Pink, Ezine, Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis and Examiner.com and I write a monthly health column at FemCentral.
*Reprinted with permission from OwningPink.com.