Summer is often a time for vacation, time off and relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest (I am TOTALLY guilty of this)! Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation.
The body loves to move. Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word "exercise". Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss playing sports or swimming. Maybe you've want to try yoga or riding a bike again. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices - it's simply up to you to choose which style of movement interests you. Your heart will thank you, you will be more energetic, your limbs will be more fluid and you'll sleep better at night.
Summer is a unique time of year when we can relax and move out in nature. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake or a pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating.
Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy the rich elements of sun, wind and water and the nourishment that they bring.
Recipe of the Month
Healthy Ice Cream
- 2 Frozen Bananas
- ¾ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 Heaping TBSP Cacao Powder
- 1 Heaping TBSP Almond or Peanut Butter
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Place in the freezer for 20 min. Serve topped with your favorite topping such as unsweetened coconut shreds, bananas or nuts.
Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies need each day. In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.
You might be surprised to know that increasing your water each day is my #1 weight loss tip. Here's why: our body accumulates toxins from our environment over time (this can be pollution, chemicals from our food, chemicals from plastics, and chemicals from our beauty products). These toxins get stored in our fat. The body does this to prevent the toxins from going to our organs. So until you get rid of the toxins, your body will hang on to that fat to save you from any serious problems that would occur by allowing the toxins to get to our vital organs. Our body is so smart! The #1 way to get rid of these stored toxins in your fat cells is to drink more water. Urination is a fabulous way for these toxins to get out of the body! And once that starts to happen your body will start to release the fat and you will begin losing weight!
Some of the other benefits of increasing your water consumption include:
- Glowing skin
- Increased energy and focus
- Decreased cravings
- Reduced appetite
Your goal is to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day!!
The type of water you drink is important. Tap water contains a lot of chemicals (and we are trying to get rid of those pesky chemicals). Purified or filtered water is better! Bottled water is mostly just tap water. So when you buy bottled water, look for spring water.
The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting, or to jazz up your routine. Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to the hydration process. So make sure that you are enjoying lots of hydrating fruits and veggies on hot summer days!