By Stacie Rose
Warmer weather seems to conjure a collective feeling of easy breeziness that is always welcome. The long-awaited summer sunshine can unlock our most primordial senses. And that vitamin D rush we crave, along with those intoxicatingly lovely sights and sounds of summer, usher in a feeling of deep calm. It’s blues skies ahead and time to rejoice and get outside! It's also a good time to lighten up and release extra baggage. That could mean taking a less is more approach to wellness… inside and out.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."— Leonardo da Vinci
There has been a lot of buzz about simplifying, and for a good reason. Summer may be your season! Your state of mind, body and spirit could depend on your willingness to create smart, streamlined, sustainable habits that serve your life right now. It's uplifting to work towards creating the lifestyle you imagine for yourself. One day? Or day one? You decide.
Summer nutrition is a great place to begin. When approaching food for vitality and wellness, it's a great idea to think fresh, local, and organic.
Find out what's in season near you. Frequenting farmer's markets is an excellent way to get outside, be social and support local farmers. Find more nutrient-rich foods that are less likely to be sitting on a supermarket shelf. The less your food must travel, the less chance of contamination. Going with organics is a safe way to avoid chemical sprays and pesticides. If you are partaking in dairy or meats, there are also ways to simplify. Look for options free of antibiotics and growth hormones. You'll be doing your body a favor and protecting your family.
Another way to work the summer food circuit is to fire up the grill. It's an excellent option for cooking in a leaner way. Simple soups like gazpacho can be so satisfying and pack a powerful punch of nutrition. Salads are easy to toss together and help keep summer dining fuss-free. Fashion a large salad and add in different types of protein like beans, tofu, or grilled chicken throughout the week for a variety of beautifully wholesome meals.
Fruit can be a bit high in sugar, but summer offers some super options for satisfying a sweet tooth. Tart cherries and tantalizing berries are so high in antioxidants. They can help stave off cravings for items high in salt and sugar that could cause bloating during the hotter months.
When it comes to staying hydrated, you really can't beat H20. If you need to punch it up with a little something zingy, drop some frozen fruit in your water bottle. A squeeze of lemon or twist of orange is an instant mood booster. Crushed watermelon or pineapple will make you feel like a vacation is on the horizon. Staying hydrated is a simple way to avoid cramps and headaches and keep your skin glowing all summer long, so don't skimp on your water intake.
Protecting skin from the summer rays takes some work, but you don't have to get fancy or spent a lot. A good sunscreen in the morning is a must! Even when it's cloudy! You need not go for complicated. A good SPF 30+ without unnecessary chemicals is the way to go. Keep it simple! Ask yourself if you would put the product in question on a child? You won’t want to be feeding your face or body with harmful chemicals. Wearing sunscreen should not make you compromise safety. If you are unsure, there are sites you can consult, such as Environmental Working Group. EWG puts out a list of the safest sunscreens every summer. Most are affordable, wear well, and smell divine.
Staying fit all summer long should be joyful. Whether you are biking, hitting the beach, running or opting for yoga or anything in between, choose movement that feels good and gets you outside. The cooler months send many of us underground and into hiding. Finding ways to soak up the good weather can be the mood enhancer you need and an opportunity for more social engagement. Even gardening can be an excellent way to break a sweat and breathe in nature. Plus, the rewards are enormous! Whether you are looking to tone up or wind down, make it a goal to stay present. That's where the good stuff happens.
Wherever you are, be there totally." – Eckhart Tolle
SHEDDING THE EXTRA WEIGHT
Shedding weight does not necessarily have to do with diet or body mass. It's about your state of being. Why not clear out your closet? If it doesn't fit and it doesn't make you happy, give it away or toss it! The same goes for fermenting creams, perfumes, old supplements and melted makeup. You don't want to put stuff on your hair or skin that's expired or past its prime. It never feels good to wear clothes that just don't fit. Summer is a time to feel good in your skin, so take good care of it. Simple is best. A quality cleanser and gentle exfoliant will keep your skin soft and healthy. Choose products wisely that are free of harsh perfumes and dyes, and always moisturize and remember the SPF if you are headed outdoors.
Taking a little time to evaluate your home, sleep space, and cut the clutter can be meaningful and therapeutic. Summarizing your surroundings will help you embrace the season with ease and grace: summer plants. Embrace summer books, summer skincare products formulated for warmer weather, and essential oils and scents that spark joy. Tidying up, lightening your load, and brightening the palette in your living space can be a breath of fresh air and help curb feelings of stress. Think in terms of creating your sense of serenity. Cultivating a windowsill herb garden and storing heavy blankets or items that make you feel weighted down can be fast and easy to give you a lift.
-Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
When taking a less is more approach, a good jumping off point and excellent place to come back to is your breath. It's free; It's easy. It's quick, and you will undoubtably feel lighter in moments. Five deep, intentional breaths can make all the difference.
Add a few minutes of meditation, and you could have a whole new perspective. Never underestimate the power of simple, meaningful actions like a walk, bicycle ride, bath, call to a good friend, or a few minutes of self-care. A few gentle adjustments in your day-to-day routine could help you feel like your best self… all summer long!