Summertime Health Tips from Naturopath Dr. Angela Lambert.
1. Stay HYDRATED. Your body is composed of 60% water. Water transports nutrients, aids in digestion, absorption + circulation. It also helps maintain the temperature of your body. We are often dehydrated long before our thirst mechanism kicks in. A simple rule: drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces. Starting the day with warm lemon water is a great way to alkalinize your body.
Sun teas or water with fresh, organic fruit as for flavor are great options.
2. MOSQUITO REPELLANT: Homemade Sprays incorporating essential oils including 1-2 of the following: Cajuput, Cat Nip, Cedar, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Mint, Rosemary in a base of Witch Hazel + Distilled Water or a base of Apple Cider Vinegar or a base of Almond Oil.
3. TICK REPELLANT: for dogs: ROSE GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL or LEMON EUCALYPTUS - few drops on the wrists and behind the ears. For your dogs, in place of Frontline: few drops between the shoulder blades + at the base of the tail.
4. SUN: Our best source of Vitamin D is not from supplements but rather from the sun.
a. Wear a hat or stay in the shade during midday sun.
b. For many people: 15-30 minutes a day of sun exposure without sunscreen is fine.
c. When choosing sunscreen, avoid anything above SPF 50 - offers not much more protection. SPF of 30-50 offers strong protection even for those who are more sensitive to sunburns. SPF tends to be less effective at blocking the UVA rays, which penetrate deeper. Higher SPF tends to suppress sunburn but not sun damage. Often people assume a higher SPF means they can stay out in the sun longer.
5. EXERCISE: Start off slow and increase over time. Weekend warrior injuries can set people back for months, counter-acting the good effects exercise is supposed to offer. Stretch both before AND after exercise or incorporate yoga or another form of gentle exercise into your routine.
6. FARMERS MARKETS: Eat seasonally: enjoy the fresh produce that is more accessible this time of year. 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables really IS one the best sources of nutrition available. Organic, locally grown as much as possible. Learn the CLEAN 15 and the DIRTY DOZEN.
7. FIRE + JOY: Each season in Chinese medicine theory corresponds to a different element and organ system. Summer corresponds with FIRE, the element of JOY and HEAT. Too much heat can cause problems. Eating watermelon is an excellent way to cool the body down during the summertime. Cucumbers are also very cooling. Avoid meat in the summer, it is too heavy and warm to digest during the season of warmth and fire.