Belated Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome Dads!
In honor of Dads, who favor brevity, and the official start of summer, when we all long to be FREE (especially from our email!) here are some quick tips for a healthier summer….
11 TIPS for a Healthier Summer:
- SUN BEFORE SUNBLOCK Expose your skin to the sun before applying sunblock or a moisturizer containing an SPF – an SPF of 15 blocks over 93% of the UVB rays that enable your body to produce Vitamin D.
- “SOLAR NOON” Getting sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm, when UVB rays are most abundant, allows you to maximize your Vitamin D production in the shortest time. There is a free app for Apple products called dminder (http://dminder.ontometrics.com/) that gives you the optimum time for vitamin D production based on your skin tone and location.
- LESS IS MORE! The amount of sun exposure you require varies based on the color of your skin and your location (the closer to the equator you are the less time you need). 15 to 20 minutes daily, a few times a week, is average for New Jersey (between June and August) but fair skinned people need less exposure time than this and darker skinned people may need a little longer.
- PROTECT YOUR FACE! The skin on our face is thin and most susceptible to photo aging so protect your face from the sun and expose your arms and legs instead.
- HOLD THE SOAP After being in the sun your body slowly absorbs the vitamin D produced in your skin. If you shower using soap immediately after sun exposure you may interfere with this absorption process…use soap sparingly and only on the necessary parts!
- GRILL HEALTHIER Marinating animal foods before grilling is an effective way to reduce HCA’s which are considered to be carcinogens. Heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) form when animal foods (including fish!) are cooked at high heat. Grilling animal foods at a lower temperature, and cooking them to a less well done point reduces HCA content but marinating with an herb from the mint family, including basil, sage, thyme, oregano and rosemary has been proven to be most effective at reducing HCA content, even in well cooked meats. Better yet, grill vegetables…grilled vegetables are delicious and don’t form HCA’s!!
- SET A SUMMER GOAL Summer goes by quickly but despite its shorter duration there are fewer external demands on our time making it the perfect season to work on a personal goal. One favorite of mine is The Couch to 5K program. C25K is a structured program that gradually but steadily moves you towards being able to run 30 minutes straight, thus being able to do a 5K, in just 9 weeks…Learn more about it: http://www.c25k.com/ This is the time to set your summer goal!
- EAT SEASONALLY In June berries and cherries abound – eat lots of these super foods now while they are available and less expensive. Apricots are only in season for about a month – until the middle of July. They mostly hail from California and smaller apricots are sweeter – organic apricots are smaller than conventionally grown and taste so much better! Have you ever tried a garlic scape? Learn more about them here. Take advantage of farmer’s markets to get foods at the peak of freshness for optimal nutrition and variety that will keep you happy all summer long.
- WALK IT OFF! The longer days give us a chance to get outdoors and walk after dinner. Let the dishes wait – walking immediately after dinner lowers blood sugar levels, improves digestion and burns more calories.
- GET GROUNDED Walking outside in bare feet whether on soil, grass or sand puts our bodies in direct contact with the earth’s natural charge. Among other things, walking or lying down in direct contact with the natural surface of the earth, called “Earthing” or “Grounding” has been shown to reduce inflammation and chronic pain, improve sleep and increase antioxidants in the body. When is the last time you walked barefoot outside besides at the beach? Try it this summer and see how it makes you feel.
- JUST BE! Action moves us forward but we also need time to just be, and not do, to keep ourselves in balance. Summer lends itself to “Being”…think lying in the hammock, lying in the grass gazing up at the sky or taking in the world from the summit of a perfect hike… Hooray for Summer : )
‘Tis the season to make Vitamin D!