Weddings and graduation parties and BBQs and…? Follow these 10 simple tips to stay healthy while still enjoying the best of the summer!
Summertime is filled with fun parties, traveling, time with family and friends, and… lots of sugar and alcohol too!
In other words, it’s a wonderful time of the year but can definitely take its toll on our health.
It can leave us feeling tired, moody, and bloated, not mention broken out and with our hormones in shambles.
But you’re not doomed to a summer filled with weight gain, exhaustion, and a constant hangover.
There are some really simple strategies we can use to stay healthy while still enjoying the best of summer.
They all point to…
- Keeping blood sugar levels as balanced as possible (while still enjoying the blueberry pie!)
- Enjoying alcoholic drinks (if that’s your thing) but doing to wisely and supporting your body in between
- Protecting your skin with non-toxic sunscreen, topical antioxidants, and antioxidant-packed superfoods
Let’s take a closer look at each!
Nutrition: Keep that blood sugar as balanced as possible (while still enjoying the pie!)
This is without a doubt the most important but also most difficult.
Extra sugar not only leads to weight gain but also suppresses our immune systems, zaps us of our energy, and can even throw our hormones off balance and lead to breakouts.
But there are a few ways you can easily maintain balanced blood sugar levels this summer.
1. Start your day with a breakfast high in protein and healthy fats
It’s ESPECIALLY important to keep blood sugar levels steady in the morning with a breakfast high in protein and healthy fat. Because maintaining balanced blood sugar levels in the morning will keep them steady through to lunch without the snack-attack or need for coffee.
And eating breakfast in itself is important for blood sugar regulation. When you skip out on breakfast, your body produces cortisol which in turn elevates blood sugar levels.
2. At parties, focus on the veggie tray and sources of healthy fats and protein… then enjoy dessert!
Fill up on veggies, protein, and healthy fats early on. Avoid crackers and other sources of refined, simple carbohydrates. Not only will these fill you up, but protein and fat help to temper the blood sugar spike that accompanies a sweet dessert (which I’m sure you plan to indulge in a bit!).
3. Indulge in those treats you really love and pass on those that aren’t your favorite
Make your indulgences count! Plus by focusing solely on your favorite treats, you’re less likely to overdo it than with a plate filled with every dessert on the table.
Alcohol: Opt for lower-sugar drinks, give your liver some love, rehydrate, and don’t forget your activated charcoal when there’s an open bar!
4. Choose your alcohol wisely
According to Megan Kober, RD of The Nutrition Addiction:
Because our bodies make clearing the alcohol in our system a #1 priority, all other normal metabolic processes are put on the back burner – including blood sugar regulation. Because blood sugar regulation is key to fat loss and a healthy metabolism, frequent and irresponsible alcohol consumption can really screw with weight and body goals.
Megan says that when it comes to alcohol, the best choices are: Vodka, tequila, gin > Dark spirits > Dry champagne > Dry white wine > Dry red wine > Sweet white or red wine, Sweet champagnes > Beer > Sugary cocktails
The woman is a genius when it comes to fat loss, weight management, boosting your metabolism, AND alcohol. So if you’re reading this section very closely (i.e. very interested in this) do yourself a big favor and go read her blog post Real Talk: Your No BS Guide to Drinking Alcohol.
5. Add (iced) dandelion root tea to your daily routine
Dandelion root thins and stimulates bile flow and is my personal favorite liver- and detox-supporting herb. Adding this to your daily routine is an incredibly simple way to boost your liver health.
6. HYDRATE! Always, but especially when drinking
Always aim to hit your hydration goal — 1/2 your body weight in oz everyday — but then you’ll want to tack on an extra 8 oz for each alcoholic drink.
But be careful not to go too far and drink too much water! Yes, that’s a thing and you can flush your electrolytes. Read more here: Hydration 101
7. If you see yourself possibly over-doing it (like with an open bar) don’t forget the activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is designs to soak up toxins and is even used used by hospitals to help treat overdoses and poisonings.
When I find myself in a situation where maybe I’ve had a littleeee more alcohol than I intended (hey, I’m human and accidents happen) I’ll pop 2 activated charcoal tablets before bed with a couple big glasses of water.
Skin: protect your skin with mineral-based sunblock, topical antioxidants, and antioxidant-rich superfoods
8. Mineral-based sunscreen protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays
Whereas chemical sunscreens only block UVB rays (which cause burning) but not UVA rays (which cause the deeper damage linked to photo-aging and skin cancer).
Plus, the most common active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are known to kill coral reefs and are have been linked to endocrine disruption a.k.a. they mess with your body’s natural hormones. Yeah, we don’t want this.
Instead, choose a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen. Here are my favorite natural sunscreen options.
9. Treat sun-kissed skin with free-radical-fighting topical antioxidants
Sure, pure aloe is cooling and hydrating, but it’s lacking in those antioxidants that help neutralize the free radicals created in the skin from UV exposure, and therefore help to prevent sun damage.
My current favorites are Mad Hippie’s vitamin C serum in combination with my Body Unburdened Beauty Blend No.1. Together, they provide skin with the ultimate hydration (from water) and moisture (from oils) combo for incredibly soft skin, plus double duty antioxidants.
10. Sip on some iced hibiscus or green tea while out in the sunshine
Hibiscus tea is naturally sweet, a gorgeous hot pink color that screams “SUMMER!”, and rich in the protective antioxidants vitamins A and C — 8 oz of tea has 14% and 72% of the RDA of each respectively. These antioxidants help neutralize the free radical damage from UV exposure, making hibiscus tea such a great summertime drink. I like to add a squirt of lime for a bit of extra flavor and vitamin C.
Green tea is rich catachins, another flavanoid and extremely potent antioxidant. Several studies have found that the catechins in green tea protect skin cells from the oxidative dress and damage from UV exposure. One study even concluded that green tea prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair. And vitamin C protects the catechins in green tea, making them 5 times more powerful. Yes, five times! So be sure to squeeze some lemon in your iced green tea to get more bang for your antioxidant buck.
Do you have any other tips for keeping healthy during the summer months?
Please share with us in the comments below!