I am Certified Health Coach and These Are my Summer Must-Haves
You guys! When I thought I wouldn't make it another week summer has arrived, and this mama couldn't be happier. As a work at home mom to three, I am aware that the easy summer living, will present its challenges. But alas I eagerly await to embrace the slower pace - even if it includes intermittent hiding in the bathroom. Voluntary exile or the presence of peace permitting, there are three things I can't live without each summer, and for your planning convenience, we'll discuss them below.
Come on; we can't be in full summer swing without watermelon,
We'll begin with the obvious. Hydration. Yep, these bad boys are 92% water; however, the remaining 8% is chalk full of all the goodies. Watermelon contains impressive amounts of lycopene, vitamin's A & C, and the amino acid citrulline. That's great, Meagan, you say, but what do these characteristics mean for our bodies?
Well, first of lycopene is known to aid in heart health, and is also an anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant (as is vitamin c). We hear a lot about anti-oxidants, but if you don't know what they do, you are not alone! Anti-Oxidants help to neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body that are missing an electron. To stabilize itself, it will go and steal an electron from an otherwise healthy molecule, which results in aging or cellular damage.
When we eat anti-oxidants however, they have extra electrons and show up and save the day by donating their extra electrons to the unstable free radicals before they cause damage to otherwise healthy molecules. Basically, anti-oxidants are our heroes.
Skin and hair health - check. Vitamins A & C ensure healthy hair and supple skin that rejuvenates more quickly. The last notable compound that we will discuss is citrulline an amino acid that helps to aid in muscle soreness after exercising.
I know, I know. You know you need sunscreen. But do you fully understand why? First I'll appeal to your vanity - who wants to look old? 90% of the aging process is due to sun exposure. Yikes! Pride aside, let's get real for a minute. Did you know women ages 25-30 are dying from cancer? Dy-ing, friends. And Melanoma is the leading the pack. AND. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other types of cancers combined. Triple yikes! So yes, you do need that sunscreen. Let 's talk about what you want to look for in a sunscreen.
Number one, you want full spectrum protection - specifically it needs to have the ability to block UVA, UBA, and also blue light (seriously!). You see, not all sunscreens are created equal, and many of the mainstream options do more harm than good. One of the best options out there is the the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist by Beauty Counter.
Outside of its full spectrum qualities, it's mineral based and uses zinc oxide (instead of chemicals), it's reef friendly and boasts environmentally safe packaging. Under normal circumstances, I advise against spray sunscreen due to aerosol and the added chemicals. But with Countersun these concerns are a non-issue! While I'm on the Countersun love fest train, we have to talk about the feel. This sunblock is by far the least sticky, icky, greasy sunscreen I have ever used. True. Story. Countersun these concerns are a non-issue! While I'm on the Countersun love fest train, we have to talk about the feel. This sunblock is by far the least sticky, icky, greasy sunscreen I have ever used. True. Story.
There is something about the heat that makes us want to grab for a fizzy or sugary drink instead of plain 'ol water. However, the science behind hydration tells us that these drinks don't do much to quench our thirst truly. When at all possible stick to water, but know that it doesn't have to be plain at all. Consider purchasing mineral or sparkling water to give you that refreshing fizzing feeling. You can dress it up by adding cucumber slices, citrus slices (like oranges or lemons), watermelon, or berries. Or freeze 100% no sugar added fruit juice into ice cube trays and add to a glass of water, which will flavor the water without adding tons of sugar.
But my little one wants nothing to do with water, you say? I've said it before, but I'll echo it here. Our kids prime their palate in the first few years of their life. If we want to raise adults who drink water we need kiddos to drink water. For this reason, you want to avoid juice. Give tips above a try, or try adding a few ice cubes into a sippy cup. Little ones usually like the clanking, rattle-like sound.
Lastly, my ultimate summer must have is not a tangible one. It's the ability to stop or at the very least slow down a bit. In our home, we will break from regular activities like ballet and allow for more unstructured play - evening yard games, movie night with homemade popcorn, and pool days. We have only 18 summers until our kiddos will likely spread their wings. I encourage you to find simple ways to make summertime living memorable.