Summer tips for healthy living

Posted on: 5th August, 2016

Category: Health

Contributor: Hannah Dare

Summertime is my favourite time of the year, I just love it! I even love the damp days — I love not having to wear layers, or shoes, and not having to think about firewood. I love leaving home in the light and getting home in the light. But summertime can be exhausting if we aren’t careful, and whether you are staying at home or going abroad, here are a few essentials for summertime health and wellbeing.

We all need to get enough quality sleep to help recover from the increased business of summer days. This might mean making sure we are taking time to wind down at the end of each day and also checking we are getting enough magnesium in our diets — which is essential for so many things including relaxation, sleep, and restless legs. To instantly boost your magnesium levels, add Magnesium Flakes to your bath — you can use regular epsom salts but the Better You Magnesium Flakes are the best absorbed form of magnesium — treat yourself sometime and see how much better you feel. I found out recently that if you have been suffering from leg cramps but have been regularly taking a Magnesium supplement then it’s possibly Potassium you are deficient in — you need potassium and magnesium to relax cramping muscles. Viridian offers Potassium and Magnesium together in a highly absorbable capsule. If you find it hard to relax in the evenings it could be an idea to consider taking L Theanine — it’s an amino acid that is extracted from a number of plant sources including green tea, and is very calming for the nervous system. We recommend it for anyone suffering from mild anxiety, as well as someone who might find sleep elusive. Again, you could try Viridian’s Theanine with Lemon Balm capsule if you wish (but please do check with your local healthfood shop first if you are on any medication).

With regard to healthy diet and weight loss (for most of us a summertime obsession!) I wanted to share something I have discovered recently — it’s actually easier to give up sugar completely than to ‘try to cut down’ or ‘try to avoid’. For me at any rate, trying to cut down simply meant constantly trying to resist, but constantly failing, which then led to feelings of guilt when I indulged. But saying ‘I’m off sugar’ seems way easier — the decision is made in advance and there are a box of gorgeous chocolates in my cupboard, which I haven’t touched. Every time I remember and don’t eat something with refined sugar in it I feel good and it reinforces my willpower for the next time. I’m not feeling hard done by at all — there is still plenty of sweetness in my life. I just had a bowl of homemade granola with blueberries and raw milk kefir — tasty and comforting! I’m still eating things sweetened with a little honey or maple syrup and eating summer fruit…I’m not drinking glasses of fruit juice though, as that has much the same effect on blood sugar levels, as does fizzy drinks.

My main motivation is to see how cutting out refined sugars affects my moods. Patrick Holford says ‘Sugar makes you fat, sad and stupid’ — we know all about the weight gain associated with a high sugar diet, but sad and stupid? Well, it seems more and more research is coming out about the effects of sugar and how significantly it can worsen our moods and make us forgetful and confused. I think it makes my PMT worse, so I decided to take a 40-day sugar-free commitment to see how I much better I feel! I will tell you next month but already after only a week I feel very positive, and my energy is better.

I find dealing with summer colds almost more challenging than colds in wintertime, because I have even more resistance to the idea of taking it easy when there are so many exciting things happening! To help stay healthy this summer (and to maintain my energy) I am taking a wonderful new Greens supplement called Vital Greens which is one of those ‘everything’ powders (in other words this article is too short to tell you what’s in the tub!) and I love it because it actually tastes good! I blend it with with kefir for a quick shake in the morning and throw in a slug of hemp oil or MCT oil and a banana and it keeps me going all morning. It’s formulated for use instead of a multivitamin so it’s great for people who like all-in-one supplements. Available through many good healthfood shops.

There was a huge response to my article on Earthing last month, Thank you for all your interest and questions. The Earthing books have been very popular – and if you are interested we got more in and also have some Earthing sheets and Earthing mats in Organico – call by and have a look and I can talk you through the different options.

If you like tasty healthy food and are in the area do call in and visit Organico. Our Cafe is on two floors and the kid’s play area upstairs is fantastic for parents with toddlers and small children — the idea is that parents can have a cup of tea in peace while the kids play! On Tuesday mornings we host an informal parent and toddler group, with a special offer of a scone and coffee for only €3. We have a great breakfast menu including Organic Green Smoothies, Chia Seed Puddings and homemade (honey sweetened!) Granola, as well as Gubbeen Ham and Eggs. If this sounds like you, we will see you soon!

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