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Summer Vibes - Finding Our Best, Healthiest Self - Summer 2020

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020
Improving your health while enjoying your summer in 2020
Heading into summer this year feels different than years before. With the appearance of COVID-19 everyone’s lives changed - some more than others. One thing we all have in common is that we need to make our health a priority. Chronic diseases are able to be prevented, treated and sometimes even reversed by implementing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By choosing to live a healthy lifestyle and minimizing chronic disease, you increase your ability to recover from viruses and increase your ability to focus on the other priorities in your life. These may be family, faith, work, activism - whatever it is that brings your life meaning. Start by focusing on your health.
So, how do you start? A simple starting point is to consider two main areas; activity and food.
1. Move more, sit less. Think back to a summer that you can remember feeling really good. Picture a time when you had energy and felt confident in your skin. Now that you remember that feeling, let’s recreate it for you. Chances are that even if you’re reaching wayyyyy back for this memory, it involves MOVING. Was it running through a sprinkler and catching fireflies as a kid? Maybe it was a time when you were really into hiking or cycling? Not surprisingly, movement is key to health. And summer is the perfect time to re-introduce more movement in your life. There are vast benefits to moving more: reduction of risk of chronic disease, lower risks of depression, boosts to your immune system and moving more decreases the release of stress hormones. Time and again, research (such as the study of the Blue Zones and the well-known UC Berkeley study on Awe) shows that getting outside and moving comes into play as a contributor to health.
Need ideas on how to add more movement?
  • Take an evening walk
  • Explore local trails (www.alltrails.com)
  • Buy a cool cruiser bike with a basket - and then ride it to the store, a farmers market or the park
  • If social distancing appropriate, join a running group (look on Facebook, meetup, or check at your local running store to find one near you)
  • Play in a swimming pool - or hey, run through a sprinkler
  • Plant and tend to a garden
  • Plan an active vacation
2. Enjoy fresh, healthy foods. Summer is known for cookouts, picnics and great meals during vacations. Did you know that it’s possible to enjoy all of these things in a way that is healthy? Just a little bit of planning will allow you to still partake in all your adventures without feeling regret or sluggish due to your meal choices. Summertime is an ideal time to eat fresh fruits and vegetables!
A few tips:
At home (or in a vacation home)
  • Don’t buy junk - stick to whole, plant-based foods
  • Shop at a farmers market
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group
  • Keep a big bowl of fresh fruit out for snacks
  • Keep chopped fruit and vegetables in the fridge
  • Plan a couple of days ahead - get excited about a new recipe to try each week
  • Have those cookouts! Veggies are EASY to grill. Find free recipes for plant-based BBQ and cookouts on www.fullplateliving.org or www.forksoverknives.com or Ann and Jane Esselstyn YouTube videos (linked to a good one but you can find more)
Picnics or on-the-go (e.g., a flight)
  • Think portable things that will keep for awhile
  • Bring a variety so you don’t feel bored or disappointed with your food
  • Some easy ideas:
  • Chickpea “egg” salad
  • Pre-made veggie or fruit spring rolls with rice paper
  • Trail mix
  • Pre-made oat energy bars
  • Wraps with hummus and veggies
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwiches
Are you starting to envision it - a summer of renewed health? The ideas above can get you started, but the possibilities are endless. I want to hear from you! What other tips can you add for activity and healthy summer meals? Do you have blockers you’re trying to overcome? Share those too and let’s figure out how to be successful! Rest assured, 2020 can bring some good yet.
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