It’s officially summer (for those of us in the northern hemisphere!) and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for all my summer plans – both near home, and a few trips planned abroad. But I admit that it’s always a challenge to stay healthy during the summer months. I just want to get a lot of sun (often a bit too much!), have some rose wine or cocktails by the pool, attend fun barbecues/beach parties, have friends over at my place, ETC! And it all adds up!
So of course, I have my mini plan of how to keep my bikini-bod all summer, and I’d love to share it with you!
Here are 5 tips to stay healthy and feel fabulous in your bathing-suit this summer:
1) Create a (flexible & realistic) plan for the summer, break it down on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis, and WRITE IT DOWN.
Writing down your goals for the month/week and especially for the next day helps you COMMIT. I have a journal that I use at night to write my goals for the next day, but your smart phone works, too. If I write down that I will attend a yoga class, or not have chocolate the next day, then I’ll remember it and make sure I don’t let myself down! So TRY writing down your goals this summer, and you'll see, the power of writing things down is amazing!
2) AVOID artificial drinks like sugary or diet sodas, and LIMIT sparkling beverages and alcohol all together.
I shouldn’t even have to tell you how bad the sugary juices and mixers are – the sugar and chemicals in the stuff will definitely add to your belly fat. But generally, all bubbly mixers can make you bloated. So skip the tonic, sodas and mimosas, and opt for a glass of wine, or my favorite, fresh coconut water (with or without a splash of your preferred alcohol). Regardless, when it comes to alcohol, YOU KNOW it packs on the calories and pounds, so LIMITING your alcohol intake overall is key. Set a goal of only 2-3 drinks per week, or whatever is realistic for you.
3) Cut back on salt.
Salty foods – especially processed salty snacks like chips, pretzels, etc. that seem to be abundant in summer barbecues – cause us to retain water, which can add unnecessary pounds of water weight (not to mention bloating). Avoid table salt and processed salty snacks and instead make your own veggie chips using just a bit of high quality Himalayan pink sea salt – lower in sodium than any packaged salty snack. Also, skip the soy sauce, cured meats, and limit your intake of salty pickles/olives/capers.
4) Get your Vitamin D with some SAFE sun exposure.
See my earlier blog post for more on this. Getting some sun can be healthy (and much needed to avoid Vitamin D deficiency) if you keep it to 15 minutes without protection, avoid peak hours, wear your sunglasses and hat, and avoid TOXIC SUNSCREENS (which most likely include the sunscreen you’re using!). The Environmental Working Group recently ran a screening of over 1350 products and found over 75% of the sunscreens to be unsafe and/or ineffective! Scary. But don’t let it stop you from getting some delicious sun – follow these tips and get yourself a safe sunscreen!
5) Do a DETOX!
It’s really good to do a 7- or 10-day detox every so often, especially when you have a couple of busy, event-filled summer months where you're likely to indulge. Your body will hugely benefit from a mini-break from all the alcohol, caffeine and heavy, hard-to-digest foods. I highly suggest you try my 10 Day Summer Detox. (Update: 2017 Summer Detox is starting soon, on Monday June 26th and spots are limited, so sign-up now!). Or find a week or two when you’re less busy, and commit to doing a detox of your choice. But choose a detox that is focused on getting LOTS OF NUTRITION and rest, and no junk! Your body needs adequate nutrition to detox, so just cutting calories WON'T DO IT! I generally recommend doing a FOOD-BASED DETOX, like my 7 day and 10 day detox, vs. pure juices, as a more nutritious and safe way to cleanse. Juice cleanses can slow your metabolism, often have too much sugar and not enough fiber, and don’t necessarily promote healthy eating post detox. However, a short juice cleanse CAN be great, but I would suggest that you: do your research, choose a high-quality cold-pressed juice company, do only 3 days, and then follow it with a 7-day food-based detox!
Please share this article if you like it, comment, and let me know YOUR favorite ways to stay healthy in the summer!
Love and Healthy Summers,