Life’s A Beach

February 11, 2014

With long, languid summer days ahead, it’s time for some serious summer health talk.

I know that when I walk into my gym after any given weekend in the summer, there will be body after body suffering the after effects of too much sun (and other excesses) at the Jersey Shore.

How do we keep our bodies and our precious skin safe all summer long? Well, since I just know you will be outdoors, fit and active (you will, right?), there are a few things you should know that will keep you fresh as a daisy with skin as soft as dew (okay, I’ll stop now).

Here are my five greatest tips for summer health:

1). Eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans for energy and to keep your body hydrated. Rich in moisture in their natural state, these powerhouses of nutrition are also cooked in water providing your skin…and body with much-needed moisture and minerals.

2). We know that drinking water is one of the greatest keys to soft skin and good health. But in the heat of summer, water may not be enough. On a stifling summer day, when you are sweating more than usual, try coconut water as your refresher. With more potassium and less sodium than most sport drinks, this natural source of electrolytes is low in carbs and sugar and naturally replenishes your body’s natural fluids post-exercise. And with only about 50 calories in a cup, you won’t see coconut water land on your hips. (Note…this is not coconut milk, which is high in fat and calories; this is coconut water. Be sure you choose the right thing)

3). Up the ante on your body and skin’s hydration by adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your diet in the form of Chia Fresca (recipe follows). This ancient seed (yes, the same seed that we know from Chia Pet days) is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids…and is hydrophilic, meaning it holds ten times its weight in water, meaning you get a lot of moisture from these little seeds and are able to stay hydrated for longer periods of time.

Chia Fresca
1 cup spring or filtered water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
Splash fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a small cup and whisk to combine. Allow to stand for 30 minutes or more. You will notice that the mixture will thicken slightly as the chia seeds swell and begin to sprout. Drink once or twice a day.

4). Scrub your skin to give it a gorgeous glow. This simple, natural remedy will result in soft supple skin.

The Body Scrub
The most amazing remedy in the world! If you take showers or baths, you can do this one. This remedy activates circulation, promoting clear, soft skin, by helping the skin eliminate toxins from the body.

Quarter fold a cotton washcloth (or use a cloth spa glove from the pharmacy). Using hot water, wet the cloth and begin to scrub your body (without soap), rubbing gently with just the weight of your hand, until your skin turns pink all over. Start with your hands, rubbing palm and back side, between your fingers and work your way up your arms toward your chest. Next, rub your chest and back, but for women, avoid the breasts and for men and women, the genitals, but scrub your groin area. Work your way down your belly, scrub your buttocks and then work your way down your legs, front and back to your feet, scrubbing the tops of your feet, between your toes and even the soles of your feet.

At first, you will notice that your skin turns a mottled pink. As the body breaks down accumulated, hardened fats, your skin will turn a uniform, rosy color in minutes.

One month of faithful scrubbing and you will notice a new softness to your skin–and you will be addicted. In about two months, you will find that you no longer need moisturizer that you do not have flaky shins or crusty heels; dry elbows or dry…well, anything. For the best results, scrub every day.

5). Wear natural sunscreen. Find a brand that is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores as it protects skin. It would stink to not burn but end up with pimples instead. And remember; look for ingredients that are natural and pure. What you put on your skin ends up inside your body.