I am SO on holiday and good grief did I need the following: family road trips, reading on the dock, creative cooking, farmers markets, skinny dipping, moonlit strolls, smoothies, wild flower picking, cabin napping, cottage hopping, hysterical laughter, river sailing, and bonfire sing-a-longs…a true Canadian summer. Nothing beats it. Sorry, Denmark.
The one thing missing from that list of favorite-things-to-do-in-summer is sunbathing. Gasp! It’s no secret I am a sun worshiper, and I come by it honestly. I can clearly remember both of my parents laying in the sun at high noon, slathering their bodies with baby oil to achieve a summer skin colour completely unlike the one they have in the winter. Nice role modeling. Thanks guys.
So how does a health-conscious person like me soak up the rays responsibly? Well, I have a few tricks, however obvious they may be.
1. I get my fill of direct, on-skin sunlight during non-peak hours (re: before 11am and after 4pm).
2. If I know that I will be exposed to the sun during peak hours, I wear light clothing that covers as much as possible, and a hat with a brim.
3. I wear plant oils with natural SPF, and mineral sunscreen if I know I will be exposed to full sun without shade or extra clothing.
4. I include a wide variety of antioxidant-rich foods and Omega-3 fats, as EPA and DHA have been shown to effectively reduce the risk of skin cancer. .
5. I drink Goji Ginger Lemonade to mega-dose on antioxidant power! More on that right now…
Goji Berry Power
Goji berries, or wolfberries are small, red, dried fruits that are super-charged with antioxidants. Scoring high on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) means that Goji berries will more effectively neutralize free radicals, slow the oxidative process and prevent the free radical damage caused by sun exposure .
This drink also includes fresh ginger, which is also incredibly high in antioxidants. If you like it spicy, add more!
I remember back in school one of my professors talking about a similar beverage she would enjoy in the summer, saying it was like drink-able sunblock. What a concept! Whipping up this fast and delicious beverage before heading out to the beach is a great way to up your intake of antioxidants (although it does not replace physical coverage), while refreshing yourself and your family. Sun protection never tasted so good!
Goji Ginger Lemonade
2 Tbsp. goji berries
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp. ginger root, freshly grated
½ lemon, juiced
raw honey to taste (optional)
1. Soak goji berries in water for at least one hour to soften.
2. Pour goji berries and soak water into a blender with remaining ingredients, blend on high until completely mixed.
3. Pour into a glass with plenty of ice and lemon slices.
Other Super-Antioxidant add-ins:
açaí berry powder
raw cacao powder
Miraculously Effective and Natural Sunburn Relief
Getting a sunburn is serious business, not just from a pain perspective, but also from a health standpoint. Yes, it’s been drilled into us to avoid sun overdose, but sometimes it just happens (I didn’t “mean” to fall asleep on the dock again…)
An incredible home remedy for neutralizing painful sunburns is as far away as your kitchen cupboard – the miraculous apple cider vinegar!
Simply soak a cotton ball or small sponge in apple cider vinegar and dab on the burned spot, or make a compress for larger areas. If severely burned, repeat two to three times a day. If you are suffering from head-to-toe char, it’s best to take a bath in the stuff – simply add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to the tuba and soak for at least 15 minutes.
Apple cider vinegar applied to the skin effectively neutralizes the burn, relieves pain, and prevents blistering and peeling. Seriously amazing!
Note: you may smell like a pickle, indeed, but a little coconut oil will remove most of the odor, plus add much needed moisture to your parched skin.
All this talk of sunshine is making me long for my afternoon spot on the dock again…must. go. now.
I hope you are all having an amazing summer, filled with sunshine and lots of responsible enjoyment!
Love, Sarah B