Summer Glow Up - (The Island Girls Rock Way) By Claudine Thornhill
Eat, Drink and Glow This Summer: 5 must-dos for your health & wellness this summer
When we think summer we think long days and warm nights, maybe a glass or two of something fruity and alcoholic. When it comes to getting that true summer glow up, the kind that glows from the inside out, the summer presents the perfect opportunity.
1.Seasonal Fruit & Veg
Everyone dreams of getting that summer skin; skin that is clean, clear, fresh, glowy and dewy. Great skin starts with what goes in our mouths and with a plethora of new fruit and vegetables that come into season in summer, it’s the perfect time to give our taste buds a change of scene, boost our nutrient intake, while helping to create skin that’s plump, hydrated and blemish-free.
Because they are so nutrient-rich, low calorie, hydrating, great for our gut bacteria, immunity-boosting and easy to prepare, fruit and vegetables are the true winner when it comes to getting your summer glow-up on.
Smoothies and salads are two of the best ways to get your fruit and veg in during summer. In their raw and therefore, most nutrient and enzyme-rich form, fruit and vegetables work to hydrate our system, provides fiber that feeds our gut bacteria and eliminates waste and toxins. As a result, they can enhance glowing skin, healthy hair and nails, boost immunity, support digestion and help us manage our weight. Try including your not-so-typical seasonal vegetables in your salads such as aubergines, asparagus, courgettes, carrots, runner beans and garden peas, as well as summer squash and new potatoes. You can also try cooling cucumber, celery, sweet pepper or carrot sticks with hummus and seasonal fruit like melons, peaches and berries as snacks.
2. Don't Forget the Fats
Be sure to include some healthy fats from olives and olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, coconut oil, walnuts nut brazil nuts and cashews, chia, flax, sesame and pumpkin seeds for an excellent internal lubricant and moisturiser. They can be added to smoothies, salads or sprinkled over cooked food and helpsto avoid any dry, cracked or flaky skin that can come with the summer months.
3. Get Out
We all love how the sun feels on our skin when it comes out to play in the summer. This simple act though has massive benefits to not only achieving a glowing tan, but also for our longer-term health.
Vitamin D is produced in our skin when is exposed to the UVB rays from the sun. While we can get vitamin d from foods like salmon, mackerel, egg yolks and some mushrooms, we get it most abundantly when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The recommended sun exposure time will vary depending on skin complexion and your location, but generally speaking the closer to the equator you are and the paler you are, the less sun exposure you’ll need for your skin to create vitamin d. Deficiency is associated with reduced immunity, bone pain, increased risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as mental health issues like schizophrenia and depression. Over the year, those of us in the northern or southern hemispheres with darker skin may find it the most difficult to produce all the vitamin d that we need from sunlight and diet alone, so supplementation may be worthwhile. Having said that, we still want to take advantage of the summer months and safely make use of what nature freely gave us.
4. Slow Down
The summer months can be a hive of social activity with the barbeques, the festivals, the picnics, the outings and slightly longer after work socials. There’s also the holidays which, ironically can also take its toll on our energy levels. While it's great to get out and explore new faces and places over summer, its equally important to make sure that we balance this with some R&R and downtime, particularly if the months leading up to summer have been intense.
While work may slow down and increase over the summer, fun also takes energy (sometimes a lot!) and recognising when it’s time to say no to yet another bbq or pre Carnival invitation and instead opting for some me-time is essential.
It goes without saying that water is fundamental to the summer glow-up and the more we sweat, the more water and minerals such as sodium and potassium we lose. While water is key for clear skin, hair and nail growth, proper organ function, energy, the excretion of toxins and waste, dehydration is linked to tiredness, headaches, lackluster, dry skin, brittle nails and dry hair. Not fun for the summer glow up. Shake things up and try jazzing up your water by squeezing some fresh berries into it, adding lemon, lime, orange and cucumber slices or fresh mint leaves.
Whether you’re vacationing, staycationing or enjoying the summer where you are, it’s never too late to get your glow on. Start from the inside and work your way out.
Claudine Thornhill, is the owner of Claudine. J. Thornhill Nutrition. She is an award-winning Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach who helps her clients feel better, be better and do better by focusing on increasing balance in their bodies and lives. Of Montserratian and Jamaican heritage, Claudine credits the Caribbean influence of her parents and maternal grandmother for planting seeds of the link between what you eat, how you live and your health and wellness. You can find her at www.claudinethornhill.com, Facebook and Instagram.