The promise of summer is on the horizon and our hearts, minds and bodies are ready to jump right in and splash into the swims, long hot days, fun with family, friends, music and delicious indulgences in food and drink. With 2021 slipping into the background, we’re now ready to enjoy a feel-good summer.
Because our body, mind and wellness may be a little weathered from recent times and events, whether it’s feeling low on energy, a little uncomfortable or sluggish, burned out or even nervous to head back into socialising, here are five sure ways to support ourselves to feel our best. Enjoy the summer months, feeling good with our family, friends, and loved ones as we step back out into the world of adventures, socialising and celebrating.
1. Boost up our natural immune system to feel protected
We’re no stranger to the word immunity, and now more than ever boosting our immune system is on the mind for many of us to feel safe, protected and confident as we step out into socialising and into the community. So, what are some top ways we can give our natural immunity some extra support to keep us feeling good?
Top-up on key immunity boosting nutrients
For healthy baseline immunity, there are some key broad spectrum essential nutrients our body needs to function well. Let’s look at three big-hitters:
Zinc is involved in over 200 enzyme pathways in the body, zinc is an absolute essential for strong immunity and cell regeneration
Vitamin C is especially important as our ability to build immune cells is vitamin C dependent. It also can’t be stored in our body so it is important to top up daily!
Vitamin D is largely responsible for controlling our immune response. Deficiency of this crucial nutrient is associated with increased autoimmunity, and increased risk of infection.
Rest up and sleep when you can
Although summer is the time of long days and long nights, poor sleep has more of an impact on our immune system than you might realise. Keeping things in balance with at least 8 hours of quality, deep sleep a night is shown to support a well-balanced immune system and strong innate and adaptive immunity. If getting to sleep is something that’s a nightly challenge, try adding in some relaxing magnesium or sleepy herbs such as californian poppy, passionflower and tart cherry found in Deep Sleep.
Turn down the stress
In a nutshell, stress impacts our body’s ability to fight off invaders and infections. When we're stressed, the immune system's ability to fight off these invading antigens is reduced, which is why we’re more susceptible to infections. Summer is the perfect time to turn down our stress, kick off our shoes and our worries and allow our immune system to regenerate.
2. Beat the Bloat and Digestion Troubles
As we joyfully indulge in food and drink a little more than usual in summer, our stomach and digestive system can bear the brunt of it, leaving us feeling bloated and our bowels irregular. Because we want to be able to enjoy eating foods we may not normally and perhaps have more of a tipple to celebrate good times with loved ones, helping our gut out with some extra support is key.
Add in extra digestive enzymes
Because the additional drinks and food tend to impact the acidity of our stomach acid, giving it a bit of a boost with some extra digestive enzymes to help breakdown and digest that extra chocolate eclair and piece of pavlova helps to soothe digestion and reduce bloating. Try drinking lemon and water in the mornings, having a shot of apple cider vinegar before meals or keep Digest Assist handy to have before dinner and drinks.
Eat plenty of probiotic foods
A cool glass of kombucha goes down an absolute treat on a hot summer’s day. Not only does it make for a delicious alternative to an alcoholic drink, it’s also loaded with beneficial probiotic bacteria that help to keep our gut and digestive system happy. We need plenty of beneficial bacteria to keep our microbiome healthy. These bacteria help to break down and assimilate the nutrients in our food and even impact our mood. Other great sources of probiotics are kimchi, sauerkraut or taking a quality probiotic such as BePure Two.
Slow down, chew and enjoy the meal
You may have heard the recommendation of ‘chewing your food to liquid’. Although this sounds incredibly unappealing, there is a lot of merit in it. When we take time to slow down and properly chew our food our saliva creates digestive enzymes that start the process of digestion. It also sends a helpful signal to our stomach to let it know what food is on the way so it starts preparing its own digestive enzymes for your mouthful of food arriving. When we eat food too fast it creates stomach cramps and indigestion as our body systems can’t keep up.
3. Glowy, dewy, protected summer skin and strong hair and nails
As we step out into the summer sun and salty water, our hair, skin and nails tend to be the first to show it. While the look of golden, sun kissed skin is one we love, this can lead to premature ageing, dry skin and also increases sun cancer risks. On top of this the previously mentioned extra indulgences build up toxins in the body and this along with reduced sleep all tell their tales on our hair, skin and nails. So how do we keep our skin glowing and protected in summer?
Drinking enough water
Hydration is our hair, skin and nail’s best friend. For our skin it helps to flush unwanted toxins out of the body, keeps our pH in the body nice and alkaline, supports supple skin and keeps our cells hydrated which helps to prevent wrinkles, sagging or dry skin. If you’re wondering how much water to drink each day, simply multiply your weight in kg by 0.0333 for the number of litres to drink daily. If you’re drinking coffee, alcohol or more sugary drinks, you can top this up even more.
Topping up on collagen and skin-loving herbs & nutrients
Collagen has become hugely popular, and for good reason. It is the most common protein in our body and makes up the natural building blocks of our hair, skin, nails, muscles, joints and more. From the age of 25 our naturally occurring collagen type 1 reserves begin to diminish so adding in extra collagen rich foods such as bone broth or a collagen supplement such as Collagen+ daily helps to nourish and maintain our stores for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Turn down the stress levels
Again, soothing stress levels is key in supporting our skin, helping us to reduce free radicals and toxicity levels in the body. Try spending time with your feet up the wall to relax at the end of the day, which is shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and let your body know it’s safe.
4. Relax and truly wind down
It’s been a big few years and sleep troubles, burnout and anxiety are becoming quite normal. Summer is our time to really kick back. Rest, relax, embrace being LAZY and let our wired up nervous system turn down a good few notches. Sometime’s that’s easier said than done, so here’s a few things to get that dial moving:
The breath is an incredible tool, available to us at all times. Our nervous system and stress response can be immediately impacted by how we’re breathing. Using tools like breathing through the nose, box breathing exercises and adding small cues to your day to pause and take a breath are all ways we can slow down and regulate our autonomic nervous system and keep ourselves feeling cool, calm and in control.
Time in nature
Did you know that spending just 20 minutes in nature a day is shown to significantly reduce our cortisol and stress levels? Simply laying on the ground, taking a quick walk in the park or bush, running barefoot on the beach or jumping in for a swim. This reconnection with nature is shown to soothe and recalibrate our stress levels to help with winding down.
Add in nervous system-nourishing herbs & nutrients
When you’re in need of a little extra support, turn to the power of herbs and nutrients. Ashwagandha, kava and passionflower all soothe our neurotransmitter, GABA, which helps us to feel calm, creative and in control. While nutrients and adaptogens such as L-Theanine, zinc, magnesium and B6 all help with regulating our mood. You can find all of these deliciously calming and restorative nutrients and herbs in the Rest and Restore Pack Special.
5. Reset and Refresh the body and mind
Once the celebrations and indulgences of friend and family gatherings and the new year are done, many of us are ready to take a closer look at our wellness and what we want for our health, mind and body for the year ahead.
Exercise and move your body right for you
While it can feel tempting to jump right in and sign up for a marathon or that extreme HIIT class, check in on what will really serve you and your body. If stress levels are a little high or you’re still feeling burned out even after the holiday, try nourishing your nervous system with gentle, restorative exercises such as yin yoga. You’ll find as the nervous system drops down, that stubborn weight you’ve been trying to shift drops away too as cortisol and adrenaline levels out. On the other hand, summer is a high energy time and some high intensity exercise might be just right for you, if so, here are some handy tips for training and exercise when gearing up for a marathon. In a nutshell, it’s all about finding the right exercise that serves you and your unique body.
Get started on those new habits
The cultural narrative around summer and the new year naturally has us wanting to look forward to the future and set goals to be our best selves. Adding in new wellness supporting habits are easily said, but how do we form good habits and keep to them? Try stacking habits on top of existing ones, set specific goals and track your progress for positive reinforcement and encouragement.
Rejuvenate your cells with nutrients
Did you know that our cells regenerate every seven years? And did you also know that our cells are literally made up of the food and added nutrients we put in our body? Knowing this it makes sense that we want to be topping up with the best if we’re looking to really refresh and reset our wellness in the new year. Ensuring you’re including a broad spectrum of vital nutrients such as B-vitamins, selenium, iodine, vitamin C, E, D and K, along with probiotics to support our gut health and nutrient absorption and omega 3 fatty acids to bring down inflammation, are a sure combination to energise and renew the body and can all be found in the Everyday Wellness Pack, along with a 30 Day Change Challenge to keep you on track!
So, what next for a feel-good summer?
- Prioritise rest, nutrition and hydration. Top up the nutrients from your diet with a high quality multivitamin, drink a lot of water to aid digestion and support healthy skin, and make sure to relax and aim for a solid eight hours sleep each night to allow your body to repair and digest.
- Keep moving! Try some summer-appropriate exercises like swimming, outdoor yoga, or some long beach or trail walks or, do more vigorous exercise at the coolest parts of the day.
- Eat well and eat mindfully. Keep up the probiotics with fermented foods, bananas, and fresh yoghut (not necessarily all together...) as well as loads of vitamin C and anti-inflammatories so your body has all the nutrients it needs to keep illness and burnout at bay. We love to graze in summer so making sure we have some delicious and heathy options on the table will keep us feeling great and fend off the bloat.