Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Relax and Exercise
Summer is the time for serious play, vacation, and deep relaxation. It's the time to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. And with summer now in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation.
The body loves to move, even though we may feel dread and boredom when we hear the word “exercise.” Think what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to tortuous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. It’s really up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your limbs will be more fluid, your back aches or morning stiffness will dissipate, and you’ll sleep better at night.
Who doesn't like to relax? What better time to do that than summer when the outdoors beckon! Take a nap in a hammock or on a patch of green and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go hear some live music or meditate in a park. Read under a favorite tree.
And there is something magical, restorative, and rejuvenating about water in the summertime. We naturally crave to be near it, by it, or in it. Linger lazily by a pond or lake nearby, visit a park with a water-body, or go to the beach for a weekend and enjoy the lapping waves and expansive views.
Whether you are relaxing, exercising, or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting with yourself.
Food Focus: Water and Hydrating fruits
Most of us are aware of the importance of hydration, particularly in summer. Getting our daily dose of water, be it through liquids or food, helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. In summer, when we tend to sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, hydration is critical. Dehydration can lead to poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath, and general fatigue.
To start your day right, hydrate yourself with a large glass of water when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning cleanses your system for the day ahead. But what about its quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered. The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime, or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting.
Also, drinking unsweetened tea or freshly squeezed juice and eating water-filled raw fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and green pepper, contribute to the hydration process. So, splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water, eat or juice hydrating foods, and enjoy the summer fun!
Recipe of the month: Watermelon Salad
Prep time: 7-10 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings
1/2 medium size watermelon, cut, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup washed and coarsely chopped mint leaves
2-3 oz Feta cheese (optional)
Directions: Mix all the ingredients together gently. Preferably chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before eating. Enjoy
It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it. And if you (or your friends) are interested in finding out more about fun and easy ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and lifestyle, feel free to contact me at: http://healthwithgita.com/contact/