Slipping into Summer...Lifestyle Changes to Embrace this Summer

Happy Summer Solstice! We can now officially welcome in summer, although I am sure we have all been embracing the summer vibes for weeks. I know I personally have been loving the warmer weather, the longer days and the return of all my favourite summer pastimes.

We might not realize it, but our lifestyles change quite drastically with each season. Although the transition from spring to summer is more subtle, it is natural for us to take cues from our changing environment and reflect it in the way we live. We often adapt the way we eat, sleep, move our body, and how we spend our leisure time.

If you are ready to full embrace summertime and all the changes that come with it, try these lifestyle tips to promote your own wellness all season long:

Ensure you are getting your sleep. I am pretty positive that we all love the longer days, where the sun is creeping in our windows even earlier in the morning and we can enjoy sunlight well into the evening. You will notice you naturally start to wake up early and go to bed later, which is natural. Our bodies are designed to have this variation in the amount of sleep we get throughout the year. Despite this, we will want to be mindful of our change in sleep patterns and make sure you are still getting enough sleep to feel your best. I have been deceived countless times recently thinking it is much earlier in the evening than it really is depending on the amount of sunlight we still have.

Eat lighter meals. With the summer heat, it takes our body longer to digest our food. This is because your body is diverting energy away from digesting your food in order to use the energy to keep you cool. You might notice you tend to naturally crave smaller, lighter meals, since our body has a harder time breaking down a lot of food at once.

Eat a variety of foods. With the growing season in full swing, the options for fresh produce seem endless. Try to take advantage of this by opting for foods that are harder to get locally year round. Where I am, folks tend to really look forward to fresh local blueberries, raspberries (really any kind of berries), peaches, beans, peas, peppers, zucchini and corn. I am personally growing kale, lettuce, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, cabbage and a ton of herbs (wish me luck, I am a self-proclaimed recovering brown thumb). This variation in our diet is a great way to ensure we are getting an array of vitamins and nutrients and really supports our gut health which thrives on diversity. So break out of your usual grocery routine and opt some more seasonal options.

Stay Hydrated. I think we underestimate the benefits of keeping well hydrated, our body simply functions so much better when we are getting enough water. Unfortunately, with the temperature rising and our inclination to be more active, it can be so easy to get dehydrated with the heat of the summer. The rule of thumb I usually go by is you want to drink at least half your body weight in ounces per day. So if you weigh 180 pounds you will want to aim for 90 ounces of water, which is roughly equivalent to 3 litres (32 ounces = 1liter). This is dependent on your activity level and the temperature, so we will want to up this amount this time of year. If you find drinking lots of water challenging, you might want to explore water-rich fruits and veggies that can help us stay hydrated. This includes watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, peaches, cucumber, zucchini, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower to name a few.

Move your body outdoors. It is time to enjoy the nice weather and seize the opportunity to get active outdoors.. Take advantage of this beautiful weather to get out hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing or gardening or whatever way you choose to move your body. Not only are you getting the benefits of exercise, you can add in the mood boost benefits of sunshine, and the restorative benefits of nature.

Make a summer bucket list. I can not count how many times summer has come and gone and I didn’t get around to many of the things I wanted to do. Before summer is in full swing, take time to figure out exactly what you want to experience this summer, big or small, and get a rough idea of when you can make it happen. For my summer bucket list, some things I included are a picnic in the park, hiking the Bruce Trail in Tobermory and one-on-one sleepovers with my nieces.

Relax and spend your time wisely. One thing to be mindful of, the summer is often a time of time for more social gatherings and more opportunities to join in on, especially as the restrictions are lifted. It is important to be mindful of what you say yes to and ensure you are being intentional with your time and energy.

I hope you find these tips helpful as we slip into summer.If you are looking for more summer inspiration in the kitchen, check out the free Taste of Summer Cookbook with 20 refreshing recipes covering breakfast to desserts and everything in between.

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