WOW! It is hot! I am currently on Vancouver Island, BC but its looking like this heat wave is extending to Yukon and the rest of Canada.
If you’re like me, you may find you’re not too hungry on hot days. Maybe you and family are looking for something to eat that satisfies yet doesn’t make you feel like a slug.
Here are 5 ways that you can avoid over-consuming calories and still stay cool today:
Dine on Frozen Favorites - Something ice cold always sounds good on a hot day, but ice cream packs on calories and can be full of gut-irritating ingredients. Instead, freeze your favorite fruits and snack on bite sizes, or mix into smoothies or popsicles (I add kefir for a probiotic boost!). You can even freeze veggies – my kids love to eat frozen peas and let them melt in their mouth!
Eat Small Meals a Few Times a Day, instead of two or three big meals. After we eat, our body temperature rises as we digest the food, so the larger the meal, the greater this effect.
Say No to Spice!! I know, I know, people in hot countries eat a lot of spicy foods. Spice raises body temperature and makes you sweat – ultimately cooling you down. That's what they say. However, I’ve yet to meet anyone who seems more chill and comfortable after eating a hot taco!
Eat Your Water. Did you know that 20-30% of your fluid needs should be met through high water foods like fruits and veggies? Eating plenty of these foods can help you stay hydrated and cool throughout the summer. Some produce is as much as 85% water, so shoot for those with highest water content: watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, broccoli, cabbage, and carrots.
Eat Yin. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teaches that some foods have cooling properties (yin), while other foods have heating properties (yang). TCM states that eating the right heating or cooling foods can help balance our energy. Some yummy cooling foods include: banana, clam, crab, grapefruit, lettuce, salt, seaweed, star fruit, water chestnut, watermelon, cucumber, barley, bean curd, chicken egg white, marjoram, oyster, pear, peppermint, radish, strawberry, tangerine, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, pineapple, turmeric.
So enjoy swimming in rivers or lakes, and crank up the air conditioning if you must, but also try some of these ways to stay cool!
Most of us attribute summer fatigue to long days, late nights and too much to do. For some of us though, summer insomnia is more complicated and serious than that.
Without proper rest, we cannot be sufficiently restored and recuperated. Our bodies become vulnerable, our minds go dull, and our spirits wither. It is no way to enjoy life, or summer.
Northerners get really excited about summer; winters are so long, and dark. When daylight returns, we just want to get out, do stuff, get busy.
We plan. We prepare. June whizzes by in a frantic blitz. Then mid-July sneaks up and we realize our summer bucket-list is much longer than the days left in the season.
And therein lies one cause of summer insomnia — the belief that time is running out.
Summer, like youth, is a period of rapid growth and progress. As Nature explodes all around us, we are reminded of what is to be bountiful, beautiful and brief. This can be inspiring or depressing, depending on how we feel about “the fruits of labour” in our own life.
We may find ourselves asking: Am I in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right people? Is my own “season” passing? Have I made the most of my opportunities? Am I growing and maturing into what I want? What comes next?
During the daytime, distractions make it is easy to suppress such thoughts. But if daily life is not meeting our needs or reflecting our inner truths, our spirit goes on high alert.
In the quiet of the night, it will let us know that something essential to our being is being unheard, unsupported, repressed, or taken.
Insomnia is our body's way of saying, “Wake Up!”: It is an opportunity to assess what is not working in our life, and why. It is a call to change.
Being called to change in the summer is probably the safest time. But what are we to do when we are too tired to think clearly or take action?
To help us relax and sleep, we need minerals like magnesium and potassium. (I love to use magnesium oil)
Eating green leafy veggies, seeds, nuts, and bananas are a good start. Alcohol, drugs and some medications will leach minerals from the body, so supplements may be required.
Also, since certain health conditions prevent mineral absorption, the efficacy of our digestive and urinary systems may need to be assessed.
Natural remedies and therapies that can help include vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, and especially hormone therapy. Hormones are impacted by stressful thoughts because of the increase in cortisol. High cortisol increases levels of estrogen which will change the ratio of estrogen to both progesterone and testosterone and this will change metabolism and sleep patterns.
It is also important to accept and acknowledge our feelings, whatever they are. Feelings are just feelings and they will pass, but for the moment consider them important indicators. They can help us stay healthy and “on course” if we pay attention.
We can restore ourselves in other ways too.
Remember those long lost friends, Laughter and Fun? Dancing, singing, painting, sailing, bowling, fishing, cooking,… Whatever it is that reunites you with them, do it. Nothing improves the ability to sleep and heal like a little happiness (and fresh air).
This weekend is a perfect opportunity to restore your body, mind and spirit! Seek out a local music festival (like the Atlin Music Festival) or host a simple BBQ and celebrate health and happiness with your friends or neighbours.
My thought is, if you’re going to be tired anyways… why not have some fun? Fill your heart with what you love to do, renew your spirit and feel your weariness slip away.
Tag me and tell me how you've beaten it!
It Takes Guts Nutrition
Katanne Belisle RHN
Gut Health Specialist
Whitehorse, YT, CAN
What Clients Are Saying
"I was plagued by a myriad of digestive and inflammatory issues and after months of discomfort I was fortunate enough to meet Katanne. Her insight, intuition, knowledge and caring attention has made it possible for me to heal and thrive with a new understanding of the food I eat. I am now healthier, happier and have more energy than I have had in quite some time. " ~ Steve T.
"Katanne gives well balanced information versed in first hand experience and research. After seeing various health professionals over the years, doing my own research, trials and tribulations, I can (say) that this is the real deal, and that what she provides people is a holistic, realistic approach to healing oneself through food" ~ Elizabeth G.