Wednesday | June 26, 2013
Try something new and make this summer your best yet!
We all want to look our best during the warm summer months but our best intentions often get hijacked by the cool comfort of an air-conditioned basement and too many summer BBQs. This summer, be kind to yourself – physically, mentally and spiritually by making healthy choices and encouraging yourself to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
We’ve compiled some of our favourite tips to keep you feeling and looking great this summer!
1. Disguise a Workout by Moving it Outside
It’s easy to sneak in 30 minutes of physical activity when you’re outdoors. If you take public transit, get off a stop or two before your destination or if you drive, park further away. A brisk 10 minute walk, 5 times a week, adds up! Need a little support? Find a park or a track and ask a friend to go for a walk at lunch or after work. Apps like MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com) can help you keep track of your workouts and there are loads of resources online for new exercises. We love www.DailyHiit.com for High Intensity Interval Training workouts that you can do in 12 minutes or less! If you like the encouragement that comes with a group class, sign-up for a new activity like outdoor yoga, Aqua Zumba or Sugar Hoops. We chatted with Mandy Harvey, owner of Sugar Hoops, who told us that “Hula Hooping is a wildly addictive form of exercise in disguise.” Dance, hula hoops and funky music…what’s not to love. For more information on classes near you check out www.sugarhoops.com.
Trying a new exercise will keep you motivated and will prevent your workout from becoming tedious.
2. Quench Your Thirst & Make it Fun
As the humidity and temperature rises, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re active. Don’t rely on buying bottled water, which is bad for the environment and your wallet. Toss a collapsible water bottle in your bag and refill it on the go. Mobile Apps, like Quench (www.thewaterbrothers.ca/quench), will lead you to the nearest water fountain or refill station for a free fill-up. Staying hydrated can also prevent overeating as our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger. Adding a fresh squeeze of lemon to your water gives you a boost of nutrients and is calorie free! So skip the sugary drinks or diet soda and add lemon, orange or berries to your water for a sweet boost without caffeine or sugar.
3. Eating Light Feels Right for Summer
The hot weather can often make cooking a chore and heavy take-out or restaurant meals can leave you drowsy and not feeling your best. Instead, find a local farmers’ market at www.HarvestOntario.com and be inspired by what’s in season. Lettuce, berries and nuts make a cool summer salad tossed with your favourite light vinaigrette. At work, or on-the-go, wrap your salad in a whole wheat tortilla for a portable meal. If you’re watching your carbs, you can wrap just about anything in a crunchy lettuce leaf and have a delicious, fresh meal. Try leftovers, grilled vegetables, tuna or egg salad with some fresh herbs, no mayo required! For a light summer dinner try a vegetarian option like Spaghetti Squash. Grilled on the BBQ, roasted in the oven, or even microwaved; it’s an easy and healthy alternative to pasta. Once cooked, it shreds, and can be mixed with sautéed vegetables and a splash of olive oil for a delicious summer meal.
How to cook Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash can be hard to cut raw, so we suggest baking or microwaving it whole. That being said, there is one important precaution to roasting or microwaving a whole squash. Be sure to poke it 8-10 times with a small, sharp knife to allow steam to escape – we don’t want your squash to explode!
Once thoroughly poked, place your squash in a shallow baking dish and roast in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or microwave on high for 12 minutes (turning half way). Cool the squash until it’s easy to handle and slice it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and, using a fork, shred the pulp into strands. Serve with favourite pasta sauce or, for summer, sauté diced onion, garlic and any vegetables you have on hand in a few tbsp’s of olive oil. Once your squash is shredded, toss it in the pan with the olive oil mix. Add fresh herbs, like parsley, basil or sage, salt and pepper and enjoy a light dish that will leave you satisfied without the uncomfortable bloating that a high-carb meal can cause.
4. Healthy and Glowing Skin all Summer Long
During the day keep all exposed skin protected from the sun by regularly applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen and remember to follow a proper skin care routine morning and night. Sunscreen can irritate your skin and sweat and extreme temperature shifts, when moving from indoors to outdoors, can leave your skin dry, dehydrated and dull. Cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing will keep your skin looking its best well into the fall. To immediately revive arms, legs and core, exfoliate with our ElmLine Radiant Body Polish and follow with Moroccan Oil Shimmering Body Oil to nourish your skin and leave it soft and radiant. Pearlescent minerals illuminate the skin from within and give an instant stunning summer glow. Available now at Elmwood Spa.
This summer, treat yourself to healthy choices and take advantage of the long, warm days to try something new that nurtures your body, mind and soul.