Summertime

We are officially into Summer and if you are here in Alberta, Canada like me, it has started out hot.  You may be experiencing a heat wave in other parts of the Western USA or in BC as well. Perhaps a little hotter than we are used to as well.  I hope this doesn’t mean it’s going to be too smoky later this summer but if it is, there are some supplement recommendations to support respiratory health.  So while you are pulling out your sundresses, shorts, tank tops and skirts this weekend, here are some tips to stay healthy and be able to enjoy summer!

Sun protection

Sunscreen

Use sunscreen when you are going to be outdoors for prolonged periods of time. Ideally, a natural zinc oxide based sunscreen is the best because there was a preliminary study published in JAMA that stated that there is a possibility of systemic absorption of chemicals found in sunscreen some of which can lead to toxicity levels (Matta, 2019). Nevertheless, if you only have regular sunscreen, it is better than nothing when you are out in the sun.
Ticks

Ticks and Your Skin

Check your skin and clothes for attached ticks when you are out camping or hiking or once you get back home. There is an increase in ticks in certain regions in Canada like Southwestern Ontario and the GTA. Exposure to ticks can occur in wooded areas. If you see a tick, remove it with tweezers and clean the area with rubbing alcohol and warm water/soap. Place the tick in a sealed Ziploc bag and take it to your MD (family physician) for identification. If you are going into wooded areas with a high-risk of ticks, wear long sleeves and pants.
Canadas food guide

Healthy Eating

Promote healthy eating inside the home - Since kids are home for the summer, there is a tendency to keep more snacks at home so try to choose healthier options for snacks and meals when eating at home. This way, if you are out and about, an indulgence in a not-so-healthy meal or treat isn’t so bad.
A well-balanced meal should have a source of protein, non-starchy vegetables, a healthy fat even if your veggies are cooked in coconut oil then that counts, and a small amount of complex carbohydrate (a starchy vegetable OR whole-grain). Yes, protein in each meal NOT just at the end of the day.
Ideas of healthy snacks can be: veggie sticks (bell peppers, carrots, celery, etc.) and hummus - apple slices and nut/seed butter - fruit - smoothies - nut/seed butter and whole-grain crackers - yoghurt with fruit or granola or just plain Greek yoghurt - nuts/seeds
Glass of water

Hydrate!

This is especially necessary in this heat wave we are having. Dehydration can make you feel tired and lethargic. If you are playing sports in the heat and sweating, replenishing with some electrolytes added to your water is important. Coconut water can be a good source of potassium, sodium, and magnesium (check label). If you struggle to drink enough water in the day, adding some fruits or lemon slices to your water can add a subtle flavour to help you get more down.
Probiotics

Probiotics

Probiotics are especially important if you are traveling anywhere this summer because travel can impact digestion. Also, depending on where you are going, traveller’s diarrhea may be a thing. Generally, a multi-strain probiotic with lactobacillus and bifidobacteria is good but sometimes you may want a specific strain like saccharomyces boulardii. This is when it is best to speak with a naturopathic doctor or nutritionist on what the best probiotic for you. Some need to be kept in the fridge and some are shelf-stable making them better for traveling.
Speak with a naturopathic doctor
Digestive enzymes

Digestive Enzymes

Keeping digestive enzymes in your purse or bag can be great if you are on the go or traveling and may likely eat something that makes you feel bloated. The purpose of enzymes is to add a little extra support for digesting protein, fat, carbohydrates and lactose to reduce gas and bloating. There are many types of enzymes on the shelves so asking your naturopathic doctor which one is best for you is always the best option. For example, if you have trouble with fat or have your gallbladder removed, you may want one with bile in it. There may also be something else going on in your gut too making it hard to digest certain foods so having your digestion assessed first with a naturopathic doctor or healthcare professional is ideal.
Book a digestion assessment
IV nutrient therapy
IV Vitamin Drips and Injections
IV vitamins and minerals or IM B vitamin injections – These can give you a quick dose of energy while you are working on the root cause or if you just need something to get by because you are having a busy summer right now. IV vitamin drips are customized to your health status so if you are looking to get a drip or injection, book your IV initial appointment today.
Book your initial appointment

Reference:

Matta MK PhD; Zusterzeel R, MD, PhD, MPH; Pilli NR, PhD; et al.  Effect of sunscreen application under maximal use conditions on plasma concentration of sunscreen active ingredients: A randomized clinical trial.  JAMA.  2019;321(21):2082-2091.

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