With summer heating up and the kids out of school, it’s the time of year for fun in the sun. Hiking, picnics at the beach, afternoons at the pool. It’s a time of watermelon, frosty cold beverages, barbeques, and lots and lots of sunscreen. It sounds like a fun and it can be, but it can also be a time of extreme toxicity. How?
The biggest source of toxins in summer is also meant to be the biggest protection: sunscreen! Most people are using toxic sun blocks. These harmful products are bursting with chemicals, but they actually don’t fully protect you from the sun. Oxybenzone and octyl salicylate block the UVB rays but not the more harmful UVA rays. To safely block the sun this summer, try a product with zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Zinc is a mineral that safely blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It’s white and may take some effort to rub in, but it’s worth it. Go to the EWG site to learn how toxic your favorite sunscreen may be.
Another seemingly innocent summer pleasure is an ice cold drink on a hot day. Many of these tantalizing beverages are packed with high fructose corn syrup or massive amounts of sugar and additives. One of the worst culprits is Gatorade because people rely on it for hydration, but in fact it is loaded with junk, and will not effectively replenish the body. Gatorade is basically saltwater laced with artificial colors, flavors, and high fructose corn syrup. Coconut water contains all the electrolytes the body needs to hydrate and there is no added sugar. The best part is that it’s delicious. Also, there are many electrolyte powders that can be added to filtered water to make it more like sports water. Just watch out for fructose and sugar.
One of the biggest summer treats is firing up the barbeque grill. The smell of food cooking on the grill can be intoxicating, but the end result is often toxic. Direct flame grilling produces certain carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals). You can use a pan or skillet on the grill. Eating grilled food with plenty of antioxidant-rich (brightly colored) veggies will balance out the meal. Factory farmed meat and poultry is another problem because they contain many hormones, pesticides, and chemicals. The ideal choice is organic, pasture-raised lamb, goat, beef, and poultry.
With a few modifications, it’s possible to enjoy all the pleasures of the season with your family and friends while limiting your exposure to toxins. Try this recipe for a delicious twist on a summer classic, popsicles! Now you can have yummy fruit goodness without all of the sugar and additives.
yummy summer pops
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh fruit
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
Additions: fresh mint, coconut milk, plain yogurt.
directions: Put fruit, lime juice and honey into blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more lime juice (if needed). Pour into molds and freeze for about 3 hours.
Try seasonal fruits such as watermelon, berries, cherries, peaches, and nectarines.
If you are curious about working with a nutritionist or have any questions, please contact me for a complimentary 30-minute phone or Skype session. Have a fun-filled and healthy summer!