5 Healthy Tips to Fully Enjoy Summer

The months of July and August are the time to fully enjoy summer and sunny days. Holidays, trips, camping, excursions and hikes are at the heart of many activities. It’s also a good time to meet up with family and friends. Cocktail hours, relaxing meals and discussions around a campfire at the end of the evening reinforce precious ties with the loved ones. These are opportunities that allow us to slow down and get back to the true essence of life. Here are some healthy recommendations to enjoy the summer!

Long live nature!

In Québec, nature offers us wonderful sites to recharge our batteries! Walking is one of the most beautiful activities to gently take care of our bodies and minds: blood and lymphatic circulation are stimulated, oxygenation increases, the muscles become toned—and the mind is appeased. Rivers, trees, forests, mountains, fauna and flora help us to live in the present, by listening to and contemplating both bucolic landscapes and the immeasurable beauty of nature. Let yourself be rocked by the movement of life and savour these precious moments. They foster healing and meditation.

Hydration is essential

It is essential to drink water abundantly throughout the year. In summer, you need to drink more water, especially during hot days and sports activities. Alcohol is also more present in the evening, dehydration can easily occur. Make sure you also drink water on an empty stomach and between meals. Under temperate conditions, about 30 ml per kg (for example: 30 ml x 60 kg = 1.8 litre) is required. In the summer, this quantity will naturally be more important. Here are some ideas to ensure optimal hydration:

  • Add fruit, lemon, cucumber, fresh mint or basil to your glass water bottle.
  • Prepare decoctions with lemon, ginger and mint in a glass jar (4 litres or more) to promote hydration during afternoons and evenings with family and friends.
  • Maple water and coconut water are your allies for a natural supply of electrolytes on hot days and during sports activities.

Get a boost of vitality

What a joy to shop for fresh products from Québec! The summer season offers us a wide variety of greens, colourful vegetables, herbs and fruits. Buying local is a precious gift for both citizens and producers. A simple, colourful salad of olive oil and fresh basil becomes a feast for the most gourmet palates. Add young sprouts to your salad (for example: kale, radish, sunflower, broccoli), which give an extra dose of vitality while providing an exquisite and refined touch to our summer dishes.

Enjoy frozen desserts

Fun for the young and less young, frozen desserts are a must during the summer. How to choose a quality product? Simply by reading the list of ingredients! Products containing dozens of ingredients harmful to health, such as chemical additives, artificial colors, hydrogenated fats and high sugar contents, should be avoided. If you do not tolerate dairy products, let yourself be tempted by the delicious products made from coconut milk. Sorbets are also tasty alternatives that combine a sweet treat and a dose of vitamins in the same bite. There are several products available on the market that are made with real fruit (for example: mango, strawberry, raspberry, berries, lemon) and contain no added sugar.

Carry a health kit along during your adventures

Whether traveling, camping or hiking, you are exposed not only to the sun but other small irritants of summer as well. That is why it is a good idea to carry a small health kit wherever you go:

  • Natural sunscreens (organic and local products): Attitude and Druid (for children and adults) and La Coursière bio (for adults and babies)
  • Aloe vera gel (sunburn)
  • Gel for insect bites, hives and ticks
  • Arnica gel (relieves the pain of sores for both children and adults)
  • Probiotics * (travel size): Bifilact (Virage Santé, which is a local product and approved by Health Canada) to support immunity and avoid infections and gastroenteritis while traveling (take 10 days before, during and 10 days after your trip).

* If you have any special health conditions or take medication, ask a health professional for more information.

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Dear friends of Le Monastère des Augustines, we hope you have a wonderful month of July, brimming with joy, fun and a myriad of activities. Take full advantage of sunny days and nature to relax and rejuvenate yourself. Make sure you slow down and rest. Enjoy these precious moments by being present and allowing yourself to be immersed in the beauty of life. Remember to nourish your relationships with loved ones; after all, these are the keys to a healthy—and peaceful—body, soul and spirit.

Have a great summer! Here’s to good health!

Imane Lahlou
PhD in Food Science and Technology
Naturopath, Author and speaker
www.imanelahlou.com