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'The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.' Benjamin Franklin
Summer is finally in full force, and the living is easy! Do you notice in summertime how everything seems promising? The plants are in full bloom and the sun feels amazing on your skin. The longer days give you boundless energy, making you feel like it’s possible to achieve desires and plot out dreams. Why not harness this energy, ride the wave of summer and try something new?
Throughout the year we can fall into the trap of living at an intense pace (physical, emotional and mental), and we often get stuck in routine, either for the sake of efficiency or out of fear of unfamiliar territory. The lack of variety in doing the same things over and over stagnates not only our minds, but also our bodies and hearts. Are you hesitant to break your routine? Fear and excitement have the same physiological expression in our bodies; it is our mind that classifies the feeling as either positive or negative. So the next time you consider a change in routine/life and your mind says “woooah - scary!” how about re-framing it as “bring it on- let's rock it!”
What is something you have never done before or that you have wanted to do for a long time? Choose your own adventure: organize a kayak trip, learn to surf, do some traveling or set a goal for a new personal challenge. Or try something simple like reading in the sunshine or trying out that new yoga class nearby. Maybe it’s time to discover a new dish or to visit a new town, restaurant or beach. This doesn't necessarily have to involve going far, I always find it refreshing to check out new places that are nearby – it gives a whole new lease of life to where you call home.
Whatever adventure calls to you, use this summer to make it happen and enjoy your life. Increasing new experiences and excitement in your life can decrease your dependence on artificial stimulants like caffeine and sugar, leading to more vibrant health. Watch out for massive improvements in physical well-being, mental acuity and motivation, plus a full portfolio of fun!
Foodie Focus – Raw and Cooling Foods
Why is it that in the summer we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fibre and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these warm months. At this time of year we also need less dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
There is no better season than summer to have fun creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favourite raw veggies, naked or with a light dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day. Try your favourite leafy lettuce with various sliced diced and grated veggies. Throw in some fresh herbs to pack it full of flavour and top off with adding diverse forms of protein such as nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, fish or poultry. Add a swirl of lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil mix up that good stuff and you have yourself an epic go to summer bowl of fresh veggie lovin'.
This is a great opportunity to try some new veggies and check out your local farmers market. Maybe they aren't that well advertised where you are but scope them out! Supporting local farmers is a good move. What are some jazzy flavours you’ve never tried before? Fennel and orange? Daikon radish and arugula? Summer squash with watercress? Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and mix it up.
Cleaning out your system of heavier winter foods and replenishing it with foods that are fresh, dense in nutritional value and packed full of vitamins can make you feel lighter and more full of life. If you are not already a yogi this is a great time of year to check it out. Depending on your location you may have just one type of yoga class available to you - or perhaps you are spoilt with choice. Yoga comes in different formats with the most common style being Hatha Yoga – this is a great starting place and you will hopefully find a Hatha Yoga class just about anywhere. If you have options it's worth doing a bit of reading up and if the first style of class didn't quite work for you don't give up – there are many styles of yoga and different interpretations. It's also really refreshing to get out of the studio and practice outside under the sun so keep a look out for posters up around your park or perhaps suggest it to your teacher. Alternatively why not roll your mat out on the grass and do some sun salutations solo style! Bring some headphones and chilled beats for an ultimate park-yoga zone out session. The benefits of yoga are many and include increasing strength, flexibility and posture. Yoga also energises the body and mind, learning to control the breath and sharpen the mind focusing on practice and meditation. Side effects also include (research-proven) increase in levels of happiness and libido. So whatever grabs your attention in that list...it's worth checking out!
All and all summer is the season to loosen up – try something new, eat fresh and get your yogi on! Stay cool and enjoy yourself...here's to happy summers!
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