For those of you who know me, perhaps even just in passing, you probably know just how acutely the weather affects my mood. Despite being an island girl and adoring the outdoors, the heat REALLY gets to me. Add to that living in a concrete jungle and I'd say it'd be a bit of a risk to hang out with me in the hot New York months. BUT, thankfully I've found a few ways to beat the summer blues and stay positive, fresh and nourished.
- Watermelon juice! Step 1: Buy a watermelon, Step 2: Cut it in chunks, Step 3: Blend it alone (or add min for an extra cooling taste) until it becomes liquid, Step 4 (optional): Strain and drink! After you've let it cool in the refrigerator, you can sip on it for an immediate refreshing effect or you can add any clear spirit of your choice. It makes for a delicious and beautiful summer cocktail - my friends and I add vodka and garnish with mint - and you'll be left feeling hydrated and cool (in all senses). You're welcome.
- Plan ahead and/or manage expectations. This one is both obvious and easier said than done. In the Summer, I plan all my meetings, shoots and to-dos for either the morning or the late afternoon, this way I know I'll be looking as presentable (sweat-free) as I can during the least-hot hours. When this option is out of my control, I simply choose breathable clothing, apply little or no makeup and just let the rest be. I find that if I'm mentally prepared to sweat, then I don't get as frustrated about it as when I tried my hardest NOT to sweat - should've known this bodily function has always been and will continue to be out of my control - thanks healthy sweat glands!
- Iced everything: The cooler season brings with it the desire to sip on yummy warm drinks, from coffee to mushroom mixes to hot cocoa. But, let's be honest, drinking a hot beverage in the Summer goes against all logic. So I just don't do it. Instead, I opt for getting creative with new flavors and options. One of my current favorite things to do is simply ICE everything. I brew my favorite teas (Throat Coat, Spicy Chai, Green) and then just add ice to it - sometimes I add either almond or coconut milk to it! Sounds simple, but it's revolutionized my drinking habits.
- Go topless everywhere. Just kidding - I wanted to make sure I still had your attention. But seriously - how nice would it be to forego clothing altogether!? Am I the only one who'd be into this? OK fine, back to actual ideas.
- Treats: I remember when I traveled through Europe after college I found my favorite chocolate bar - Kinder Bueno. As my trip went on, though, it became harder and harder to find it! When we asked the locals why they weren't selling them, they told us it was because "it was too hot for chocolate." I was flabbergasted. Since when is it ever too anything for chocolate?! While I hold firm that chocolate should be consumed year-round, I've gained some understanding of their point of view. Tuning into my body and cravings has led me to more often than not choose fresh foods over heavier, decadent ones when it's hot out. In doing so, I've found new treats that leave me feeling satisfied and light. My favorite hot-summer-day treat are frozen blueberries - not the frozen frozen ones, but fresh ones that you stick in the freezer and then toss in your mouth once they're frozen. One of my friends doesn't like the consistency of them like this, but that's exactly what I love. So give it a try, and see what you think! Another way of indulging in cool foods is blending these with any mix of other frozen foods and making either smoothie bowls or fruity "ice cream." I like smoothie bowls because I love eating with spoons (no one said I was normal) and then I can add fun toppings like chia, coconut flakes and home-made granola when I'm feeling sassy. Just be sure to monitor your fruit consumption as these are foods high in sugar and affect your blood sugar levels. Daily, I eat about one or two servings of fruit - so just listen to your body and make sure you're eating a balanced diet rich in fruits as well as veggies, fats and proteins ;)
- Mint, cucumber, fennel and lemon. All of it. I use ALL of it in the Summer. Mint I use to infuse water and have handy in the fridge when I need a refreshing gulp, and I make sure to add a ton of it to my smoothies and blended foods. Cucumber I also use in infused water, as eye masks, in salads, for dipping, etc. Fennel I shave and toss in salads! It has a licorice-like taste so it's not for everyone but it's a naturally cooling food that easily makes foods burst with flavor. And lemon I use in water, when sauteeing greens, as an added ingredient in DIY face masks when skin is breaking out and I won't be in the sun and as the acid/ citrus base for all my dressings (if you have interest in getting a few dressings, please leave a comment below and I'll share my recipes. I LOVE homemade dressings.
- Skin Moisture: About two years ago I took a turn into oil town, meaning I now you use oils for all my skin needs. During winter, I slather coconut oil all over my body to moisturize my skin. It's thick and supremely nourishing during those dry months. The heat of this season would trap the heat sealed with that heavy of an oil though, so instead I use lighter-weight options such as Sweet Almond, Grapeseed or Apricot Kernel oil. I also add a few drops of essential oils when I want to add a specific scent (Geranium, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, etc.). This one by Palermo Body is particularly blissful.
There you have it! My humble ways of staying cool when the heat is just too much. If you have any other tricks or fun ways of staying fresh, please leave a comment below and share them with me! I'm all ears when it comes to staying cool ;)
Hoping your Tuesday is fantastically chill.