Summer Balance

My schedule in summer strays far from the predictability of we have during the rest of the year with sports, school schedules and structured weekend activities. I'm not the only one right? I LOVE summer, and part of what I love is this feeling of space and unpredictability....but I've also found that it means wellness balance can be harder to achieve. I've found a few tricks to help me stay a little bit closer to feeling my best, and I want to share them with you!

1. Stay Hydrated: This one is obvious, but I find that it can get away from me when I'm not focused on my water intake. Let's face it, water is also maybe not the most exciting drink in the world amiright? I tend to drink a lot of water in the morning, just to ensure that I'm getting in my daily allotment (half your body weight in ounces is the recommendation). There are also a lot of fun options for water. Try adding some sliced fruit like lemon or strawberries. I even love cucumber water. I also posted recently about aqua fresca, which is super easy to make and a bit more interesting even than flavored water.

2. All The Greens and Fruits: This is the time of year when we can really take advantage of nature's bounty. Try to take advantage of local farmer's markets if at all possible and seek out vegetables and fruits that may be currently in season. Every summer, I'm struck by how different locally grown, fresh ingredients taste than those shipped from across the country. I'd like to say that I only eat local, but it just doesn't work for my family right now. Perhaps some day, or if I move to a warmer climate. In any event, you'd better believe that I take FULL advantage in the summer!

3. 80/20 Rule: This rule is kind of everything to me. I employ it all year round, but particularly during the summer. One of my "things" is that I really do believe in balance. I'm going to post more about this, but trust me I've tipped in both directions with imbalance, and I feel absolutely my best when I eat healthy most of the time and still incorporate the foods I love that may be higher in calories in a focused, mindful way. I NEVER completely cut out food groups - this includes ice cream, wine and chocolate...always chocolate. Summer is a time to really be grateful for the world around us, for our bodies and to just LIVE.....which does not mean feeling guilty about food choices or that we are "cheating" on something. I HATE that expression...but that's for another post.

4. Exercise: Just keep moving! This is another one of those tips that seems it would be obvious for summertime, but I find when it gets really hot, that I can lean toward lethargy. I'm also a huge reader and honestly if given the chance, I'd just lounge by the pool reading ALL day. Find a way to get in movement every day. That might look like an online workout inside, a quick walk in the early morning, or a refreshing swim. Just keep yourself moving!

5. Travel Right: Don't let summer travel derail healthy choices you may have started making at home. It's really not that hard, I promise. The key is to plan ahead as much as possible, pack healthy snacks, and find a way to exercise while you are on the road (think walks, online workouts, local park workouts). Also...remember that 80/20 rule? It totally applies to vacation too!

In the end, I think that it's really important to avoid making excuses in the summer. It's so easy to say things like "I'll do it when I get back from vacation" or "When summer is over". The cold truth is that it won't happen when the summer is over. September is notoriously NUTS and things spiral from there right through the end of December. If you can just keep these tips in your back pocket, you should be just fine. Enjoy a fun and balanced summer!