Revivelife Clinic I Naturopath in Ottawa

How to Have a Happy & Healthy Summer

How to Have a Happy & Healthy Summer

Summer is all about kicking up your heels and just relaxing while you enjoy the warmth and sun’s rays. Here are a few tips to help you out!

Why do some people seem to be able to enjoy the outdoors without experiencing lots of mosquito bites while others seem to be a mosquito magnet? It is true that some people have a formula that attracts these pesky insects which may include: less friendly bacteria in their bodies; higher cholesterol on their skin; higher intake of processed foods containing fructose and or meat intake causing uric acid to increase in their blood; more carbon dioxide (breathing); movement, sweat and blood group type. 1-3  In one research study they found those with blood group type O to be twice as more attractive to mosquitos that those with blood group type A. Mosquitos have such a keen sense of smell that they can detect any of the above from half a football field away!


Internal: Eat a more plant based menu including garlic a natural bug-repellent and green tea an anti-inflammatory. Try adding garlic to your roasted summer veggies and ice green tea.

External: 3 Steps:

  1. Clean: with soap & water
  2. Neutralize: with a little baking soda and water
  3. Anti-Inflammatory: apply a cold green tea bag topically. Other great options to apply topically to soothe the itch and inflammation include lavender oil, aloe or local raw honey.

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The sun`s rays can lift ones spirits and simply put a smile on your face giving you your daily vitamin D but excess sun can also cause sun damaged skin. Sunlight is made of both UVA and UVB rays, with UVA rays having more potential to cause free radical damage and UVB rays more at risk for causing faster burns. Both can enhance tanning.

For optimal health it`s all about the right amount of exposure. So how much is the right amount? Although everyone is different about 20 minutes during non-peak times where the skin becomes a very light pink is the right amount without sunscreen. This allows exposure to UVB rays which stimulate the conversion of cholesterol to vitamin D. Vitamin D helps everything from your mood, sleep, bone density and immunity to your heart health. Something to keep in mind is that this exposure needs to be in the larger surface areas of your body such as your chest, legs and trunk as compared to just your face or arms.


Internal: Increase foods with high antioxidant power such as raspberries which help protect the body from damaging rays. Try adding raspberries to Chia Pudding or enjoy just as is for a natural sweet treat! Herbs like Astaxanthin are also a great way to add anti-aging antioxidants to your health routine.

External: Wear a hat and loose cotton clothing to help shade the sun from your skin when out longer than 20 minutes and in high-risk times. The next best options include mineral based sunscreen that contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These minerals create a barrier and scatter the damaging sun rays away. Natural sunscreens that are made by Badger or Beaver are zinc based and will do the trick! Apply during times of high-risk (mid-day) Most other sunscreens contain a long list of chemicals including a combination of three to six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone avobenzone octocylene, octisalate, homosalate and otinoxate. Many studies have found potential links to active chemical sunscreen ingredients and cell damage allergies and hormone disruption which may all increase the risk of cancers. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) oxybenzone, a chemical used to increase the absorption of other chemicals to the skin is used in 56 percent of non-mineral sunscreen on the market and that it already contaminates 97 percent of Americans.

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Now I love the sun just as much anyone else, however two things motivated me to get out my natural solutions for skin care: one a few blemishes myself from the heat and my son who`s hitting the teenage hormone years. Oily skin from the heat can block your pores and lead to blemishes or acne that can deter you from feeling like you are putting your best forward. It is important to eat well focusing on whole foods, sleep well to optimize hormone balance.


Internal: Include Power Foods like chia seeds in your next meal to tap into the anti-inflammatory and hormone regulating benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Try it in your next smoothie or as a Chia  Pudding.  As a bonus add cacao powder for even more antioxidant power!

External: This is one of my favourite solutions and its super budget friendly! Make a mask with using bentonite powder (that you can pick up at your health food store) (some of the more expensive versions have other healing natural ingredients like aloe, green tea extract or vitamin C and E) but you can easily just use the bentonite. Just add enough water to the bentonite powder to make a paste and dab it on single blemishes as they appear or make more to make a complete mask. Apply the mask to clean skin, allow it to dry and then wash off. Bentonite pulls all the excess oil and debris out, opening up the pores which allows the skin to breathe and heal.

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When the heat hits think of water, water, water! You can keep cool by hydrating with water, water infused with fun herbs like mint, veggie like cucumbers or fruit  or coconut water which helps to replenish electrolytes. In general drink one glass for every hour you are perspiring with exercise or just the heat!


Internal: Keep cool with hydration & Earth Burgers with Sriracha!!!. This recipe and more can be found in Power Foods 101. Eating spicy food is how folks in very hot climates cool off. The chili peppers of Mexico, Kimchi of Korea or Curries of Thailand help you perspire with internal heat and thus lower your body temperature.

External: Take a dip in a pool to stay cool!

If you are thinking about hitting the beach here`s some tips for summertime bloat! Bloating can be related to hormones (lower progesterone for all you gals causing the body to retain water in general) and weaker digestion with lack of digestive enzymes.


Internal: Enjoy whole foods and tropical fruits like papaya that is loaded with digestive enzymes to help you breakdown all your yummy summer foods! Try dicing up papaya, kiwi and pineapple with a drizzle of lemon juice for a refreshing tropical salsa! You can also add 1 Tbsp. of minced papaya to your next meat marinate as it is especially good at helping you digest proteins.

External: Go for a walk after each meal especially dinner to help promote digestion!

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    1. Richardson, Jill, Why mosquitoes bite some people and not others – And the surprising , natural way to avoid bites, AlterNet June 25, 2014
    2. Smallegange, Renate C, Verhulst, Neils O., Takken Willem, Sweaty skin: an invitation to bite?,  Trends in Parasitology April 2011, Volume 27, Issue 4, 1p 143-148, DOI:
    3. Braks, M et al. Journal of Chemical Ecology (1999) 25: 663. doi:10.1023/A:1020970307748, Journal of Chemical Ecology March 1999
    4. Anjomruz M. et al, Preferential feeding success of laboratory reared Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes according to ABO blood group status. , Acta Trop, 2014, PMID: 25151045
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