Wednesday 21st June 2017: Summer Cool

Yes finally summer is here, it has hit us with such a heatwave we can’t miss noticing that, yes, summer is finally here!

As I go about my business, meeting people from all walks of life and all ages, I notice how the sun and more importantly the heat affects us all individually and in different ways.

It’s great if we are fully equipped at home by having reliable installed air conditioning units however what do we do if we don’t and simply have to rely on fans to do the job of ‘trying’ to keep us cool?

As a regular visitor of the States West Coast, I am quite spoilt in terms of there being good air conditioning everywhere you, from stores, cars and even in peoples homes however here, because we don’t often experience the heatwave we have at present, it does seem to warrant all the work it takes to install a unit which won’t get much use unless of course it has a dual purpose i.e. heater in the winter and aircon in the Summer.

I digress…….the point I wanted to share were some useful tips to help keep you cool during the few days we have the privilege of enjoying some heat, glorious sunshine and long days, meaning we can make the most of our days and more importantly, either side of the day when it is cooler, we can get out and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.

My 10 top tips

  1. Wear bright coloured clothes:  light colours do not attract the sun as much as dark/black colours do.
  2. Wear light thin materials:  linen is best in the Summer as this material is light weight, less likely to stick to the skin and possess high air permeability, which allows air to flow through the fabric easily and allows the body to breathe.
  3. Drink lots of water allowing the body to keep hydrated.  Many of us like to enjoy iced drinks for cafes during this time of year however those type of drinks, although cool and tasty, because they contain a lot of sugars and dairy, are not refreshing enough to allow the body to hydrate and certainly some of these drinks even leave you more thirsty leaving you feeling heavy and bloated!  Be wise with your consumption, enjoy a little of what you fancy however keep a good balance between natural drinks (mainly water) and other more ‘luxurious’ drinks.
  4. Eat light:  when the body is kept light and nutritionally balanced, body temperature stays more neutral.  When you start to eat a big heavy meal especially overcooked or fried, this makes the body feel heavy which leads to the bodies temperature to rise therefore making you feel hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.  These days salads are more than just green leaves and you can experiment with so many season fresh fruit and veggies that you can create the most delicious, light, healthy yet tasty meals.  I will share with you below some delicious salad varieties to try at home.
  5. If you have the good fortune of being near a fresh river or swimming pool, now is the time to make good use of the cooling water.  If not, and you have a good, run through your sprinklers – be a kid again.  Don’t forget to use a good sunscreen when you are out and about, even at home!
  6. If you can, do nothing.  Take some time out, especially during the hottest period of the day (usually between 12 – 2.30pm) to simply sit under a shade, grab a cold glass of water filled with some lemon and lime slices, grab a good book and relax.
  7. Practice some act of kindness:  if you know of elders in your neighbourhood, now may be a good time to go and check on them and see if there is anything you can do to help them i.e. shopping, making them a drink, simply staying to chat with them for a few minutes etc.  During the Summer months, the elders in our community suffer more because they may be less active therefore less able to make themselves comfortable.  Offer to make them a nice lunch, a delicious salad or sandwich with a funky glass of water filled with fresh lemon, lime and herbs.
  8. During the hottest part of the day drive to a shopping mall Clothes made of linen possess high air permeability, which allows air to flow through the fabric easily and allows the body to breathe and treat yourself to lunch.  Most shops and malls have air conditioning therefore it may be a good time to catch up on some shopping, a relaxing lunch with friends and loved ones or simply grab a book and enjoy a drink in a cool cafe!
  9. Use a wet cold flannel to cool your face, neck and arms.  This helps balance your body temperature when the heat feels unbearable and the sweat starts to drip.  Time and location allowing, take quick cool showers.  This works so well and cools the body down nicely.
  10. Close blinds/curtains during the periods where the sun shines through.  This can help keep the hot sun heat out of your room and stops making it feel like a sauna.

As mentioned before here are some great salad ideas for you to make at home and enjoy on the go when needed.  They are all healthy, tasty and nutritious and will keep you coming back for more.  Why not?

All these salads serve 4 as a main or 8 as a side dish/accompaniment.

I hope you enjoy making some if not all of these delicious salads and remember to keep cool!

Until soon x

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