Naturally healthy getaways

by Common Ground’s publisher, Joseph Roberts


beach feets
photo © Syda Productions

• The weather is warming and this means one thing: Cottage season is upon us. Getting away for the weekend is a great way to unwind from a full workweek, but many Canadians may find it challenging to balance a healthy lifestyle with an indulging cottage getaway. What you choose to pack for the weekend can make or break your healthy routine. Here are a few simple tips to help turn your summer weekends into naturally healthy getaways!

Indulge smartly

You’ve worked hard all week to earn your weekend, so you should be allowed to indulge, right?

At the cottage it can be hard to stick to your regular routine, especially during happy hour on the dock. The good news is there are lots of healthier snacking options. For instance, trade in the potato chips for dehydrated or baked kale chips, which deliver a salty crunch without the extra calories. You can also find chips made from beans, root veggies and even lentils or coconut. Try them, love them!

Relaxing on the dock or around the campfire at the cottage wouldn’t be the same without a drink to match the scene. Unfortunately, this indulgence is quite taxing on your liver. The process in which your body breaks down alcohol uses up B vitamins so I try to keep my body well stocked with these through either a high-quality multi-vitamin or a B-complex supplement.

Safe fun in the sun

A quality sunscreen is one of the most important things to pack when heading outdoors. Always choose a natural sunscreen that contains zinc-oxide and titanium-dioxide, especially when selecting a product for your kids. Sunscreens containing these ingredients stay on the surface of the skin without being absorbed, allowing them to actually reflect the potentially damaging UVA and UVB rays.

After a day in the sun, moisturizing is essential to soothe and heal the skin. Luckily, there are a slew of options for effective, natural moisturizing oils. I love to use coconut oil as a moisturizer: it’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides, which have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that complement the skin’s protective barrier.

A less familiar but equally excellent option may be seabuckthorn oil, which is rich in nutrients and phytonutrients that have been shown to improve skin hydration and even promote healing. There’s a wide selection of these products to explore, from the familiar Aloe vera to the exotic argan oil. I recommend you try a few and see which one works best for you and your family.

Cottage country has a great array of locally owned and family-run grocers and natural health food stores. Make your next cottage getaway a healthy one.

Michelle W. Book is the in-house Holistic Nutritionist and spokesperson for the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), an organization dedicated to educating Canadians about the benefits of natural health and organic products. As a busy professional with a young family, Michelle strives to spread the message that small changes in our everyday lives can have significant, positive effects on our health. 

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