The Body Beautiful for Summer!
Summer in the UK can sometimes arrive by surprise, or sometimes not at all!
Although I’m reasonably healthy and do my own workouts - an hour's hike up with the dog to the common behind our house every other day, and power yoga sessions on the other mornings – I can feel a bit nervous about the big reveal when it’s time to get into my bikini or swim suit. That annual summer phrase ‘bikini body’ and the associated holiday body images in the media can lead to a bit of doubt as to whether is should go for the big reveal!
This year, I’ve researched some things we can all do easily and naturally to help improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of cellulite and generally help us feel and look a glow so feeling good while we’re rocking our twin piece bikini!
This is a brilliant thing to do as it helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite and is also really good for your immune system. How does it work? Dry brushing works to move Lymph. Lymph is a fluid in our circulatory system and it contains white blood cells, so lymph also affects our immune system. It’s like our body’s own disposal system and picks up toxins and other waste from our blood and filters it through our lymph nodes, where the bacteria is destroyed. Poor blood circulation means the lymph cannot properly do it’s job resulting in cellulite, varicose veins, and a weakened immune system. Dry brushing improves blood circulation and so helps our Lymphatic systems!
Dry brushing benefits:
Reduces appearance of cellulite
Exfoliates dead cells
Improves your immune system
Detoxes your skin
Unclogs your pours
How it’s done:
- Dry brush only when your body is dry, before you shower or have a bath.
- Always brush only in the direction of your heart – this works with the direction of the lymphatic system.
- Start at your feet (including your soles), then brush up your legs in long strong stroking movements .
- Brush in circles around your knees.
- Brush your bottom, inner thighs, torso and lower back – always in one direction towards your heart.
- Brush the sides of your torso and your lower back, upwards towards your heart. For your belly, brush in a clockwise motion to be in sync with your digestive movement.
- Brush your arms up to your shoulders, across your upper back and over your shoulders.
- Brush clockwise circles around your breasts (avoid your breasts and nipples) and avoid areas with broken skin, varicose veins, or bruises and don’t brush on your face.
The whole brushing journey can take 5 – 15 mins.
You can clean your brush once a week with soap and let it dry thoroughly before you use it again.
We all know how important drinking water is for our health and to help create a healthy skin. Health advisors recommend we drink around 8 glasses a day (2 litres). As often as possible, I have a drink of water in the morning, either infused with lemon or some cider vinegar as this helps to detox and flush out the liver. I’m also addicted to green tea which is full of antioxidents. Some people find drinking water boring and tasteless, so we’ve prepared some faithful recipes that taste great and have added health benefits. Now, you can bypass the cost of buying vitamin water by adding your own fruit blend and fresh herbs! Add your favourite fruits like sliced raspberries, kiwis, and peaches to your water - you’ll be drinking in fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants
Lemon, cucumber and mint
Cucumbers, lemon, and mint are super classic – mint aids digestion, lemon refreshes and detoxes, and cucumber can help hydrate!
Ginger Citrus swirl
Combines cucumber, ginger, lemon, orange and mint – tastes amazing and can help to detoxify the kidneys
The beautiful complexion mix
Lemons, strawberries, apples, mint, and cinnamon tastes amazing and can also aid your natural glow!
My favourite: Blackberry and mint
You can pick them yourself and freeze so that you can have whenever you like. add mint to jazz up your water. Blackberries are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants, so this infused water is a summer-must
Grub for your glow: Get your laughing gear around this!
Everyone’s heard that old adage that you are what you eat. Well researchers have found that by adding certain foods to your daily intake, can help reduce inflammation and give your body the tools to strengthen and build healthy tissues. Try adding some of these foods each day to bring a natural glow to your skin.
Lycopene is the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps boosts collagen strength—a protein that gives skin its taut, youthful structure—and fights off the oxidizing effect of UV rays by eliminating skin-aging free radicals.
The simple carrot is good for the eyes and clearing up breakouts. Plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A which is an antioxidant that prevents overproduction of cells in the skin's outer layer = less clogged pores and flaky skin. Vitamin A plays an essential role in reducing the development of skin-cancer cells. Whats up doc?
They may not look like much but a baked sweet potato is full of the disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids - just half a medium potato provides 200 percent of your daily recommended intake.
Turmeric isn't just revolutionary when it comes to protecting against cancer or reducing pain. This Indian spice can also protect your skin. That's because turmeric's active antioxidant, curcumin, has shown to be one of the most effective anti-inflammatory and free-radical fighting options out there.
Packed with sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s, salmon also contains dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). DMAE promotes healthy skin as it protects the integrity of our cell membranes. Strengthening cell membranes guards against their deterioration that causes premature aging.
Don’t’ avoid the yolk! The yolk is rich in vitamins that are essential for proper cell function, as well as contains the "beauty vitamin," biotin. This B vitamin is more commonly known to help hair grow and strengthen fingernails, but research has shown it also helps protect skin from acne, rashes, and even dryness.
This yummy fruit is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been proven to hydrate and shield the skin by lowering the risk of premature aging caused by ultraviolet radiation. AVo’s help you absorb many of the fat soluble vitamins that can help protect your skin from the sun.
Coconut water is full of potassium and electrolytes to replenish and rehydrate your skin, making it softer and younger looking.
And coconut oil contains a potent antimicrobial, caprylic acid, which can help improve gut health by destroying unhealthy bacteria and candida. Candida is a fungus that can break down your intestinal walls and decrease stomach acid, which causes inflammation, and poor digestion.
Cooking with coconut oil is recommended these days as the oil stays stable when heated (unlike many other oils/fats we use in cooking).
Check this out!! Forget the sunscreen—pack a bar of chocolate in your beach bag. The antioxidants in dark chocolate known as flavanols reduce roughness in the skin and provide sun protection! According to a study from the Journal of Nutrition, women who drank cocoa fortified with a chocolate bar's worth of flavanols had better skin texture and stronger resistance to UV rays than those who drank significantly fewer flavanols.