Henrietta Norton from Wild Nutrition explains how she’ll be harnessing summer goodness to keep her body and mind healthy throughout July.
The Summer Solstice on 21st June this year marked the transition into a new season and the start of summer. It is on this day that the sun rose and set at its most northern point, leading to longer hours of daylight and therefore the longest day of the year.
The word solstice is derived from the Latin “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still) and for me this says so much; this is the time to stop, pause and reconnect with the beauty of nature and the powerful effect that the sun and its light has on all living things.
This time is celebrated by the druids as a festival to give thanks to nature and the changing faces of the seasons. These seasonal rituals underpinning practices such as druidism traditionally evolved around farming practices. Now, however, as our food production and farming practices have changed to align more with global demand than with nature, this connection is less apparent.
Yet working intimately with the change of seasons is a very simple and powerful tool that can bring with it a great opportunity to improve our physical and emotional wellbeing. Indeed, the inseparable relationship between the natural environment around us, wherever we are in the world, and our own wellbeing of body, mind and spirit is a core belief in my work at the Wild Clinic in Lewes and the product formulations at Wild Nutrition.
The months leading to this seasonal turning point allow us to celebrate by feasting on nutrient-rich seasonal delights, such as artichokes, asparagus, Jersey potatoes, watercress or strawberries. The longer, lighter evenings allow us to relax with friends over a light evening supper or wild swimming with your family. Whichever ritual you choose to celebrate nature’s gift of summer, do so with abandon and gratitude.
Here are just some of the changes I will be making in this Season of Abundance
Upping my water intake
During the winter or colder, damper seasons, my water intake can be lower, coming primarily through broths, vegetables and fresh teas. In the summer however, I have a natural pull to drink more room temperature water, and water rich fruits, such as watermelon. Adding a morning green juice is a great way to start the day feeling hydrated and energised. A vegetable juice will provide condensed nourishment from vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, but also the natural water content they provide. Try to make your juice with fresh ingredients, such as cucumber, celery, courgette, lettuce, fennel, lemon, lime and mint, and drink within 15 minutes.
Eating summertime foods
The summertime produces some of the most wonderful foods, such as strawberries, that are particularly rich in vitamin C, raspberries, apples, runner beans, fennel, cucumber, melon, rhubarb and rocket. Eating in season also ensures you are getting the best flavours and nutrition from your food and can also support the immune system and skin from seasonal ailments. Try to source organic, certified or just a trusted source, where possible.
What better way to enhance the benefits of exercising than with an outdoor routine in summer. Immersing ourselves in nature supports our mental health and physical wellbeing and is immensely stress relieving. We don’t need a scientific study to know that a walk through the woods or cycling through the park is uplifting and healing for the soul.
Adjusting my skincare
You can extend your summer changes to your skincare routine, make-up and sunscreen, too. There are some wonderful naturally-derived, ethical products available (my supplement regime shifts during this season too) to help protect your skin from oxidative damage and contribute to collagen production.
SUPER BERRY SMOOTHIE
1 dssp almond butter (or a nut or seed butter of your preference)
½ an avocado
1tsp coconut butter/oil
2tbsp tbsp raspberries (or blueberries/blackberries – fresh or frozen)
1 dssp manuka honey
fresh ground cinnamon or vanilla powder to taste
almond milk to cover
This smoothie will give you a nourishing kick-start to the day, providing fats and protein to keep hunger at bay and deliver a wonderfully creamy texture. The seasonal berries offer a generous boost of phytonutrients, such as anthocyanidins.
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend!
Try a super berry smoothie - a delicious way to take in some seasonal nutrients
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