WELCOME SUMMER!

All of a sudden, the weather seems to have had a change of heart and it is summer here in the Midwest of America. Although the season’s change is a tug of war between hot-and-sunny vs. humid-and-thunderstormy, I’ll take this over the Baltic winters any day!

After the rains

After the rains

Things are starting to come to life. The first spring buds are pushing up, neighbors are coming outdoors, and I find even my own outlook to be more optimistic. The Vitamin D from the sunshine certainly helps boost mood and energy levels, but aside from laying spread-eagle in the sun all day, what are things that we can do to re-energize this spring?

First, detox. Don’t be scared of that word! Get rid of the junk, and do some spring cleaning. Make way for summer! I’d suggest focusing on 3 different detoxes in the next month, each for one week:

  1. Detoxify your mind. Set aside time to reassess the goals you made for 2014 (if you made any), or to write down a new list of goals/aspirations for the rest of the year. It’s not too late to start fresh! Perhaps you need to write a list of people you need to forgive. Start working through that, and allow pain and bitterness to fall away. Set aside 5 minutes to sit in silence every day, working your way up to 10 minutes this week. Pray. There’s nothing more powerful for inner peace than prayer. Try it, even if it begins with a list of grievances…air them all out to God and let them go.  Then list things you are grateful for.
  2. Detoxify your environment. Yes, that’s right. Spring clean your space. Pick one room each day and do a major clean out. I mean, dust like you haven’t dusted all winter (because, let’s be real, we haven’t). Give away those old clothes! Put away the winter gear! Open your windows! Air everything out!
  3. Detoxify your body. I’m not suggesting a major juice cleanse or anything. But it’s time to do a strategic re-think of the small changes you can make to live your healthiest life this summer. Perhaps you need to drink more water (challenge yourself to drink a bottle-full before getting out of bed in the morning!) Perhaps you need to give up sugar for a time (as my mom and I are trying for 8 weeks – I’ll let you know how it goes!). Perhaps you need some time off of dairy in order to get your digestive tract in squeaky-clean order. Perhaps you need to start taking probiotics or iron supplements. Perhaps you need to schedule your annual physicals that you’ve been putting off. Perhaps you need to commit to walking more – every day. You know what your body needs, and only you can make those small, healthy changes.

Beyond detoxing the heaviness that’s been weighing us down, what can we do? Keep checking back at this blog for tips on how to energize this summer. But for now, here’s one of the greatest things you can do for yourself as these tiny flowers start to show their faces, as the sun starts to peek out from behind the clouds, and as fresh produce arrives at the market:

SAVOR IT.

Avocado-Coconut Popsicles

Avocado-Coconut Popsicles

And OH.MY.GOODNESS. Here is a recipe to savor! The chia seeds and coconut water are super hydrating on hot days, thanks to chia’s amazing ability to absorb over 10x its own weight in liquid, and thanks to the potassium and electrolytes in the coconut water. Chia seeds are also an excellent source of calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help boost our moods, according to recent studies. The avocado and coconut milk have healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and anti-inflammatory compounds. This can help when we feel slow and achy on hot days. Avocados are also very high in protein and contain over 25 nutrients!

These little pops are so easy to make – and SO easy to eat. Not very sweet but very creamy and satisfying when savored outside in a spot of sunshine.

Sarah Wilson’s Avococo Pops

Let's make this our best summer yet…one popsicle at a time.

Let’s make this our best summer yet…one popsicle at a time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 7 fl oz/200 ml coconut cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2  fl oz/3 tablespoons coconut water
  • 1.4 fl oz/2 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or honey, or agave if you can eat the fructose)
  • 0.68 fl oz/1 tablespoon chia seeds, preferably white
  • 0.04 fl oz1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or use a hand blender. Beat to a creamy liquid.
  2. Spoon the mixture into Popsicle molds, then insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  3. Enjoy in the sun!

 

Recipe adapted from iquitsugar.com . All photos author’s own. 

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