emorial Day Weekend has come and gone along with the solstice. Needless to say, summer weather and outdoor activities are very much in full swing. We know many of you have been enjoying the mountains around Charlottesville, or perhaps venturing to the coasts of Virginia, the Carolinas, and beyond. With this onslaught of outdoor activity comes many health benefits: vitamin D, improved moods, time with family and friends, and more physical activity. But the benefits are not without their risks! Packing the right items to support your summer fun is just as important as not forgetting to bring some (deeply hydrating) watermelon. Whether you’re grilling out in your own backyard or heading for a weekend trek through the Blue Ridge, it’s important to mindfully and healthily prepare yourself for time outdoors. All natural summer support can, in fact, be made easy!
We’ve created a summer support toolkit with your outdoor needs in mind. Stop by Rebecca’s Natural Food to get set up!
Who loves the sun?
While sunshine is great for your health in many ways, it’s important to protect yourself from its rays while you partake. You’ve likely heard the famous statistic that the majority of damage occurs early in life, so if you have little ones, take heed! It’s not just about avoiding burn, but being mindful of how much sun you get.
Rebecca’s Natural Foods carries a variety of sunscreens, all of which we screen via the EWG (Environmental Working Group) annual report. We always stick with those that rate as low hazard. Did you know that of over 1,400 sunscreens tested by the EWG, only 5% met their standards? In addition, over 40% were listed as potentially able to contribute to skin cancer. Not only do the chemicals affect the dermis, but many of these are absorbed into the body through the skin causing problems well below the surface. One of the most troublesome common ingredients in sunscreen, oxybenzone, has been linked to issues such as affecting testosterone and estrogen levels. The chemical has also been detected in the milk of nursing mothers! Not to mention that some of these sunscreens have been shown to be such a hazard to the environment that Hawaii notoriously banned the use of many earlier this year.
Some standout brands we carry include Goddess Garden, Burn Out, Badger and selected products from Alba Botanica. Rebecca’s also carries SPF lip balms without oxybenzone, such as Badger Biodegradable SPF 15 lip balm and Desert Essence Non-GMO SPF 30 coconut lip balm. We carry baby friendly sunscreens, including California Pure Naturals SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen.
Don’t be bugged.
If you live on the East Coast you’re inevitably familiar with mosquitos. They’re pesky, annoying, and can spread disease. While mosquitos remain more of a nuisance than risk, ticks are another story. Tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme Disease, have been on the rise in recent years. What’s more, it’s been reported that diseases spread by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in the U.S. since 2004. In other words, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and to do so in a toxin-free manner.
Our most popular insect repellents are Quantum Buzz Away Extreme, which works for both mosquitos and ticks, and Ticks N All Organic Essential Oil All Purpose Insect Repellent. We also love Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Bug Repellent and their Organic Bug Bite Relief Roll On. 4 Elements Rose Geranium Hydrosol is another great option for ticks.
Poison ivy can put a serious damper on a weekend in the woods or gardening at home. Don’t let it happen to you! Luckily if it does, we have many homeopathic remedies for your skin.
Be Gone Poison Ivy homeopathic pellets (internal) is an excellent option. For topical relief, Be Gone topical Scratch-N-Itch spray can help with itching an discomfort and washing with All Terrain Poison Ivy/Oak soap will help expedite your healing process. Topical application of Rustic Remedies Jewelweed Lotion is great after known exposure to poison ivy and to help with itch relief for poison ivy AND bug bites.
Outdoor activity in the summer heat inevitably equals sweating, and with it, the risk of dehydration. Not only can dehydration cause headaches, but it can be especially dangerous in the heat. Maintaining an electrolyte balance means keeping levels of magnesium, sodium, and more at a healthy level, which is essential for cardiovascular health.
Support your body’s fluid and electrolyte level with replenishing, all-natural drinks such as Taste Nirvana Coconut Waters (original, pulp, aloe, passion fruit). We also carry Pure Planet Organic Coconut Water powder packets with rooibos, hibiscus, and ginger. Keep your electrolytes up with Nutribiotic Electrolyte Capsules, a favorite of many athletes, including our very own local UVA football team, who buys it by the case. Ultima Replenisher Lemonade Electrolyte powder, Trace Minerals Endure liquid electrolyte, and ProBar USDA Organic Bolt electrolyte chews are also excellent options.
All natural summer support can be made easy, and we hope this Summer Support guide will help you stock up on what you need so you can focus on recreation and fun without the worry. We’ll see you soon at Rebecca’s Natural Food!