The Letter S for Summer

Jun 18, 2014

photo credit: Tricia McCauley

Summer! Sunshine! Swimming! Silliness! I’m still hesitantly ecstatic to realize that we survived the long, cold winter. Is it true? Is the world really green and the days really long? Yes. Yay!


I’m happy to share some of my favorite summer subjects with you today:sunscreen, salad, soil microbes, simple (cleanse & detox), sun tea withspearmint and stevia, spaciousness, sage spritzers, seafood, sirsasana, and thesummer solstice.


My book, Cleansing & Detox Made Simple, was released last month on Amazon Kindle; I’ve had a number of inquiries from non-Kindle users about how you can get the book – your questions are answered below! (Hint: there’s a limited-time PDF offer!)

Scroll on down for recipes, resources, and events to support a superior summer!

Wishing you a super, sassy, satisfying season,

Top Ten: Summer Subjects

  1. Sunscreen: You might want some sunscreen or sunblock when you’re outside gardening, barbequeing, swimming, and getting your vitamin D. The Environmental Working Group annually rates sunscreens to let you know which ones are the healthiest, with the fewest health risks from toxic chemicals.Search to see how your sunscreen rates. (I’m happy that my favorite, Badger Balm, passes the test with flying colors!)
  1. Salad: Gardens and farmers markets deliver the leafy greens all summer. Green vegetables are nutrient-dense, low-calorie, high in fiber, and really versatile. Salad is easy to make, portable, and doesn’t require many dishes to wash up afterwards.Someone once told me that the secret to making an amazing salad is to use seven Download my free handout on superior salads!
  1. Soil microbes: Have you heard that getting dirty can make you happier? Microbes in the soil cansupportthe nervous system and the immune system, which explains why digging in the garden can result in a sense of calm delightfulness. At least for me. And a lot of my friends. Maybe for you, too? Here’s an article about it; or search “soil microbes, happiness” for more. But first, go outside and dig in the garden!!
  1. Simplicity (spoiler: this one’s about my book): Are you interested in a cleanse but somewhat intimidated? It doesn’t need to be complicated! My book,Cleansing & Detox Made Simple was released in May as an Amazon Kindle book. (Did you buy it? Thank you!)  It tells you how to approach detox gently, as a practice of “taking your body to the  Curious about the book? Here’s a fun interview I did with Connie Bowman for her podcast show Happy Healthy You.

Are you a non-Kindle person who wants the book? Here are 2 options:
1 ~ the Kindle app can be downloaded to your computer, if you use iTunes. So even if you don’t have an actual Kindle, or a smartphone with the free Kindle app (that’s what I use), you can get the book and read it on your computer screen.
2~ are you more of a hard-copy person? Then seize the day because this offer is for you! Summer special: the PDF is available to download through the end of August.

Free workbook is available with either option! A splendid bargain!

  1. Sun tea with Spearmint and Stevia:  Summer suntea is easy, tasty, and healthy! Spearmint (or any sort of mint) is growing like wild at this time of year, so if you have it in your garden, harvest it!! And then make somesun No drying or processing required. Mint is cooling, and supports digestion.

To harvest mint: cut stalks near the ground, rather than picking individual leaves off the stems. After you’ve cut the stalks, pull or strip the leaves off.

To brew sun tea: Put all your leaves (at least 3 big fat handfuls of mint) into a pitcher or big jar. Then “muddle” the leaves, the way your bartender would do with a mojito – use a pestle or other hard instrument to grind them up a bit. You want to break down the cell walls so the lovely minty essential oils will infuse into the water you’re about to add. You’re also welcome to chop up or tear up the leaves before you put them into the pitcher.

To sweeten, add a few (muddled) stevia leaves. OR, make a separate, smalleramount of stevia sun tea, and mix to your taste with the mint tea. Stevia, also known as sweetleaf, is very sweet – 300 times sweeter than sugar. A little goes a long way, and it doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels the way cane sugar does.

Add water. Leave in the sun, partially covered, for 3 hours or so.

Add ice if you like. Drink it up. Yum.

  1. Spaciousness: Remember endless lazy creative playful summerdays of childhood? I long for them. What creates a sense of spaciousness for you? What separates you from the constant stream of information, the constant demand of the to-do list?

For me, it’s being in the garden on a day when I know I don’t have to watch the clock. What can you do to increase your sense of spaciousness in this busy busy world? An hour without computer or cell phone? A meandering walk? An evening of reading? A stay-cation? Make it so.

  1. Sage spritzer: Are you oppressed by the heat of summer?Sweaty, sad, sagging?  Sage is cooling and drying. A spritzer is a fun, relaxing way to reduce the oppression of 90+ degree temperatures. I sell them through my product line, Leafyhead Lotions PotionsCool Down Spritzer with filtered water and essential oils of sage, peppermint, ylang-ylang. $3 small, $6 large. Limited quantities.
  1. Seafood: I grew up at the beach (shout out, Myrtle Beach SC!!) and seafood made a regular appearance on the supper table. It’s still a favorite of mine. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by the sustainable/ non-sustainable, healthy/ unhealthy options? Thanks to my friend Karen for reminding me of this great resource to help you choose your seafood.
  1. Sirsasana: Pronounced “sheer-SHAH-sahnah.” It means headstand, in Sanskrit: being upside down is the most joyful way to celebrate long sunny days that I can think of! If you practice yoga in the DC area, and are hoping to deepen your inversions practice, join me for a workshop on Sunday, June 29. From 2:30-4:45, we’ll explore headstand, handstand, forearm stand, and legs-up-the-wall. Only $22 at Yoga District’s Bloomingdale studio.
  1. Solstice: June 21 is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. After Saturday, the days begin, slowly, to get a little shorter, while the nights get longer. Some say that summer begins on the solstice, but I prefer the calendar view that considers June 21 to be “Midsummer” – the height of summer. Summer really gets rolling at the beginning of May, when our gardens are planted, and will transition to autumn at the beginning of August, as all the harvests are ready.

How will you celebrate the longest day of the year? How will you honor the shift from planting (seeds, ideas, projects) to harvesting? Even if you’re not a gardener, how does this energy manifest in your life?

… And now we’ve come to the end of my S inspirations. If you like my vibe and suspect I can support you in your wellness goals – with an individual nutrition session (perhaps via Skype) or through a workplace presentation, please drop me a line.