EXUMA CAYS, BAHAMAS
My third trip here and I’m in LOVE! I just never want to leave. Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, consisting of over 365 islands, also called cays. The largest is Great Exuma, where I got to play in luxury over and over again. My own private villa. Relaxed poolside. You can swim with pigs, feed iguanas and snorkel with sharks and eat the best conch of course! You can also escape and rent your own private island for a mere 300k a night or drool over the celebrities private getaways and then sail away into the sunset. Every time I go back it feels like a dream. Pinch me it’s Summer 24/7! HIGH VIBRATIONS, LOVE & FREEDOM is all you feel! This place should be on everyone’s bucket list. Is it heaven? YES, its Exuma!!
NOW Summer is officially here! I want to give you some takeaways to enjoy the benefits and abundance of the season.
The fiery and active nature of summer feels good for a number of reasons. The days grow longer, warmer and activity is all around us. Nature mirrors our activity; plants are growing rapidly and have expanded to its peak-flowers bloom, vegetables ripen, birds nest and we want to embrace these feelings of growth and expansion and manifest all our spring intentions. Summer brings up so many beautiful images like the one pictured here and conjures up feelings of health and adventure. It’s a time to move, circulate, explore and be one with nature and soak up all the warm, loving energy of the sun!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Summer is ruled by the Fire element which is expressed in nature as well as in the body. It’s important to understand how the season, the activities and its elements affect our skin and bodies and how to stay healthy and more balanced. The Fire element is associated with the heart and small intestines. Physically, when the fire element is balanced, the heart properly governs and circulates the blood and insures proper assimilation of the beginning breakdown of food in the small intestines. Emotionally, this element is associated with the mind and it’s stability. The heart is the “seat” of the mind and therefore, its highest expression is love. When balanced we feel more enthusiastic about life, stronger human connection and conscious awareness. We are able to be more creative and express ourselves easier when the heart and mind have found equilibrium.
When imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (maniac condition). Fire is symbolic of maximum activity; nature at its peak of growth. The energy of the season moves upward. Quick to joy, but also as quick to anger or frustrate. Agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn and insomnia, acne or breakouts are other indicators of imbalance and too much heat and inflammation in this area.
Here are some beauty and health considerations to keep your skin, heart, body and mind cool and balanced all summer long. Have a wonderful Summer full of love, pleasure and adventure!
SUMMER VIBRATIONS // FIRE / HEART/ CIRCULATION/ JOY/ LAUGHTER/ BITTER FOODS/ YANG SEASON/ GROWTH/ EXPANSION / MANIFEST / NATURE / TREES / FRIENDS/ FAMILY / YOGA / EXPLORE / WATER / SUN/ LOVE
- Eat With The Season– and take advantage of the abundance of Summer. Add lighter, fresh fruits and vegetables that are more cooling into your diet that help clear heat and reduce toxins and help you stay hydrated longer. Reduce or eliminate “damp” producing foods like dairy, heavy greasy oils, processed sugar and fried foods. Eat cucumbers, all melons, lettuce, peaches, watercress, seaweed, sprouts, mint and berries. In addition, the color red is associated with the Heart, so go for these color foods too like radishes, tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, red bell peppers, a little (very little) red meat, and a little red wine.
- Salute The Sun– wake up early and incorporate a slow moving yoga practice and meditation upon rising. Yoga poses practiced gently and meditatively balance the mind and body and are beneficial at any time of the year but especially in the warm months. Savasana (corpse pose) and meditation are especially good in summer. The secret to “cooling off” is in your breath. Slow down, take a deep breath in and let it out. Keep yourself calm and collected by just setting some time aside to be still and clear your mind. In the middle of the day if you are feeling increasingly agitated remind yourself it could be environmental and take time to bring the temperature in your body and mind down. We get productive by being unproductive for a while. Just be and give yourself some headspace.
- Drink Up– and don’t let yourself get to the point of feeling so thirsty that you are beyond the point of dehydration. With 70% of our body being water it’s important to keep it hydrated for optimal health and beauty. Regardless of what causes aging or disease, wrinkles, the final common pathway is that there is a reduction in water in our tissues. Just like if you don’t water a plant or tend the garden, it will wilt and wither over time. Think of your body in the same fashion. It’s a vicious cycle: our cells and connective tissues hold less and less water as we age, and we age as a result of that inability to hold on to water. Water helps to purge toxins from the blood which keeps your skin glowing and clear. It helps with edema and balancing your lymphatic system which help reduce inflammation, help you perform your daily functions, fight infection and balance your body fluids. It purifies your colon making it easier to absorb nutrients so drink on an empty stomach as much as possible first thing in the morning!!
- Exfoliate – often and gently because the skin naturally tends to thicken when exposed to the sun becoming drier and duller. It is important to exfoliate regularly to avoid clogged pores and keep your complexion looking even and radiant. The use of a mild exfoliant containing papain and bromelain, found in papayas and pineapples is welcomed. A major advantage to using enzyme exfoliants is that it doesn’t scrub or rely on acids to peel so less chance for irritation. They gently break down the bonds that hold dead cells onto the skin, accelerating the skin’s natural exfoliation process leading to smoother, fresher skin. However, I recommend for optimum results a professional seasonal facial treatment.
- Block The Heat– to help prevent sunburns, pigmentation, and your skin becoming dehydrated and prevent long term damage and premature aging. It protects your acid mantle. The acid mantle is the skin’s way to protect itself from bacteria, environmental pollutants, and moisture loss. It’s made up of natural oils, sweat, and dead skin cells, and is slightly more acidic in nature to prevent these harmful (naturally alkaline) contaminants from penetrating and damaging the skin. Avoid going out in the sun between 10 AM and 3 PM during the summer months, the intensity of the sun is more and apart from generating searing heat, the suns rays also radiate high amounts of ultra-violet radiation. UV rays are intense and damaging to the skin thus sun protection is necessary to avoid long term damage and sun protection no lower than SPF 30 should be applied to the face and body to avoid the damage caused by ultra-violet light. UVA rays are the rays that cause wrinkles and skin aging, while UVB rays produce tans and burns. Look for a sunblock that is dual-spectrum, meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc and/or Zinc Oxide are powerful sun protectors that naturally reflect the sun’s harmful rays, unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays to prevent them from damaging the epidermal layer. Apply sunblock at least 30 minutes before you step outside, to ensure that it has time to start working, and reapply it every few hours to keep your skin protected. Your skin can take up to a half-hour to absorb it. Plan ahead and don’t skimp on the block! Shop Now for summer sun protection! Read this if you are confused about what ingredients to look for in a sunblock.