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Summer is around the corner, and we all know what that means; time to layer up on sunscreen to block the sun’s UV rays. When it comes to protecting your skin from sun damage, there are many healthy SPF alternatives to consider. With harsh chemicals that we would rather avoid, it’s important to find a sunscreen that doesn’t have a ton of additives and uses non-nano zinc!
On top of wearing sunscreen this summer, here are five foods that can help support your skin against those beaming rays while nourishing your body from previous sun damage.
Rich with the antioxidant lycopene (which is known to protect cells from damage), watermelon can help to protect your skin from light and any environmental pollutants. You can cut it open and bring it as a healthy snack at the beach, or try juicing it with a bit of mint – it’s delicious.
Pomegranates are known as the oldest UV protectors out there. Those little seeds are *extremely* high in a natural antioxidant called ellagic acid, which works as a skin protectant. Pomegranate seeds are amazing in salads, added to your morning breakfast or just to snack on by themselves!
Ever wonder why carrots are orange? It’s because of beta carotene, another amazing antioxidant that has natural skin protectant properties. It has been shown to help prevent sunburn! During the summer, my favorite snack is cutting carrots into strips and dipping them in my favorite hummus! I always stock up for trips to the beach.
This spicy anti-inflammatory powerhouse that can be made into teas, added to stir-fries, or soups and helps prevent wrinkles from UV radiation, as well as protecting collagen and keeping your skin radiant.
A high source of vitamin E, almonds help to fight off free radicals which are a major contributor to aging and protect your skin from UV rays. My favorite way to eat almonds is in freshly made almond milk, homemade granola, or just on their own!
While these foods are an added level of natural protection from the sun, don't forget that wearing sunscreen is critical to blocking the sun's rays. Whether you're meditating on the beach or practicing yoga at the park, always remember to bring your sunblock!
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.