Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cool off this Summer


July had a wave of heat, but summer has not ended.  Enjoy the weather and socializing with good food and beverages. However, be aware of the temperature as well as the heat index, and put extra attention towards staying cool in the sizzling summer sun.   

Maintaining hydration and chilled beverages
  • I’m not referring to chilled beer or the ice in your cocktail.
  • Aim for a daily minimum of 64 ounces of fluids, focusing on water. This may need to be adjusted depending on body weight, medical conditions and physical activity levels. 
  • Drink even if you do not feel thirsty. 
  • Alcoholic beverages can be dehydrating. Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water.  Water will help you cut calories and keep you hydrated, especially in the summer sun. 
Cold foods 
  • Take advantage of fresh local produce available.  Use summer as your time to increase plant foods into your meals.  
  • Refresh your meal with a chilled soup such as cucumber-dill or gazpacho with lots of chunky vegetables.
Food Safety 
  • Cover your foods to keep bugs out. 
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Do not leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours or one hour if hotter than 90°F. 
  • Do not cross-contaminate. Keep raw animal products away from ready to eat foods such as fruits and vegetables. 
  • If outdoors, keep perishable food in an insulated cooler with ice. 
  • Organize coolers; consider packing beverages in one with food in another. Keep coolers closed for as much as possible.
Protecting your skin 
  • Sun exposure can cause skin problems including wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer, so be mindful of your skin care. 
  • Caution near water: Water can reflect the sun's damaging rays and increase your risk for sunburn. Also, be aware that clouds do not block UV rays but diffuse them, so you can still get sunburned on a cloudy day. 
  • Wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes.  
  • Look for skin changes: Examine your skin monthly, and report concerns to your physician. 
  • Review tips established by the Environmental Working Group to select a non-toxic sunscreen. Check out the database that rates the safety and effectiveness of skin care products. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Select a water-resistant cream. Choose SPF (sun protection factor) 15 to 50.
Don’t forget about your pets; make sure your animals have adequate water and shade too. 

Stay safe and enjoy the nice weather!