Dear Friends,

It’s time for summer dresses, Bermuda shorts, country fairs, trips to the beach, paddling a canoe, picking strawberries and licking an ice cream cone.  It’s a time when many people take a vacation so that they can enjoy the warm weather, the beauty of nature, the longer hours of daylight and the generally slower pace of life.

There is a lot of living packed into the season between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. We hope you will enjoy many special moments with family and friends, but will also remember to take the time to and care for yourself during the summer’s heat.  In this issue, we will share the season with tips for:
 

 

Staying Fit & Cool

Water is your body’s most essential nutrient, so drinking water isn’t just important when exercising during hot weather -- it’s absolutely critical.

Even mild dehydration can affect physical and mental performance, while severe dehydration can be life threatening.

Drink approximately 16 ounces of fluid two hours before any outdoor exercise and eight ounces every 15 minutes during exercise.  Drinking only when thirsty in not enough to offset the fluid lost during exercise.  Anyone exercising for more than one hour or at a high intensity should replenish fluids with a combination of water and beverages containing electrolytes and carbohydrates such as sports drinks.  Avoid alcoholic beverages and “energy” drinks that are high in caffeine or contain ephedra, which may be hazardous.

The safe amount of exercise is related to each person’s fitness level and how acclimated he or she is to the heat.  Generally, limit exercise in the heat to 15-30 minutes for the first few sessions and gradually increase until becoming acclimated to the heat, which takes one to two weeks.

Avoid any strenuous outdoor activity, especially between the hours of noon and 3:00 pm.  The best hours are early in the morning between 4:00 to 7:00 am.

Clothing is best when lightweight, loose fitting, and light colored to reflect the sun, and of a material such as cotton that will absorb water.  Hats will shade the face.

It’s important to know when to say no to exercise to prevent heat-related injuries. If any signs of heat related illness are present (cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or exhaustion) stop exercising immediately, get to a cool environment and obtain medical advice.

Keep in mind that only you can determine your capacity for exercising in higher temperatures.
 

Always monitor temperature and keep plenty of water close at hand. Keep all of these tips in mind, and you will be able to reap the benefits of fitness and avoid the problem of dehydration.
 

 

Cool Housekeeping

Mary Ann Rodino, Executive Housekeeper, offers you her special advice for cleaning house during the hottest time of the year:

The old ways are often the best ways. Keep your home’s windows closed during day with shades or blinds set to keep most of the sun’s rays out.  Raise your blinds and open your windows in the evening when the sun is getting lower in the sky and you should get a nice evening breeze.

Clean in the early morning or when the sun goes down. Wear absorbent, loose clothing such as a cotton T-shirt and terry shorts while cleaning Keep a chilled bottle of water or juice with you as you move through the house.

Keeps lights low -- electric light bulbs generate their own heat. And be sure to have done all of your heavy, deep cleaning in early spring, before the weather gets too hot,

Be realistic about how much you can accomplish when it is very warm. Do not try to do everything in one day.  Remember to pace yourself while cleaning, so that you’ll have energy left to enjoy and appreciate the visible benefits of your housecleaning.

 

 

Refreshing Your Body & Soles with Spa Products and Dressing The Part for Summer

Cheryl Urso, Retail Director, has some ideas to cool and soothe skin, as well as how to add some strategic pieces to your summer wardrobe:

Start with giving a little TLC to your feet! After cleansing, use a little of our Peppermint Foot Crème for a refreshing mint scent. This lotion has vitamins A and E and is sure to soothe. Then spritz the Peppermint Foot Spray for a quick cooling effect! Use the spray anytime for quick relief.

And then dress the part! Look for fabrics in mesh and cotton blends. Additional properties to look for would be moisture management, water repellency, wicking, and anti-microbial protection. You’ll find crops and capris in several lengths. Tops and cover-ups are longer this year, and more manufacturers are adding built-in bras for added comfort.

Make sure you drink plenty of water and have a relaxing summer!
 

 

From Chef Daniel's Kitchen 

Executive Chef Daniel Chong-Jimenez says “think vegetables” to stay cool

Have you ever felt too hot, even though the day was registering a cool temperature?  No matter what you did, did you still feel hot?

Evidence suggests that some foods have a prolonged heating effect on the body. The technical language used says that the thermic effect of certain foods can be sustained over a longer than usual period of time. Folks eating mostly meats may find this happening to them.

In this case, it’s all about calories.  For example, a well-marbled, 12-ounce steak with mashed potatoes is a high-calorie meal at 1500 calories.  Eating like this too often will result in health issues and the added calories will cause your metabolism to increase heat production, thereby making you feel hotter.  During the cold New England winter this might be a good thing, but the residual, unburned calories will lead to weight gain eventually.  Besides, there are healthier ways to keep warm.

Keeping cool, however, is easier when you understand how certain foods can help.  To feel cool and comfortable in the spring and summer eat all forms of green and colorful vegetables.  Some believe that leafy, flowering vegetables have a “cooling” effect.  This is true, but not because the food is “working” to cool you down.  This occurs because plant-derived foods have fewer calories and more fiber than animal-derived foods.  The higher fiber content will cause a feeling of satiety sooner so you feel fuller faster.  Additionally, since calories are fewer, the body has less to burn.  The body slows down the “burn” and your body generates less heat.

While vegetables hold fewer calories than meats, they also provide you with nourishing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, among other nutrients.  The variety of nutrients carried by plants is essential to long-term health.  It is important to not overcook vegetables; some greens are best eaten raw, while others are better tasting slightly blanched or quickly steeped in boiling water for a brief period.  Steaming lightly is a good cooking method.  Stir-frying adds great flavor by caramelizing vegetable sugars without overcooking.  If you cannot eat vegetables that are not thoroughly cooked, eat them as you like them.  Not all nutrients are lost through cooking.  Indeed, many antioxidants are retained even after full cooking.  Antioxidants have been around forever, but only recently has their importance been appreciated.

All darkly or brightly colored vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants.  These compounds are known to help prevent cancers and related diseases.  A lesser known attribute is that they are crucial to good cellular metabolism, meaning that they help cells burn energy more efficiently by supporting the transport of fats and other energy forms into the mitochondria, where they processed into energy, since mitochondria are the energy factories inside each cell.

A diet based mostly on vegetables is very healthy, but it may not work for most people.  Adding moderate amounts of lean meat and other animal proteins is a great way to live healthy.  Occasional “celebrating” with richer food is OK because the negative consequences are watered down by healthy living.  In other words, we have to earn our right to sinful eating.

Here is a recipe I think is just right for a cooling summer soup:

Chilled Arugula Soup with Chevre
By Daniel Chong-Jiménez

Serves 4

4 cups chopped arugula
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup diced waxy yellow potato (Yukon Gold)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4cup chopped celery
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chevre
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a small sauce pot to medium heat.
  2. Add the olive oil.
  3. Add the potatoes, onions and celery and cook until translucent.
  4. Add the broth and spices and simmer covered until the potatoes are soft.
  5. Add the arugula and cook until it wilts.
  6. Remove from the heat and purée to a velvety consistency.
  7. Chill the soup.
  8. Once cool, add the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish each portion with chevre.
  10. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts per portion:

83 kcal, 4 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat