Model, ambassador and wellness advocate Elyse Knowles shares her top tips for looking and feeling fantastic this summer.
Who else is excited to say goodbye to winter and hello to summer? I am! Winter is not easy for many people, especially in terms of mental wellness. According to a report published by McCrindle, more than one in four Australians report increased irritability and pessimism during winter.
Here are my favourite ideas for feeling positive, upbeat, supported and well-nourished as we move into summer – some may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how often we forget the basics!
Winter might be done, but coughs, colds and flu viruses can still linger. Wash your hands properly and often, as well as avoid using common hand towels.
Load up on veggies
Antioxidants like vitamins C and E prevent the free radical damage to skin cells that leads to premature ageing. If your skin is looking a little dull after winter, eat more antioxidant-rich vegetables like kale, spinach, red cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. I also recommend adding two teaspoons of Vital All-In-One to your daily green juice or smoothie. It delivers an amazing 78 ingredients, including antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, essential fatty acids and highly alkalising pea protein.
Find your local farmers’ market
I swear that the fresh fruit and veg you find at the markets is brighter, more flavourful and more nourishing! Plus, if it’s organically farmed and pesticide-free, it’s better for your insides. Always take your own fabric bags or baskets and even your old egg cartons when you shop. NO plastic is the key.
Water, that is! If you drink 2-3 litres a day, you’re doing a great job of flushing out toxins, plus staying hydrated. Don’t like the taste of plain water? Add lemon, cucumber slices or mint leaves to make it more interesting with a bonus little vitamin hit as well. Buying a reusable non-plastic tote bottle could stop you consuming over 200 plastic single-use bottles every year. Imagine the benefits to the planet if everyone did this!
Vitamin D from natural sunlight is vital for optimal mental health; plus, we rely on vitamin D to absorb calcium, which we need to keep our bones strong and many bodily functions on track. An early-morning walk or run is an easy way to catch some rays. However, remember that UV radiation is super-strong between 11am and 3pm (even if it’s overcast). A good tinted moisturiser or foundation with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is helpful, but nothing beats actual sunscreen, so wear an SPF 30 or 50 Broad Spectrum sunscreen under your make-up as a primer.
Never underestimate the power of the natural endorphin hit you get from staying fit and being active: it’s guaranteed to instantly boost your mood. Always push yourself if you can. If you’re doing 20 sets of something, give 40 a go – or 50! Feeling ‘the burn’ might sting at the time, but it’s a short-term pain for a long-term gain. I find that when my body is strong and toned, my mindset is more balanced and I feel empowered.
Get some zzzs
The change in seasons can make people feel a little frazzled. Switch off all technology – especially social media apps on your phone! – a few hours before bed. This will allow your mind to slow and your eyes to switch off. When you’re in bed, think of everything in your life that is good. The impact of practising a little gratitude in your life might surprise you. Gratitude allows us to be present in our own lives, rather than just spectators of other people’s lives.
Elyse’s Summertime Smoothie
* 2 heaped tablespoons Vital Protein Vanilla
* 1 frozen banana
* 2 teaspoons peanut butter
* 1 teaspoon raw cacao
* 1 teaspoon maca powder
* 2 teaspoons Vital All-in-One
* 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
* 1 cup kefir yoghurt
Top it off with nuts and hemp seeds.
Get out and about
Summer is the time to be social! If you’ve been hibernating in a little bubble all winter, make plans to see friends and family. Socialising stimulates both your mind and body; it is also a helpful distraction if you are worried about something – people, when you least expect it, can bring you much-needed clarity and perspective.