My Summer Checklist

 Check out your local farmer's market! No matter your food budget, there are great deals on seasonal produce and you support local farmers in the process!

Check out your local farmer's market! No matter your food budget, there are great deals on seasonal produce and you support local farmers in the process!

Summer is almost upon us, and it’s time to clean off the grill, plan some vacations, and get your feet sandal-ready. With a seasonal shift comes opportunity for new adventures outdoors, but also in the kitchen. Here are a few of my favorite ways to build your wellness-centered summertime checklist. 

My Getting Ready for Summer Checklist

Restock Your Sun Protection

Since last year’s SPF might have expired, it’s best to replenish your stash with paraben-free lotions or natural sprays. Because who doesn’t want to help protect themselves from wrinkles and skin cancer? Remember to reapply when having spent time in the water or sweating from activity. Also, ‘tis the season for a fabulous sun hat! You can often find me most mornings in Silverlake on my walks rocking my 2004 Red Sox Visor; not exactly couture, but it does the job.

 Organic herbs at the Atwater Village Market in Northeast Los Angeles. Every Sunday starting at 10:30am. 

Organic herbs at the Atwater Village Market in Northeast Los Angeles. Every Sunday starting at 10:30am. 

Get to Know Your Farmer’s Market

We are very spoiled in Los Angeles that many neighborhoods have year-round farmer’s markets, but if you haven’t ever visited one or live in a place where they are a warm-weather only event; now is the time to visit your local market! So many wonderful vegetables are in season, and at the farmer’s market you can purchase organic local produce for half the cost of upscale grocery stores. Our local market has bunches of organic herbs for only $1.00, and local organic kale and chard for 3 bunches for only $5.00.  You can’t beat that! Greens for a week for 2 people for 5 bucks!

 This Salmon and Strawberry Salad with Avocado is always a crowd-pleaser! 

This Salmon and Strawberry Salad with Avocado is always a crowd-pleaser! 

Get Your Party-Plans in Place

While beers and burgers are the two main food groups of most people’s summer diets, that doesn’t have to always be the case.  If you are watching your weight, have a food allergy, or simply just want to eat foods that support your health, always have a plan before going to a BBQ or party- and stick to it. Fill up with water before starting in on the beer and cocktails; you can always bring a bottle of mineral water AND a bottle of wine. If you are avoiding certain foods for health reasons, eat before your go, or bring food that you know you can eat that will also satisfy you. I once made a gluten-free strawberry rhubarb pie for a July 4th Pig Roast (I haven’t eaten pork since the ‘90’s), and was happy to have a couple slices and someone else’s quinoa salad for lunch. I also caught a chef from a not-to-be-named LA restaurant eating the ends of my pie directly from the plate at one point, so it just goes to show you; you never have to apologize or explain your “health” food, as long as it tastes really darn good. Start collecting your seasonal recipes now! (Hint: this blog is a good place to start)

 Schedule some beach time!

Schedule some beach time!

Plan a Getaway

Even if it’s just a day trip to a nearby park, put a “vacation” in your calendar.  Since I’ve been recouping from back surgery since last year, I still haven’t been comfortable with the thought of sitting on a plane for long periods of time. Now that I’m stronger, that cross country trip to see my family in Massachusetts is on the books, and I can’t wait! Even on your busiest days, having something to look forward to can be a de-stressing touchstone. Put it in your calendar, protect it, pay for it in advance to motivate you to keep it there (I’m looking at you, workaholics) and enjoy some R & R.

What else is on your summer wellness-prep checklist? While these are my top four tips, I also like to clean out my dresser and closets to get rid of clothes that are worn or donate clothes that I don’t need anymore. I clean out my fridge and pantry of expired items, and a few other areas of the apartment get a once-over. Let me know what gets you in the summertime groove and remember to follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to get daily recipes and tips! This summer I’ll be announcing some very exciting wellness programs, so stay tuned! As always, thanks for reading and happy summer planning!

Alyson Roux2 Comments