The Delicious Days of Summer

One of my favorite times of the year is summer. Well, basically, any time in Michigan that there is no snow impeding our lives, and I would hazard a guess that most people agree with me.  What is it about the magical days of summer that draws us in and wraps us in a humid embrace leaving us lonely and adrift when it pulls away?  For me, there are many moments and reasons why summer is splendid.  Summer gives us all a time to connect with ourselves, with nature, with an abundance of healthy food choices, and with those we love. On the health continuum, nurturing all of those aspects supports our health and wellness and is the key to being at optimal wellness. Health coaching is a service to provide each person with individualized health support, aid in goal setting and how to reach those goals, high-fiving triumphs, and supporting the lows on the journey to optimal health. There are a few of my favorite reasons to cherish summer for our wellness as a health coach:

1. WARMTH- The sun is here and we can finally get enough Vitamin D, which we need to balance mood.  There is also the beach.  There is also gardening, and harvesting, picnics, and front porch (or deck, or garage) sitting, not to mention hiking, boating, festivals, and so much more.  Get outside, ground yourself with bare feet touching the earth, and soak up the sun.

2. FREEDOM - The days are longer, vacations are planned, there is no homework for most kids, families swim and play and fellowship, and we can be connected to nature by living part of the days outside.  What a blessing!  Americans are among the most stressed and unhappy workforces in the world, so take your vacation and unwind.  You deserve it for yourself and for those you serve in life to be the best version of you.  Adrenal fatigue, stress, and exhaustion negatively affect your body and your spirit, so it is crucial to allow yourself time to be free from stress, even if it just for a short time!

3. PLANTING & HARVESTING - I love enjoying the bounty of the season by growing my own fruits and veggies in my big garden and buying from local farmers at the Farmers Market.  Check for the grown local signs at your grocery store as well if you are not able to pop over to the Farmers Market.  Organic, locally grown produce is the best for our bodies and overall wellness.  It connects us to the land, packs a more powerful nutritional punch, reduces our carbon footprint, and supports people working to feed us in our own communities.

4. TOMATOES - I adore tomatoes!  Red, green, yellow, purple - whatever color they come in. During the summer, you can find me among my many tomato plants just bursting with excitement when they are ripening.  I love the smell and taste of heirloom tomatoes above almost anything else I eat, hands down. If you haven't savored an heirloom tomato before, please try one.  It's a wonderful experience!  How much time are you spending doing something you love?  Schedule some time this week, even if it is only 15 minutes, to be around or do something that you love.

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Andrea Hop has followed her passion to pursue knowledge and understanding of how the right choices in life can nourish both the human body and soul.  Andrea has a Bachelor's in Psychology/Special Education and a Master's in Learning Disabilities, both acquired through Grand Valley State University, and she enjoyed working as a high school support teacher.  Following her passions in health, she chose to attend the Institute in Integrative Nutrition and received her Integrative Nutrition Health Coach certification. In health coaching, her goal is to guide clients to focus to improve all aspects of wellness: using goal-setting, accountability, and simple changes that can lead to profound and lasting effects on quality of life and health. To learn more about Andrea, click here.