Healthy Tips

Healthy Essentials for Your Long-Weekend Getaway

Whether you’re planning a stay-cation or hitting the road for a cottage adventure, you can take a few easy steps to make it a healthier long weekend.

Embracing Sunshine, Before and After

One of the simplest joys of spring is feeling the warm rays of the sun on our winter-weary skin. However, it’s important to practise sun safety to protect your skin from the damaging UV rays that come along with more exposure in the warmer months. Unprotected skin can lead to more rapid aging and an increase in the risk of developing skin cancer.

The good news? Staying sun-smart naturally is easier than you’d think.

When it comes to sunscreens, there are natural products available on shelves of your local Vita Health Fresh Market. Many conventional sunscreens contain harmful ingredients that are absorbed by the skin, including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate and octocrylene, among others. These ingredients are shown to absorb into the body, blood, urine and even breastmilk. Oxybenzone, the most widespread, has also been linked to skin allergy symptoms and hormone disruption. This is why industry insiders emphasize the importance of choosing a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the ingredients list, especially for your kids. When applied, these metals lie on the surface of the skin and reflect UVA and UVB rays without being absorbed.

Although we do our best to avoid sunburns, they sometimes do happen. Practise proper after-sun to reduce the pain and irritation of sunburns. To help to heal the delicate layers of your skin, coconut oil is a pure and simple moisturizer. It is rich in medium-chain triglycerides, which have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that complement the skin’s protective barrier, locking in moisture and preserving damaged skin.

The Flavour of Barbecue Without the Health Concerns

What better way to savour the warm weather than to cook and enjoy a meal outside? Few things beat the aroma and flavour of an outdoor barbecue, especially on a holiday weekend.

Unfortunately, research suggests that barbecuing foods — meat, in particular — can introduce potentially harmful carcinogens. When grilled at high temperatures, the fat in meat is the prime culprit. Barbecuing forms carcinogenic compounds that linger in the meat. When the meat fat melts, it deposits back into your food by way of the smoke rising from your barbecue.

How can you reduce your risk?

The fat in your meat only forms dangerous compounds at high temperatures. Look for leaner cuts of quality meat and cook them at lower temperatures for longer. Keep in mind that larger portions will take longer to cook. Grill more small cuts of meat instead of a couple of large cuts to reduce the cooking time of each piece.

The carcinogens formed in the fat of meats aren’t present in veggies. Choose a vegetarian menu to reduce your exposure to the risky compounds. Grilling vegetables also provides the many benefits you can expect from consuming quality produce. As an extra health tip, choose organic vegetables whenever possible as organic veggies minimize your exposure to pesticides and other unwanted toxins.

Finally? Make sure to keep your grill clean. The charred residue from previous cookouts can deposit the dangerous compounds back into your long weekend meal.

No matter what you’re doing to embrace the joys of the long weekend, it’s easy to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Visit your local Vita Health for mineral-based sunscreens, and remember to balance your barbecuing with high-quality meats and organic vegetables.


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