Woodford Files – June 2011

Whew, the sweaty days of summer are here, and if sweating wasn’t so healthy I’d probably complain. But since it’s a terrific way to detox the tissues, I’m grinning and bearing it. We’ve got a great lineup for you this month, packed full of choices to get the season off to a delicious and healthy start. Pat Crocker’s “Tastes of Summer” feature will have you smacking your lips in anticipation of the juicy berries coming into season. (I already have purple teeth.) And the high nutrient density of berries makes them nature’s perfect fast food. So whether you throw them in your smoothies, or bake them into pies, these little nuggets of nutrition deserve a place of honour on every summer table.

Also this month, herbalist Michael Vertolli introduces Red Clover, one of the most medicinal wildflowers of the season. Before reading his article, I had no idea that this little purple blossom could be used for regulating estrogen levels, which makes it a natural hormone balancing ally for maturing wisewomen as we dance through the menopausal years.

And those seeking summer travel opportunities will enjoy the variety of healthy vacation ideas assembled by Lauren Earle for our annual Getaway Guide. Whether it’s paddling a canoe, fasting on fresh juices, or doing yoga in the forest, all the best destinations have been assembled for you here under one roof.

Summer also carries with it certain hazards. So this month, Kashka Kril-Atkins shares her favourite homeopathic remedies for everything from insect bites to sunstroke to strains and sprains.

My own bag of tricks for primo summer enjoyment contains:

– Deodorants free of parabens, propylene glycol, and aluminum  – One report, available at ControlYourImpact.com, states: “The relationship between parabens in deodorants/antiperspirants and breast cancer has been established in several studies.” It goes on to say: “The majority of breast cancers occur in the part of the breast that is closest to the armpit, where we apply antiperspirants and deodorants.”;

– Natural sunscreens free of PABA, benzophenones, and salicylates which generate free radicals (actually I rarely use sunscreen at all, preferring to soak up the sun on my bare skin in small doses each day to boost vitamin D levels);

– Deet-free mosquito repellants containing essential oils of catnip, lavender, pine, or citrus;

– Natural fibre clothing (organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp fibres provide maximum comfort when the heat is on, allowing you to sweat freely without the foul odour that comes from synthetic clothing).

Overall, squeezing the best out of summer involves maximizing its health benefits (sun, exercise, fresh local food) while avoiding the hazards of toxic products. To add your own summer tips,  have your say in the “comments” section at the end of this article. Or share your tips on our Facebook page. Together we can create a forum of hot ideas for a toxin-free summer.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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