Woodford Files: Summer Survival; Outdoor Living; Bug Defence and Getaway Guide

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The onset of summer often brings with it the usual warnings about hiding from the sun, running from the bugs, and fighting off flower and tree pollen. Well, we’re here to tell you otherwise. This month’s Vitality is chock-full of great advice that is not influenced by sunscreen manufacturers, chemical repellent formulators, or allergy drug makers. What we have to offer is good research on natural alternatives, presented by top health professionals, to prepare you to take on the season with gusto.

First up in the hit parade is Dr. Zoltan Rona, who offers his “Top Five Tips for Summer Survival.” Here, he shares effective tools for preventing heart attacks on hot summer days, along with vitamins and essential oils to repel ticks and mosquitoes. And then there’s his stance on safe suntanning which disputes the usual advice to slather on the sunscreen. In fact, Dr. Rona advises against chemical sunscreens because they block the health benefits of solar medicine. Rather, he endorses the au naturel approach to sunbathing, which requires mindful exposures of short duration. Of course, if one needs to be out in the full sun for extended periods, it is advised to wear a big hat and use only the best quality reflective sunscreens containing zinc or titanium dioxide, or cover up completely.

Adding his voice to the conversation is Herbalist Michael Vertolli, with his feature on “Herbal Essentials for Outdoor Living.” Here we learn about essential oil combinations for treating bumps, bruises and wounds, along with his favourite natural insect repellents including lavender, lemon, and catnip oils. (His instructions on how to make your own insect repelling combos will be of great interest to those who’ve sworn off chemical repellents loaded with DEET.) Being an experienced forager and wildcrafter, Vertolli is also qualified to advise on natural sunscreens and ideal remedies for sunburns.

We also have a piece by someone who I consider to be the queen of essential oils – Sabina Devita. Entitled “Best Bug Defence,” her article explores the powerful insect repelling properties of lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, and citronella essential oils, as well as other combos that deter mosquitoes and more. Powerful stuff!

And those who are ready to plan their summer escapes will find our annual “Getaway Guide” of great interest. Here you will discover everything from health and yoga holidays, to juice fasting vacations, to workshop retreats – all within a few hours’ drive of Toronto. Just think, you too could be sitting on a dock in one of Ontario’s beautiful lakes, just like the ‘lady on the lake’ in our cover photo, sitting with a Zen mind as the breeze kisses your cheeks ….

Meantime, our circulation continues to expand, both in print and in digital format. To get your free subscription to Vitality’s digital magazine, send a request to subscribe@vitalitymagazine.com

Julia Woodford, Editor

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