Natural Summer Skin Care

Say goodbye to scary chemicals and try natural versions of your summer skincare staples

Choosing to put natural and organic food into your body is a no-brainer, but what about the products you put on your body? Skincare products soak into your body through your skin so it’s also important to feel good about the ingredients you’re using on the outside too! Here are three important places to focus on natural skincare this summer.

sunscreen

Natural Sunscreen

Like all the other beauty products in our Whole Body department, every sunscreen we carry is free of 75+ banned ingredients, including the recently banned oxybenzone, which has prompted concern over effects to both human and environmental health.

Products we love:
  • Badger Sport Sunscreen: This certified natural and organic sunscreen uses zinc oxide as the only active ingredient and also includes plant oils, aloe and beeswax which provides valuable anti-oxidants and moisture to your skin. Their sunscreens have earned top ratings for safety and efficacy by the Environmental Working Group and are a great choice for babies and adults alike!
  • Kiss My Face Organics SPF 30 Mineral Air Powered Spray Sunscreen: A convenient spray that feels like a refreshing moisturizer, this new physical blocker uses titanium dioxide to repel UV radiation while safflower and sunflower oils make skin appear softer.
  • Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen: This broad-spectrum sunscreen absorbs quickly to protect sun-exposed skin. It’s water resistant and has earned the recommendation of the Skin Cancer Foundation.

deodorant

Deodorant

Don’t sweat it. Natural deodorant’s got you covered!

Conventional deodorants typically contain artificial fragrances, harsh chemical antiperspirants and preservatives. Natural deodorants, on the other hand, use only natural fragrances (or are fragrance free) along with herbs or salts that are very effective at reducing odor-causing bacteria.

Did you know that most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants rely on aluminum-based chemicals suspected for various health issues? Plus, they actually block sweat glands which unnaturally prevents our body from doing a normal healthy function. We now know that sweat isn’t the cause of odor… it’s bacteria. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives which do a great job at keeping smelliness at bay.

Products we love:
  • Toms of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant, Natural Powder Scent
  • Lavanila Laboratories Solid Stick Deodorant, Vanilla Lavender Scent
  • Every Man Jack Deodorant, Sandalwood Scent

Soaps and Body Wash

In the summer we’re showering more often so it’s important to wash up with products that will support your health, not interfere with it. Did you know that almost all antibacterial soaps contain a controversial ingredient called Triclosan? It’s been banned in many parts of the world, yet you’ll still find it in many conventional brands here in the U.S. like Clearasil, Dial liquid soap, Bath and Body Works antibacterial soaps just to name a few. Like many other concerning chemicals, we don’t allow it in any of our products at Whole Foods Market.

Swap out your conventional soap for a natural oil-based soap. Soaps that contain olive oil or coconut oil will nourish your skin, instead of stripping it. You will feel hydrated and soft as you bear more skin this summer.

Products we love:
  • Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Castile Soaps made with Organic Oils
  • Meyer’s Hand Soap
  • Alaffia Coconut Oatmeal Good Soap

WHAT TO EAT WHEN: Tips For Endurance Athletes

Endurance athletes need to be especially conscious of their food choices throughout their training… But in the week, days and hours leading up to the big event, it’s even more important. Here is a plan for what to eat in order to maximize your performance come race time!

what to eat when

1 week before

Pre-hydrate with fruits, veggies and water-heavy foods

Most people focus on the day of a race, but getting serious about hydration a full week before a big event helps train your body to maintain proper hydration more effectively on race day.

Pre-hydrate throughout the week leading up to a big event or long training session by eating foods that contain high amounts of water like fruits, vegetables, soups, and smoothies.

Add chia seeds to your diet this week. Naturally high in omega-3 fats and covered in hydrophilic soluble fiber—Chia seeds absorb about 10-12 times their weight in water (watch the gel form around them when put in water). This unique characteristic means chia seeds help your body prolong hydration and retain electrolytes, promoting endurance and recovery in your training.

chia

3 days before

Carb-load

Glycogen is how your body stores extra carbohydrates and it’s the most easily accessible form of energy. Keep in mind that you can’t fill up your glycogen supply from just one meal, so start carb-loading two or three days before your race.

During a half or full marathon you burn both glycogen and fat, but fat is not as efficient, which means your body has to work harder to convert it into fuel. This is why you’ll want to fill your muscles with glycogen before the race.

Try to get your carbs from high quality, whole food-based sources like brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, and fresh fruit.

whole grains

Add even more carbohydrates the day before your race, but be careful not to overdo fat and protein intake, as they are hard to fully digest (choose red sauce instead of Alfredo or meat sauce). Another tip is to eat your biggest meal earlier in evening or at lunch. You will sleep better and avoid GI issues if you’ve had more time to digest that big bowl of pre-race spaghetti!

3-4 hours before

Complex Carbohydrates (with a side of protein and fat)

A few performance-zapping blood sugar drops will teach you never to skip a pre-race meal. To avoid drops, choose complex carbohydrates from whole grains. All carbohydrates raise blood sugar, but because complex carbs are digested more slowly, your blood sugar rises at a slower, more even pace. This will give you a consistent source of energy that will continue to release throughout your training session or race.

The fiber in the whole grains slows the digestion of these carbs, but you can further extend their release by adding a little bit of protein and fat. The addition of protein before activity will also help speed recovery after you are done.

Options: Whole grain bread and nut butter, oatmeal with fruit and chopped nuts, or a whole fruit smoothie with yogurt or protein powder.

pb and bread

15-60 minutes before

Simple Carbohydrates

Eat simple carbohydrates to give your body instantly accessible energy. Choose easy to digest, high sugar foods like a banana, dried fruit, or energy gel/gummy. Research shows that runners who consume simple carbohydrates 15 minutes before running are able to run 13 percent longer than subjects who took in nothing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy… a handful of raisins had equal performance benefits to sports gel!

Eat whole foods or gels/gummies made from real food— you will get clean energy from products made without added chemicals, dyes or sugars.fruit

During an event!

Simple Carbohydrates & Electrolytes (and water of course)

Eat or drink simple carbs to get sugar in your system quickly to refuel muscles. This will keep blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels up, making exercise seem easier, more pleasurable and delaying fatigue! Electrolytes are minerals in your blood that are depleted during training. Great natural sources are coconut water, dried fruits like raisins or dates, and natural gels or gummies. Pro tip: Test foods during training to see how you react to them before the big event.

Take in at least 30 grams of simple carbs (¼ cup raisins) and electrolytes (dried fruit or coconut water) every 60-90 minutes. Hydrate every 15 minutes.

electrolytes

15-30 minutes post

Simple Carbohydrates & Protein

In the 15-60 minutes immediately following a workout, your muscles are primed to receive fuel to start the repair process.  So eat/drink your recovery meal as soon as possible after you workout is complete. Consuming the right foods shortly after exercise can also help prevent muscle damage and even sickness (a drop in the immune system can occur). So respect the 15-60 minute window and refuel!

Ideally, aim for a 4-to-1 carbohydrate-protein ratio to maximize recovery. Snacks like whole grain bread with peanut butter & banana, chocolate milk, cereal with milk & banana, or Lara Bars have the correct ratio.

recovery

1-3 hours post

Balanced meal

Eating a good meal a few hours after your event will support the rest of your recovery. Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables to bring your body back from the acidic state created by intense exercise. Keep hydrating and get some extra protein to support muscle repair.

A thick protein shake is a great way to help your muscles recover. Go ahead and have a treat… you earned itextended recovery\

Honey & Bees… Why all the Buzz?

Honey… How sweet it is!

  • When you need to add a dash of sweetness, swap sugar for honey instead. A little honey goes a long way because the sweetness is so concentrated — you only need a drop or a drizzle for big flavor.
  • Unlike other sweeteners, honey is packed with antioxidants that can benefit gastrointestinal health through their probiotic effect (which means it helps beneficial bacteria flourish in the intestines).
  • Honey has been shown to prevent the browning of cut fruit; keep this in mind when creating fruit salads!
  • Antioxidants in honey can extend the freshness of baked goods, so it’s also choice for recipes.

“Bee” aware

  • Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we humans eat — yet their habitat is shrinking and many species are in danger. Whole Foods Market is passionate about restoring wildflower habitat, protecting pollinators and mobilizing our communities to make a difference.
  • Demand for honey supports the bee population, which is good for our environment and our farmers. So that’s another reason to use honey instead of sugar!
  • Whole Foods Market is proud to introduce our 365 Everyday Value® Pollinator Friendly Almonds and Almond Butter. They’re sourced from an orchard that works with conservationists at The Xerces Society to create a welcoming environment for pollinators.

 bee

Honey bees are vital to our supply of healthy foods.

We can’t eat a rainbow of healthy fruits and vegetables without them! Honey bees are pollinators, which means they travel from plant to plant to collect and deposit pollen, a substance that makes it possible for many flowers, fruits and vegetables to reproduce. Here are just a few of the foods that we would lose if all the honey bees disappear:

  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Mangos
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Green Beans
  • Celery
  • Coffee
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cocoa
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes

A buzz-worthy treat

pear parfait

Honey Pear Parfait

Serves 2

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup Plain Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 1 Ripe Pear
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh lemon juice (juice of ½ a lemon)
  • ¼ cup Granola
  • Extra honey for drizzling

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, orange juice, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Set aside.
  2. Dice pear into ½ inch cubes. Toss with fresh lemon juice to keep from browning.
  3. In two serving bowls, build parfait by first layering spiced yogurt on the bottom, then diced pear, then granola. Finish with a drizzle of honey. Enjoy!