Here Comes The Sun

A sun salutation is a series of poses linked with the breath. Use your breath to initiate each movement. A sun salutation can be used in the beginning of your yoga practice, as a warm-up to your strength training, or as a practice by itself.

Sun Salutation Step By Step

  1. Stand tall with your hands in prayer.
  2. Inhale and lift your arms overhead.
  3. Exhale into a forward bend.
  4. Inhale and lift the chest.
  5. Exhale into a forward bend.
  6. Inhale and step back into plank.
  7. Exhale and lower yourself towards the floor.
  8. Inhale and lift the chest into cobra.
  9. Exhale and lift back in downward facing dog.
  10. Inhale and walk your feet between your hands.
  11. Exhale into a forward bend.
  12. Inhale and stand up lifting your arms above your head.
  13. Exhale and place your hands in prayer at your chest.

Pass the Mustard

Condiments can be a healthy way to spice up summer meals.  Here are some of our favorites, and others to stay away from.

Recommended:

  • Mustards (smooth and grainy – without honey)
  • Sugar-free Salsa
  • Fresh Lemon Juice mixed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Hummus

To Avoid:

  • Bottled Salad Dressings high in chemicals and sugars
  • Ketchup high in sugars and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Relish

Safety in Numbers

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a part of sunlight that is an invisible form of radiation. UV rays can penetrate and change the structure of skin cells.  Protection from excessive sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach; UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or temperature.  Choose products that are non-chemical, protect against UVA/UVB damage and have an SPF no lower than 15.

While it is important to get some sun exposure during off-peak hours for health reasons, there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ tan.  To provide color to pale skin, try tinted moisturizers or self tanners.  Skip going out unprotected during the peak hours of 10AM to 3PM, because in addition to the risk of skin cancer, UV radiation (whether from the sun or from a tanning bed) can also cause the following:

  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Thinner, more translucent-looking skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Dry, rough, leathery skin
  • Broken capillaries on the face
  • Freckles
  • Liver spots on the face, back of hands, arms, chest and upper back
  • Spots or blemishes on the lower legs and arms

So be sure to protect yourself when heading outside.  While you may miss having a deep summer tan now, you’ll appreciate having a lack of sun spots, wrinkles, and freckles for years to come.

Summer Refresher

This recipe is a great way to turn antioxidant-filled green tea into a refreshing summer drink!

Moroccan Mint Tea

Yield: 4 cups; 4 (1- cup) servings

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons loose leaf green tea or 3 green tea bags
¾ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 cups boiling water
Fresh mint as a garnish

Preparation:

  1. Place tea, mint leaves, and lemon peel in a pot or small saucepan and add the boiling water.
  2. Cover and allow it to steep for 8 minutes.
  3. Using a strainer, pour the tea into a pitcher or heatproof glasses.
  4. Refrigerate till chilled, garnish with mint and serve.

Adapted from Stop the Clock! Cooking© 2003 by Cheryl Forberg RD published by Avery an imprint of Penguin Group USA, Inc.

All Hands on Deck

When applying sunscreen, don’t forget your hands!  Hands are often one of the first parts of the body that show age since they get more exposure to the sun than other parts of the body.  Be sure to protect them daily with a non-chemical, UVA/UVB sunscreen and reapply throughout the day.  And don’t skip the sunscreen on cloudy days, as damaging sun rays are still present.  Common aging indicators such as brown spots and crepiness can just as easily show up on the hands as they can on the face.  To address these issues, show your hands extra love by applying products with anti-aging ingredients such as Alpha Lipoic Acid and Tocotrienols.  Often, some of the same treatments you lavish on your face can be equally beneficial to your hands.

Shape Up for Summer

Dr. Perricone’s fitness guru, Wini Linguvic, is a yoga and fitness expert here to help all the bikini boot camp participants take their training to the next level. Check out her step-by-step exercises on the Start Fresh: Bikini Boot Camp Fitness Tips pages!

Create your own Bikini Boot Camp according to your fitness level. Try one or more of the strengthening drills on the Fitness Tips page. I suggest trying them all over the course of a few days and adjust according to your fitness level. These exercises can be done one at a time while learning them, and then as a circuit once you have mastered the movements.

Each bikini boot camp drill is a strengthener by itself, but the real results come into play when the drills are done as a circuit. Add these exercises in every other day during your Bikini Boot Camp and join me at on the Perricone MD Facebook page for Fitness Fridays to discuss fitness strategies, results-oriented cardio, and how to incorporate strength and conditioning into your yoga routine.

Bikini Boot Camp Summer Sequence

Part 1:
Repeat 3-5 times:

  • Sun Salutations

Part 2:
Repeat 2-4 times in order:

  • Boot Camp Squat
  • Long Legged Deadlift

Part 3:
Repeat 3-4 times in order

  • Alternate Arm and Leg
  • Towel Crunch
  • Bridge
  • Cobra Drill

Part 4:
Stretch

For more tips from Wini, visit http://www.facebook.com/BodyChange.

Summer Dreaming

The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age.  Infants generally require about 16 hours per day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average.  For most adults, 7-8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each night. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days.  Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at the bank.  Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid.  We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.

A healthy sleep schedule is a must for optimal health and gorgeous skin.  During deep sleep, many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins.  Since proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for repair of damage from factors like stress and UV rays, deep sleep may truly be “beauty sleep”.

So during hectic summer schedules, be sure to get plenty of sleep, your skin will thank you for it!

The Perfect Summer Soup

The southern region of Spain is the birthplace of this refreshing summer favorite. The sweetness of plump ripened tomatoes mingles with the fresh flavors of garden vegetables, cilantro and a hint of balsamic vinegar.  For more refreshing summer dishes, visit our Start Fresh Recipes.

Icy Gazpacho with Fresh Lime

Yield: 1½ quarts; 4 (1½-cup) servings

Ingredients:

1 large red bell pepper
2 large tomatoes or 6 plum tomatoes (about 1 pound)
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
½ medium yellow onion
1 cup tomato juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, without stems
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Roast the whole red pepper under a broiler or over a gas flame, turning occasionally, until the skin blisters and chars all over.
  2. Place in a bowl, cover with a lid, and allow it to steam to loosen the skin, or place in a paper bag.
  3. Carefully peel away the skin and remove the seeds. Cut the pepper into medium dice and set aside.
  4. Cut half of the tomatoes, half of the cucumber, and half of the onion into 1-inch pieces and transfer to the bowl of a food processor or a blender jar.
  5. Add the roasted bell pepper and process to a puree. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Add tomato juice, cilantro, and vinegar.
  7. Seed the remaining tomato.
  8. Cut remaining tomato, cucumber, and onion into medium dice and add to the soup.
  9. Refrigerate until chilled. Add lime juice before serving and season with salt and pepper.
  10. For a less chunky gazpacho, thin with additional tomato juice.

The Perfect Summer Routine for Oily Skin

Cleanse: Cleanse your face twice a day with a mild liquid cleanser or bar formulated for oily skin.  Skip soaps that are harsh or detergent based, over time, these cleansers can damage your skin.

Moisturize: Use a moisturizer that is oil free to prevent clogged pores.  Skip alcohol-ladden astringents before moisturizing as they may encourage already overactive oil glands to step up production.

Protect: Don’t skip sunscreen!  Many people with oily skin skip sun protection fearing that the oil they contain will trigger breakouts.  Oil-free sunscreens are a perfect solution, as they will protect your skin without adding extra shine.

Protect Your Peepers

Eyes need protection too!  Sunglasses protect your eyes and the tender skin around them from sun damage and reduce the risk of cataracts.  They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.  Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection.  The majority of sunglasses sold in the US, regardless of cost, meet this standard.  Wraparound sunglasses work best because they also block UV rays from the side.