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Wellness: Summer Traditions

Updated: Mar 11

One of the greatest pleasures derived from living in Oslo is drinking in the beauty of the seasons. In the six years that I’ve been here, I’ve curated little traditions to celebrate each of the four seasons and also support my health and well-being, from diet to décor to nature-based activities and skincare rituals. I thought I'd share a few of them here.


Drink:

Watermelon Juice

Watermelon is essentially nutrient water, and I have always adored it. What makes watermelon a risk-free buy is even if I discover that it is overripe when I open it, it can easily be transformed into refreshing watermelon juice. Just scoop the melon into the blender, and after it’s blended, you can filter out the heavier fibers through a strainer or cheesecloth. Just pour the juice into a large pitcher, and voila! You can also add a few mint leaves or lemon to dress it up. Watermelon has a good dose of vitamins A, B6, and C. It also includes potassium, lycopene (a phytonutrient), various amino acids, and antioxidants. It’s a wonderfully healthy immune boost that supports a plethora of good things: heart health, bone health, and cancer prevention.

Organic Herbal Teas or Fruit Infusions

I make regular batches of iced organic tea or fruit/plant infusion tea every summer. This season, I’m really enjoying various options from Pukka and Clipper Teas.

Spirit: Tao Te Ching

I just finished a little self-led study program. I read all 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu and wrote a response to each verse and its associated commentary. I have several versions of the Tao Te Ching; it's valuable to cross-reference more literal translations by translators fluent in Chinese with those who take more poetic license and may not know the original language. I think there is value to be found in both textual approaches. Writing a short analysis for each verse was a wonderful way to deepen my engagement with the text and provided a lovely contemplative ritual.

Nature: Forest and sea

Honestly, I do this all year round, but summer is the season when I’m forest bathing the most. Even though we live in the city, we are only a short bike ride or walk to a forested peninsula and harborfront in one direction and the world-famous Vigeland sculpture park in the other. I would be squandering a precious gift if I didn’t visit these places a few times a week. I created a special forest bathing playlist (see below) that I enjoy listening to on my leafy adventures. In July and August, my husband and I enjoy picking wild blueberries and raspberries, a standard tradition in Norway. Just yesterday, we picked a few bushels of raspberries that will be turned into jam.

My readings about how the forest impacts human health and psychology have only furthered my interest in increasing my quiet hours in green spaces. In good summer weather, I like to go for at least 2 hours, drinking in as many phytoncides (antimicrobial organic compounds derived from plants) as possible. Phytoncides partially support human immunity by increasing NK cell production, lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels. But the more expansive, poetic beauty of being in nature is the affirmation of connectivity and well-being.

I’m less of a water person, but I’ve also started to do a little swimming and rowing with my husband on the fjord. This has been a regenerative summertime activity and a lovely way to share a new activity with Paul.

Sounds: Forest Bathing Playlist

Forest Bathing Playlist: If you’d like to enjoy my ever-evolving, dreamy forest bathing playlist, you can click the link here

Skincare rituals: SPF

Since my skincare "awakening" a few years ago, I’ve learned the value of (and seen results from) a good SPF 50, prescription tretinoin, quality vitamin serums, and gentle acid-based exfoliation. For the summer, my go-to SPF 50 for the face is SkinCeuticals tinted mineral sunscreen. Finding a lightweight mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast and goes well under makeup is incredibly hard to find. Here’s the thing: it’s expensive. So, I usually save money by getting a chemical sunscreen for kids (because it’s a cheaper and cleaner formula) to use on my body.

I hope you enjoyed these summer wellness tips! Love

Sati

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