We have just returned from a week with friends in Kismet, NY, a cozy beach town on Fire Island where cars are prohibited and reality seems a million miles away. The days were filled with breakfast overlooking the ocean, laying on the beach, swimming, reading, cookouts, bike rides, homemade dinners, good wine, and the occasional dance party. It was pure relaxation, enjoyment and rejuvenation. Which got me thinking about the benefits of a vacation, notably a week, weekend or even a day at the beach. Whether it’s overbooked schedules, demanding careers, family, city life, or just an overdue need for peace and quiet, the beach is an ideal way to alleviate stress. Taking into consideration the dangers of over-exposure to sun without spf, the beach can provide unexpected physical and mental health benefits. The air feels undeniably fresh (definitely not city air), the sun provides pure Vitamin D, the sound of the waves is calming, and salt water is detoxifying. If that’s not enough, think of the benefits of disconnecting from cell phones, blackberries, computers, and TVs.
Health Benefits of The Beach:
Sunlight / Ultraviolet Radiation (Heliotherapy) – Paradoxically, the ultraviolet rays that cause tanning and burning are the same ones that have a therapeutic effect (alleviating depression) and naturally manufacture Vitamin D. Most research shows the sun is a better source of vitamin D than supplements. Fifteen minutes in direct sun per day is ideal. Wear sunscreen and have an umbrella for shade the rest of the day.
Preparing a whole fish can be intimidating. At least that was how I felt the first time I did it. In actuality, cooking a whole fish (instead of a filet) is surprisingly uncomplicated and simple, plus the taste is incredible. If that’s not enough, it’s almost impossible to end up with dry, overcooked fish when cooking it whole. The bones protect against the heat, plus they add flavor and moisture. One of my favorite fishes is branzino (sometimes referred to as Mediterranean sea bass) simply roasted and stuffed with lemon, parsley and rosemary.
* I served it with a whole-wheat gnocchi in a white wine and herb sauce. It was so good I made it again last night and served it with a spicy broccoli rabe and Mediterranean farro salad.
I received a copy of this in an email today from a friend and thought it would be beneficial to pass along. The breakdown of food by color encapsulates the meaningful cancer-fighting and immune-boosting benefits of each fruit, vegetable, and grain in a way that’s clear-cut and easy to conceptualize (which I’m always a fan of).
Recent studies have shown that people who don’t smoke, eat well, are active and control their weight are roughly 80 percent less likely to get ANY major chronic disease than their counterparts who do the converse in each case ~ Dr. David Katz on the subject of medical research and the dramatic trade-off in funding between tobacco control, and obesity control, in the Huffington Post today.