In Ontario we love our cottage country & our long weekends. This weekend being the Canada Day long weekend means MANY Ontarions (and Canadians) will be heading to cottage to bask in the sun, swim the lakes, and fire up the BBQs.
The cottage I visit is 5 hours north of Toronto in a remote town called Temagami. This cottage has been in my boyfriend’s family for decades. It has its own little island all to itself and is free of running water, electricity and cell service. It’s a picturesque setting, but it can be tricky if you are in need of health care. A few years ago I was visiting and was struck with a nasty UTI. You can read about my approach to care here. My naturopathic skills came in VERY handy.
In order to prepare for this weekend I will be bringing along my at-the-cottage health kit. Here’s what it includes:
1. Sunscreen. I know. I know. There are a million and one reasons to both love and hate sunscreen, but when it comes to the cottage I spend 90% of my time outdoors and therefore I definitely apply sunscreen. I like Alba Botanica for body and EltaMD for face. You can find a brand to your liking here on Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide.
2. Nutrition. Seems like I don’t go anywhere without my protein powder these days. My favourite right now is Sun Warrior Warrior Blend. I will also be packing avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro for healthy guacamole. Recipe coming soon! Chamomile and mint teas will also be in my stash to settle any unforeseen tummy troubles.
3. Biodegrable Hair & Body Wash. Since this cottage is without running water, baths in the lake are absolutely necessary & absolutely wonderful. I cannot get enough of Aveda’s Shampure line for hair. Their little travel sizes are the perfect accompaniment to the cottage, and their Rosemary Mint bath bar will keep you in touch with nature. Moisturizing with Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe soothes and regenerates. You can even try coconut oil if you don’t have a burn.
4. Cuts & Scrapes. These are bound to happen around the cottage. I like St. Francis Calendula and Vitamin E cream to help heal. A host of homeopathics are helpful including Arnica montana for blunt-force injuries that don’t break the skin, Hypericum perforatum for injuries that do break the skin, Apis mellifica for bee stings & Belladonna for burns. If you aren’t familiar with homeopathics please book an appointment with me to learn more.
5. Bug Bites. The inevitable bug bite! Black flies, mosquitoes, horse flies and the like will definitely be making an appearance at the cottage this weekend, and boy do they LOVE me! You can learn more about making your own insect repellent here. I have also had great success with Insect Defend Vitamin B1 patches. Plantago major, which is found in most weedy areas, can be chewed up and spit onto bug bites to provide relief. The aforementioned homeopathics and calendula cream will help, too.
This should keep you healthy and happy at the cottage. Remember to drink lots of water, take full advantage of outdoor activities, fresh air, sunshine, read plenty of books, and have fun!
Relaxation and stress relief are key to optimal health – and are just what the (future) naturopathic doctor ordered!