Best products to survive summer with a chronic illness

Hi everyone!

I figured today, I'd share my favourite products for a chronic summer.

I love spring and summer but once the temperatures start to rise above 30°c or I'm without my fave products, my body doesn't cope very well. 

let’s dive in
— We're starting with nuun
Image: different Nuun tubes laying on a dark surface

Image: different Nuun tubes laying on a dark surface

These are electrolyte tablets that actually taste decent. I get their citrus flavoured 'active' tubes. They've got different ranges of products with different uses. This one's for all-round hydration and doesn't have added caffeine.

I've tried other electrolyte mixes before and none of them had enough salt, tasted horrible or gave me a killer migraine. I was kinda nervous when I bought these for the first time. I didn't want another one of those migraines!

I decided to go with the citrus flavour and my stomach digests it and it doesn't trigger migraines. I use half a tablet for a small glass (or a big one filled %50 and topped with ice) of water. That seems to be the perfect amount for me, slightly different to the amounts they recommend on the bottle though. It's best served over ice.

Image: the Nuun logo

Image: the Nuun logo

They've got a vitamin range and a performance range now as well as 'plus' to add to their other tablets to turn the electrolyte drink into a sports drink with added minerals and carbs. 

I do want to point out that not all of them used to be gluten-free and/or vegan but it seems they are now all gluten-free. The active, energy and plus range are certified gluten-free but their all day contains traces of gluten from wheat germ oil. According to their site, the all day range does test less than 10ppm so they're also safe for people with celiac disease.

Image: a nuun tube, lifefactory bottle in the background.

Image: a nuun tube, lifefactory bottle in the background.

They aren't organic but are GMO-free, they're in the process of getting non-GMO verification. They're dairy and soy-free as well.

 

 

 

Get nuun from Iherb (most active, energy and vitamin flavours, you can buy just the one tube), amazon (several flavours and different product ranges but can cost more) and their own website at nuun.com (doesn't ship outside of the US)

What am I supposed to put my nuun in, Sarah?
— Great question!

The lifefactory glass water bottles of course! I love these bottles, I've got the 16 and 9oz ones. I've had mine for a lot of years now and it's just great. They are pretty indestructible.

Image: my own lifefactory bottles. Two purple ones, one small 9oz bottle and one 16oz with fuscia bottle cap.

Image: my own lifefactory bottles. Two purple ones, one small 9oz bottle and one 16oz with fuscia bottle cap.

I only ever really use mine for nuun these days. I have noticed that you need to let it fizz for a while before putting the lid back on. If you put it on while it's still fizzing heavily, it starts to leak out from between the bottle and the screw-on part of the lid.

It's not a bottle to pop in the bottom of your bag and leave there all day, tough. The lid will come off. It's pretty solid so it doesn't leak when you hold in upside down and it's on firmly. It comes off easily so it would get caught on something in your bag and pop off.

I just carry it with me and sip as I go or leave it standing up. They all come with different coloured silicone sleeves so they're not easy to break (the glass is seriously think, too) unless they're dropped at an awkward angle. They do sell spare bottles so if it breaks, make sure to keep the sleeve!

They've got these new 'active' lids that can't pop off. They are only available with a new bottle (most others you can get separately so great for spares). They didn't exist when I got mine so I don't know how well they work.

They've now also got lids with straws and bottles for warm drinks. They've got a range of glass containers and drinking glasses too, they seem great for a picnic!

Also, check out their smaller bottles, they're under the children's line but you can get them with just a screw-on cap. They're a great size for just a portion of juice etc.

I would seriously consider getting the sippy caps, it feels silly but the glass is so thick I never drink from the smaller ones in the car.

I've almost knocked it on my teeth several times and I'm way too worried I'll take out a tooth. I'm fine drinking from them when I'm sitting somewhere, just not when I could end up smacking myself in the face with them.

Get your Lifefactory bottle on amazon, vitacost.com (see bottom of this post for discount code) or from their own website at lifefactory.com.

When I’m sitting in the sun/shade with my nuun in my lifefactory bottle, I’ll need to make sure I don’t burn, right?
— Very much so
Image: my hand holding my tube of badger sunscreen lotion

Image: my hand holding my tube of badger sunscreen lotion

Check out Badger's natural sunscreen. I've been using this suncreen for several years as well and haven't found a better option.

I always used to get the worst sun rash, I would put on heaps of a well-know/market leading sunscreen brand like they suggest you do when you've got sun problems. Seconds after going outside I would turn bright red. I would pile on more and it only became worse. It felt like I was boiling beneath the sunscreen.

Image: tube of badger sunscreen spf 30. 

Image: tube of badger sunscreen spf 30. 

I would go back inside thinking I'd got serious sunburn and minutes later it disappeared. So frustrating! I figured maybe it was the sunscreen so I wanted to see if there were any natural brands and if they would make a difference. I learned there's two ways sunscreen can work, chemically and physically. A physical sunscreen deflects the rays from your skin, a chemical one absorbs the sun rays. Both are rated with SPF and UVA/B.

I came across Badger's sunscreen (a physical/natural line of sunscreens and lotions) and it costs less than the leading brand so I figured I'd try it. I got their SPF 30 sun lotion and tried it. I haven't had any sun rash since then and I don't burn as easily. I used to have to put at least SPF 50 on my face and I was fine with this SPF 30.

Image: tube of Badger sunscreen lotion spf 25

Image: tube of Badger sunscreen lotion spf 25

They don't make the SPF 30 sun lotion anymore, they're got an SPF 30 sunscreen and an SPF 25 lotion. I haven't tried the sunscreen yet, from what I've read, it's thicker so great for activities but harder to rub in for day-to-day use. They've got a couple of different ranges, their daily sun lotion, the active line, the sports line and the anti-mosquito sunscreens. They've got sticks as well as unscented versions.

If you're going to look for another brand of natural sunscreen, make sure to get one that doesn't use nano ingredients and don't buy the aerosol sprays. Ingredients like zinc oxide (the active ingredient that protects your skin) are safe on your skin but aren't the best when inhaled.

All Badger products are gluten-free. These sunscreens aren't certified because they're produced in another factory. While the lines are cleaned often, they can't guarantee there's no cross-contamination.

I haven't had any problems with them but always try to wash my hands afterwards. You would anyway because it leaves a very light film on your body. You can't see if but you can taste it.

So, waxing, got any good tips?
— sure thing!

Ah, yes, I mean, just shaving takes a bunch of energy and doesn't last very long at all. I came across MOOM when I was looking for more natural beauty products. Growing up I would use those hair removal creams, you know the pink stuff you spread on your legs and then the hair falls off, doesn't seem harmful at all :P .

Image: a refil jar of MOOM wax

Image: a refil jar of MOOM wax

After I became ill my body didn't respond well to the chemicals in those products. They would make my lips swell and crack or I would get other allergic reactions. So another product it was. Enter MOOM, they're a sugar-based natural wax.

They're certified organic and are unscented, other than the smell of the chamomile in the wax when you're cleaning off the residue. If you're okay with chamomile tea that should be okay.

I bought a started kit from them at first to get started. It's got a jar of the sugar wax, wooden spatulas to spread the wax and cotton strips to pull off the sugar wax. It's quite easy to use.

You do need to get used to heating the wax in a jar of warm water on the stove or in the microwave. It shouldn't get as hot as regular beauty salon wax so you can't burn yourself. It's just getting the temperature right to make sure you're putting on the thinnest layer.

Image: the MOOM logo in brown, subtitle says; all-natural beauty products

Image: the MOOM logo in brown, subtitle says; all-natural beauty products

I started out with doing one leg at a time because it does take a bit of energy. Now I can do both in one go. It takes the same amount of time (for me at least) as shaving and it lasts way longer.

According to their site, if done regularly, it should last up to eight weeks. That's totally worth the effort for me. I do make sure to scrub my legs before waxing to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Image: a MOOM starter kit

Image: a MOOM starter kit

If you're going to keep on using the MOOM system, it's worth it to get an extra pack of the strips. It works easier when you've got enough of strips. I tend to lack four or so strips if I want to do both my legs in one go.

After you're done, soak the strips in warm water and the sugar comes right off.

They've got instructions for using MOOM on other parts of your body but I haven't quite worked up the courage. Slightly concerned I'd pull off half my eyebrow, that's just not a good look.

They do have ready-to-use strips available on their website as well. 

You can get MOOM from Iherb (large selection), amazon or their own website at moom.com

 
For when you need a bit of a refreshing pick me up...

— check out this body mist

Deep steep's body mist. Perfect for spraying on clothes as well. It's another natural, vegan, gluten-free, with organic ingredients product. It actually feels refreshing. I got the spearmint-melon and it does smell nice. Not as great and accurate as their grapefruit or lavender ranges, though.

The Deep Steep body mist in spearmint-melon

The Deep Steep body mist in spearmint-melon

They've got body lotions, washes, shampoos, creams, bubble baths etc as well. These aren't scents that will last forever once you've sprayed it, though.

They're all very affordable and come in a range of scents. They're all available in the same range so there's a spearmint-melon body lotion, scrub, bubble bath etc.. Their baby product range is too cute!

If you're familiar with natural scents or essential oils, that's not new but in case you aren't, this isn't like a perfume you'll smell all day. I think that's a good thing and it certainly helps those who you'll make sneeze with those perfumes.

Get yours from Iherb, amazon, or their own website at deepsteep.com

 
When I’m brining small items
— these work great

For travelling when you're bringing small amounts of something.

Image: my stack 'n seal containers

Image: my stack 'n seal containers

I try to bring everything with me in the easiest containers when I'm going somewhere. These Innobaby 'Stack N Seal' containers definitely fit the bill. I've used them for ages, for things like sugar, coconut oil and protein powder.

They twist in the ones below and above them so they're sealed and you can put a bunch of them on top of each other. I've got two two-tiered stacks and I just add as many as I need.

Sometimes, I'll just use a base and a lid with one container when I need just the one. They've got another range but those aren't spill proof.

Each of these containers holds about half a cup. When I'm not going somewhere I keep them on the counter in the kitchen with salt, sugar etc.

These aren't the most exciting thing design-wise (the only in this list I promise!) but they work really well. They do have a lime and a blue option now rather than the white fruits or vegetables.

Get them from amazon or on their own website at innobaby.com

 

A lot of these products are also available on Vitacost.com, use this link to get $5 off of your first purchase with them.

Gluten and allergy information is correct at the time this post was published, make sure to check with the manufacturers to see if it's still up to date.

If you're reading this before July 20th, make sure to go to giveaways.sarahfrison.com/giveaway/summer to be able to win some of these products!