E14: 🌊Oceans vs. Lakes & the Only Hot Dog Hack You Need

Plus: Summer hair tips, beach snacks & which frozen treats are healthiest

Good morning, and Happy Fourth of July! Let’s get to today’s serving of snackable news. For anyone new here: this is The Skinny, an unconventional take of curated, need-to-know items designed to inspire a happier and healthier day/week/life. What we’re covering:

  • What’s superior: lakes or the ocean? Weighing in, along with our top lake and ocean destinations 

  • The dogs-down, best cut for grilling your franks. Plus, healthy beach snacks, the most hydrating foods and how to eat red, white & blue

  • Why you need a fouta, or Turkish towel, this summer

  • A recipe for hydrated skin, plus a hack for protecting your hair in the summer 

  • Boat shoes are back, food collabs for teens & a yacht rock playlist  

If you have friends who would love The Skinny or some of this week’s edition, we’d be forever grateful if you forwarded this email. And if someone already in the know sent this, you can subscribe here.

Dive in

What’s better: lakes or oceans?  

The shores of Biarritz, France, where rosé and surf await

The lovely Lake Martin, AL

The Skinny: Facing off on this topic, Nicole is going full Pisces and all in for oceans because they’re dangerous and unpredictable, yet calming and therapeutic. Surf vibes, saltwater hair, fried clams, beers & boardwalks…doesn’t get any better.

Jill says why do we have to choose, can’t we have it all? However, her #livelovelake vibe is strong, despite her lack of throw pillows or signs stating as such. Her brother is named “The Lakeman,” actually. So, why are lakes better than the ocean? 

  • Lake water is better for your hair (see a summer hair hack, below)

  • Tubing, wakeboarding

  • Kid Rock

We’ll leave you with this incredible list of the world’s most beautiful lakes, and in case you didn’t know, this one is the cleanest in the United States

Jill’s lake picks: 

  • Lake Michigan: The Midwest’s answer to the ocean, famous for sandy beaches and great cities like Chicago and Milwaukee. 

  • Lake Martin, Alabama: Fancy lake life, surrounded by forests and beautiful homes. Bonus:  you can roll up by boat to play 18 holes of golf. 

  • Lake Powell AZ/NV: iconic, jaw-dropping canyon scenery. Stay on a houseboat, tow your wakesurf boat

  • Gun Lake/Gull Lake, Michigan: Quintessential lake life, pontoons, bonfires, fishing and tubing

  • Crater Lake, Oregon: The deepest US lake, Crater Lake is a beautiful bright blue and was formed by a collapsed volcano

  • Great Salt Lake: The largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, don’t miss a chance to float in the extra buoyant water

  • Lake Tahoe: Split time between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is everything you want in a lake, plus ski resorts and casinos

Nicole’s ocean picks: 

  • Biarritz and St. Jean-de-Luz, France: Impossibly chic, bring multiple bottles of rosĂ© to the beach and never leave 

  • Ditch Plains, Montauk: Surf’s up, Ditch Witch is still open 

  • Puerto Angel, Mexico: Party in the towns next door, relax here with Oaxacan food and fish straight from the boat

  • Cape Sounion, Greece: Dramatic promontory dedicated to Poseidon, and filled with dramatic & mythical seafaring history  

  • St. Lucia, between the Pitons: A snorkeler's dream  

  • Bethany & Rehoboth Beaches, DE: Childhood beach, where nothing beats a tub of Thrasher’s fries with vinegar 

  • Nauset & Cahoon Hollow Beaches, Cape Cod: Spectacular! Dangerously shark infested! 

Pantry raid

What’s cooking for the 4th

Photo by RNDE Stock Project for Pexels

The Skinny: Hot dogs, ofc. We covered this recently, but here’s a reminder about how to choose better-for-you hot dogs., but Mmore importantly—this amazing story that explains the differences between hot dog slicing techniques for grilling. The Kitchn put in all the hard work, but only one technique scored 10/10 for the juiciest, perfectly charred hot dog. 

Now for the best or better-for-you things you can eat at the beach or your 4th picnic (with the exception of our fave fried food)...read on. Because you’re busy prepping and traveling, we’ve compiled all the quick links here: 

  • Which is “healthier,” soft serve, ice cream, or gelato? Turn to Popular Science for the answers

  • Eat the red, white and blue! “Eating the rainbow” – meaning, striving to eat foods of many different colors for the most varied nutritional benefit – is a great strategy but for tomorrow, let’s focus on red, white (often forgotten as not technically part of the rainbow, but with lots of important choices) and blue. For red, choose tomatoes for Caprese and watermelon salad; the white category includes cauliflower (make cauli wings with Frank’s RedHot!) and white potatoes for salads; and for blue, we suggest frozen grapes, purple cabbage for your slaw, and blueberries. 

  • Glow getter foods: Here are healthy snack ideas for a day at the beach, which should also include lots of these most hydrating foods (totally surprised that watermelon is not even in the top 10). Radishes clock in at No. 4 (shout-out to one of our friends, who doesn’t leave the house without a little sack of them, wherever she goes). 

  • Finally, an ode to fried clams

Clams on boardwalk at Coney Island, NYC

Crème de la Skinny  

Why you need a great fouta this summer 

On location in Oak Bluffs: The Sandcloud Turkish towel

The accessory you need right now is a great Turkish towel, also known as a fouta. Complete with a rich history – traditionally used in hammams – the fouta has evolved into an ultra-chic and practical beach (and home) accessory.  Two to try: These from Sandcloud, which are made from 100% organic Turkish cotton yarn, and these stunning versions from Fouta Harissa (two women who we met at Shoppe Object) complete with Tunisian tradition.

Beauty corner

Summer hair, don’t care (but you absolutely should)

The Skinny: Hot tip from our friends at Fabio Scalia Salons, in terms of how to protect your hair before hitting the pool/beach/lake: rinse your hair in cold water (this helps seal the cuticle, keeping bad things out), then apply conditioner and leave it in. Do as Fabio says, and your hair will be less tangled, and protected from the elements. Two to try: we love this Solar Recover spray conditioner, and to say “Farewell, Frizz” this hair oil from Briogeo is your new summer must-have.

Bonus recipe for glowing hydrated skin: We’re trying this juice/smoothie hack for the summer, with alleged benefits including internal hydration, along with internal deep cleansing. Just two days in at this point, so the verdict is out but once the compliments roll in, we will update you. How to make: 

  • In your blender: about ½ cup  of water, with a sprinkling of chia seeds

  • Add one peeled cucumber and 3 celery stalks

  • Blend and add a squeeze of lemon

Hit reply if you end up trying it too!


This week’s newsfeed

  • Teenage dreams are made of these latest food collab drops, which we’re thinking had to have been dreamed up by 14 year olds. We’re talking Hidden Valley Ranch x Cheez-its, Crumbl cookies x Kellogg’s; Drumstick x 7-11/Slurpee. Our summer snacking needs are complete. 

  • Why Americans love ice in their drinks and the Brits do not.

  • Smarter sodas or dumbing down? PepsiCo brands experimenting with AI on its cans as a way to “customize the user experience.” 

  • Preppy-chic has always been in our fashion repertoire, so for us these never really went away, but GQ says boat shoes are back. For women, the fashion houses (Miu Miu, for one) have helped bring them back and while the WSJ has named these luxury versions “yacht shoes,” you can find the best boat shoes (and some dupes) you need here. 

*If you purchase something linked in The Skinny, we may get an affiliate commission—but at no additional cost to you.