Summertime Living and Eating

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve just experienced the summer solstice.  It’s the longest day of the year and that turning point when the days ever so slowly begin to shorten again.

For now, however, the days are long and the temperatures are hot! 

Adjusting our lifestyles a little bit to the season around us helps us feel more grounded, more balanced, more at ease with life.  All things we want, right?!

The long days of the summer season invites us to “bring more enthusiasm, warmth, extroversion, and joy into our daily lives.”  It’s a time of lightness, play, and expansion. Ask any kid what their favorite season is and 9 times out of 10 it’s the summer!  That’s because there’s so much to do and experience during the summer months!

You may notice you have more energy during the summer, maybe even needing to sleep less.  This mimics the amount of sunshine that we have with long days and shorter nights and is a good sign that you’re in-balance with the season.

Signs of imbalance during the summer months, however, are impatience, being quick to anger, feeling annoyance, irritation, heartburn, sour stomach or indigestion.  If you’re feeling too “hot” in either your body and/or your mind this time of year, then it’s a tail-tale sign you’re a bit out of balance with the season.

In fact, if you’re feeling “hot-headed” this time of year, try splashing your face with cold water first thing in the morning to help you release excess heat from your head.  

Although it may seem silly, the head can actually accumulate excess heat from the body, causing a host of discomforts, so helping yourself release that heat is a great idea!  I splash my face with cold (or cool in the winter time) water all year long to help with this and I’ve noticed a difference!

Great ideas to celebrate and live in summer:

  • Walk barefoot on the grass, soil, or sand as much as you can
  • Listen to the birds each morning 
  • Sip cool coconut or mint water throughout the day
  • As often as you can, watch the sun slowly come up over the horizon each morning, and again at night, watch the sun slowly dip down as it sets.
  • Spend as much time as you can near water, playing in it as often as you can. 🙂
  • Even if you work inside, try to get at least twenty minutes of direct sunlight a day.  (During the hours of 11-3 is when the sun is most intense so you might want to avoid those hours of direct sunlight.)
  • Physical movement and exercise are best done in the mornings and in the evenings so as not to over-heat ourselves and noncompetitive exercise is best such as swimming, moderate yoga, and walking. 
  • Practice moderation (even if you find you have a lot of energy) in choosing activities and avoid overscheduling yourself.
  • Try to stay out of the midday sun, but do enjoy as much time in nature as possible in the mornings and evenings.

Eating in the Summer

“One of these easiest ways to embrace seasonal living is by eating foods that are in season. In our modern world it seems like we have all but forgotten what seasonal foods are. We can buy almost any kind of produce we want from the store ANY time of year.  If you are able to, try growing a garden! You can also choose to shop for your produce at local farmer’s markets, or directly from farmers in your area.  This will ensure that you’re eating seasonally. ”  – Jeyden from BackRoadBloom.com

However you choose to get your food, during the hot summer months, favor refreshing foods that lighten the body and keep the system cool, such as cilantro, cucumber, melon, and zucchini.  These “cool” foods will alleviate discomfort created from the heat in our world around us.

Eating foods that are cooling, calming, and slightly dry are best during the hot and bright days of the summertime months.  Therefore, zucchini, broccoli, leafy greens, celery, green beans, and fennel root are great to eat right now.  Also, sweet and neutral fruits such as grapes, stone fruits, melons and limes will help to cool the body and the mind in addition to cooling spices and herbs such as fennel seed, coriander, cilantro, cardamom, mint, and turmeric.  

According to Ayurvedic tradition, however, during the hot summer months is not the time to be eating a lot of spicy or sour foods as they only build more heat in the body. 

I, however, love salsa and pickles during the summer and according to Ayurveda, that’s a no-no. 

So I’ve found that I can just eat those kinds of foods more moderately than I used to, and if I am noticing signs of imbalance in my body, then I really take it easy on those foods until I feel myself back in balance again.

That is why I love the concept of seasonal eating and living!  I can adjust what I am doing/eating, etc. based on how I feel inside and what’s going on around me outside.  By making little adjustments here and there, I can find the balance I have been seeking.

I hope some of these tips help you too!

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