Late Summer Lifestyle Tips.
I’m all about the heat of summer, but at some point the magic of it begins to dwindle. It’s late-August, our skin an eyes are dry, patience wears thin, the heat can make you tired and irritable, and oftentimes we become worn thin from the season of endless “yes”. Here are some tips to help recreate balance:
If you are familiar with Ayurvedic medicine, summer is the season of pitta, when the energy of fire is at it's peak. To counter this heat, it’s best to select foods with cooling qualities to balance the abundance of heat in the body and surrounding environment. Think fresh, seasonal ingredients that require minimal cooking.
Drinking coconut water, fresh juice, sun tea, and lots of water will help to cool an aggravated system. Right now I am loving making herbal infusions or sun tea. Herbs such as mint, rose, nettle, chamomile, and tulsi are supportive for your system this time of year. Additionally, consider adding cucumber, lemon, lime or mint to your water and make hydration a bit sexier. Try to avoid drinking a lot of coffee this time of year, it adds excess heat to an already fiery system.
Eating lots of leafy greens (especially arugula since it’s in season), radicchio, spinach, chard, cucumber, celery, summer squash, peas, fava beans, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, stone fruit, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. Consuming fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, mint, parsley, tarragon, dill and fennel will help sooth your system.
*local tip, if you are in Montana, flathead cherries are to die for this time of year, and the harvest for huckleberries and chanterelle mushrooms is in full swing.
What to avoid/limit:
Nightshades like tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, chili peppers
Heavy use of garlic and onions
Heating spices like dry ginger, black pepper, mustard, cayenne and chili powder
Fermented foods, spicy foods, heavy animal proteins, molasses and coffee
Reduce sour, salty, and pungent tastes
As stated in this post, When it comes to a physical practice, choosing a soothing yoga routine will help balance the fever of summer and calm fiery emotions such as irritability or over-ambition. It is best to practice in the cool hours of the day, early morning or late evening, when the sun is less intense. Going for a early morning walk or swimming in cool water are also great options. Obviously, it’s summer time so that’s not to say you won’t want to climb a peak, go for a run, kayak, climb, bike rides, any number of activities. Which, I believe is equally as necessary as moving slow. But, start to noice when you are feeling especially irritable or quick to react, it might be time to do some cooling, grounding exercises as opposed to constantly moving.