When summer is in full swing, it's important to find a healthy balance between the fire and water elements that rule this hot and humid time of year. Within the health science of Ayurveda, some ways you can activate the fire element are eating spicy foods, strenuous workouts, and exercising outdoors midday. Similarly, the water element increases within our bodies when we hydrate, sleep, siesta, and do mellow practices like yin or restorative yoga. We also can increase the presence of the water element when we are checked in with our emotions. Below are some of my favorite tips on how Ayurveda can help you stay cool and calm in the heat of summer.
Eating the Ayurvedic Way
Nature offers us certain foods depending on the season to help us maintain healthy bodies. This summer, keep you eye out for the following foods, which have hydrating, cooling, or light properties that can protect you from the heat:
Eating freshly picked, local food also means you will be eating fruits and vegetables when they taste their best and are at their highest nutritional value!
- Stone Fruit (Peaches, Plums, Cherries, Nectarines, Apricots, Mangoes, Raspberries, Blackberries)
- Salad Lettuces
We also recommend stocking your kitchen with these seasonal alternatives:
- Substitute mushrooms or tofu in place of meat.
- Opt for fresh herbs instead of chilies.
- For a crunchy snack, replace chips with nuts, avocados, falafel, carrots, snap peas, and celery.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh dates.
- Drink coconut water and naturally-flavored sparkling water instead of soda and alcohol.
Remember that every day is different and how you relate to your seasonal diet will change day by day. Stay curious about how you feel when you align your food choices with the natural world around you.
Set yourself up for success with the following dietary practices:
- Cook and plan meals in the morning when the kitchen is cool.
- Enjoy food with cooling and hydrating properties. Cool off with these summer smoothies or enjoy the Arugula and Watermelon Salad recipe below.
- Eat frequent meals throughout the day to avoid low blood sugar moments.
- Add cilantro, cucumber, mint, and lime to water for a refreshing beverage that will cool you down. Coconut water and cooling teas like rose, fennel, and hibiscus are also recommended to keep you hydrated and calm.
- Minimize inflammatory foods.
- If possible, eat all your meals outside in the fresh air.
Summer Wellness Practices
In addition to dietary changes, some of my favorite daily self-care routines for this season include:
Integrating small, daily practices like these in your routine can help reduce excess heat in the mind and body and stay cool in the summertime.
Join Melina in her 5-Day Summer Ayurveda Yoga Challenge.
Salad Ingredients (organic if possible):
- 3 Cups of Arugula
- 2 Cups of Watermelon Chunks
- 2 Tablespoons or Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/4 Cup of Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon of White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Pinch of Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Prepare all salad ingredients and place in a large bowl.
- Stir dressing ingredients together in a separate small container until blended.
- Drizzle dressing onto salad and toss until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing.