Seasonal Wellness - Summer Edition

The heat is ON! When summer is in full swing, it's important to find a healthy balance between the Fire and Water elements that rule this hot time of year. Within the health science of Ayurveda, the Fire element increases when we work or effort too much, do strenuous workouts, exercise outdoors midday, or eat spicy foods. The Water element increases when we hydrate, sleep, siesta, do mellow practices like yin or restorative yoga, and when we are checked in with our emotions. Here are some of my favorite tips on how Ayurveda can help you stay cool and calm in the heat of summer.

Nature is clever in many ways and one of them is to offer us foods in a particular sequence throughout the year to ensure our bodies have what they need in order to be healthy. Keep your eye out this summer for these foods which have hydrating, cooling, or light properties that can protect us from the heat: melons, blueberries, stone fruit, cucumbers, salad lettuces, zucchini, and corn on the cob. Eating freshly picked local food also means you’ll be getting fruits and vegetables when they are at their highest nutritional value and when they taste their best!

Stock your kitchen with these seasonal alternatives:

  • Mushrooms or tofu in place of meat
  • Fresh herbs instead of chilies
  • Roasted nuts, avocados, falafels, carrots, snap peas and celery in place of chips
  • Coconut or cucumber water instead of soda
  • Fresh dates for a sweet treat
  • Natural-flavored sparkling water instead of alcohol

Remember that every day is different, and how you relate to your seasonal diet will also be. Stay curious about how you feel as your food choices to align with the nature world around you.

In addition to dietary changes, some of my favorite daily self-care routines for this season include morning meditation with a loving-kindness theme, napping in the afternoon, misting with rose water in the afternoon while at my desk, exercising in the early morning, and a little quality time outdoors after work to connect with nature. Including small daily practices done regularly can help you reduce excess heat in the mind/body, which may flare up in a hot season.

Here is my Summer Recipe for Success:

  • Set the tone of the day with daily Loving–Kindness meditation
  • Do your cooking and meal planning in the morning when the kitchen is cool
  • Eat frequent meals to avoid low blood sugar moments
  • Enjoy food with cooling and hydrating properties
  • 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
  • Get outdoors, sit down, breathe, listen, smell, and let the union with your ecology begin

I suggest folding some or all of these practices into your daily routine to see how they help you stay cool in the summer.

And I really hope you enjoy the tasty benefits of my Arugula and Watermelon Salad recipe below.

Please check out my 5-day Summer Ayurveda Yoga Challenge, recorded live in Ojai, California, in June of 2020!

arugula and watermelon salad

Ingredients (organic if possible):
  • 3 Cups Arugula
  • 2 Cups Watermelon chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Prepare all the salad ingredients and place in a large bowl. Stir dressing ingredients together in a small container until blended. Drizzle dressing onto salad and toss until the salad is evenly coated with dressing. Enjoy!

About the Author

Melina Meza

Melina has been exploring the art and science of yoga and nutrition for over 20 years. She is the author of Seasonal Health and Wellness - Change Your Life One Week At A Time, as well as the Art of Sequencing books series.


1 person likes this.
Thank you Melina. What do you recommend instead of hot soup in the summer for grounding and well rounded nutrition?
1 person likes this.
Hello Amy! Believe it or not, I would still recommend SOUP, perhaps in the evening when its not so hot outside? In the summer it may be important to eat 4 meals instead of 3 to stay grounded since the days are so long and we are often super productive!  If you're NOT into soup for the summer....then I would suggest all your meals include  sufficient protein and  grains to satisfy and ground you. Thanks for being part of the challenge!!!

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