Welcome Summer of 2021… finally!
Needless to say, I think so many of us have been waiting for this moment, it looks like things are finally getting back to normal and hopefully they will stay that way, getting better and better with each passing day!
So as we move into summer, how do we attune? Summer is a Yang season and is associated with the Heart, Pericardium, AKA “the Heart wrapper”, Small Intestine and the Triple Burner (a Chinese organ that closely resembles the 2nd, 3rd and 4th chakras). Summer is all about luxurious growth and variety. The outside heat and long hours boosts our body naturally and provide additional energy. Summer offers abundance in many forms, including the diet, so many choices with so many things in season! I’m currently munching on fresh strawberries from the farm down the street!
Chinese medicine tips!
- Change up your diet or take a mineral supplement since minerals and oils are sweated out of the body during this season, their loss can cause weakness if they are not replaced by a varied diet.
- To be in harmony with the atmosphere of summer, awaken very early in the morning, preferably at sunrise.
- To be more comfortable, drink hot liquids and take warm showers to induce sudden sweating and to cool the body. (Quite opposite of what we normally think!)
- Don’t overdo raw, cold foods. Summer heat combined with too much cold food like salads and raw fruits can actually weaken the digestive organs, coldness causes contraction and interferes with digestion. Iced drinks and ice cream actually contract the stomach and stop digestion. So enjoy and practice moderation.
- Use plenty of brightly colored summer fruits and vegetables. Cook lightly and regularly add a LITTLE spicy, pungent, or even fiery flavor, but not too much!
- When sautéing, use high heat for a very short time. Side note: olive oil is an unstable oil and under high heat can cause free radicals, try some new stable oils, like coconut (great for the thyroid and detoxifying the blood) or rice bran oil (GREAT oil that has become more popular lately, available at Trader Joe’s.
- Steam and simmer foods as quickly as possible. Use little salt and more water.
- Cooling fresh foods for summer are salads, sprouts (mung, soy and alfalfa), fruit, cucumber, tofu (not too much if you have estrogen dominance), flower and leaf teas (mint, chrysanthemum and chamomile), watermelon, lemons and limes.
Last note: The hot flavored spices are also considered appropriate in the warmest weather, at first their effect is to bring warmth, but ultimately they bring body heat out to the surface to be dispersed. With heat on the surface, one’s body mirrors the summer climate and therefore will be less affected by it. Red and green hot peppers, cayenne red pepper, fresh ginger, horseradish, black pepper are all idea for this purpose, but if you are allergic to nightshades, do not use peppers, however black pepper is fine since it is not a nightshade. However, be mindful if too many dispersing foods are taken, then weakness and loss of yang will result, and the ability to stay warm and vital in the cooler seasons is lost.
That’s all for now. Wishing you a wonderful, fun summer!