Wholistic Living – Summer Foods Are Cool


  A major factor for optimum health is maintaining balance.  Part of balance depends on what we consume at certain times of the year.  This may also vary by where we live geographically.


      In the heat of the summer, generally, we should focus on consuming cooler foods by their energy or nature.  Heavy foods with high fat content and warm energies by nature may be eaten in the summer, but limited in quantity.  Hot and spicy foods can also be eaten because they can cool our bodies through sweat.  However, regular servings of those spicy foods, red meats, high starch foods, pastas, and gravies should be limited during the warm summer months, while fish, chicken, salads, fruits, and cooked cooler vegetables should make up the majority of our diets.  These simple adjustments will help with our weight, overall health, keep blood pressure and cholesterol low, and cool our bodies naturally.


      Late fall though winter is the time to add the warmer foods, higher fat foods, starches, and carbs helps build our fat reserves, keeping us warmer during cold winter months.  This way of balanced dietary life works for northern environments while a warmer geographical location requires some adjustments because the environment is warmer and does not get as cold in the winter.


      Some cooler foods include apples, asparagus, bananas, barley, buckwheat, celery, chicken, clams, crab, cucumber, eggplant, wheat, kelp, lemon, lettuce, millet, mung beans, most fish, mushrooms, nori, oats, pears, pork, soybean, spinach, Swiss chard, tangerine, tomatoes, water chestnut, watercress, and watermelon.  While these foods are specifically cooling or cold energetically and are a sampling of the cooler foods, several other foods are considered neutral and may be eaten year-round.  Again, warmer and spicy foods can also be eaten any time, we should just be aware of how often and the amounts to be eaten, so we don’t overheat our bodies.


     We should also keep ourselves hydrated throughout the warmer months.  The liquids can include some drinks that replenish our electrolytes especially after any taxing physical activities.  Caffeinated drinks should be limited because they tend to rob our bodies of needed water reserves.  Just because the drink is iced seems to quench our thirst doesn’t mean it satisfies our body’s needs to cool off.  Caffeine, in any form, will tap into the energy stores of the adrenals.  In time, this consumption leads to adrenal exhaustion.  Caffeine impairs healing because it drains energy reserves to create a “sense” of well being.  This doesn’t mean we can never have an iced tea or coffee.  We should treat them as just that “treats”.  


      Speaking of iced or cold drinks, generally, room temperature water and fluids are actually assimilated better by our bodies.  Iced water is one of the largest contributers to a weakened digestion causing gas, bloatedness, and lethargy after eating.  Imagine throwing iced water on a fire and the resulting steam and eventually extinguished fire.  The same occurs in the stomach where the digestive fires must be kept continually burning.  Likewise, excessive intake of carbonated water can cause gas, bloatedness, hiccough, poor digestion, dizziness, spaciness, and lethargy.


     While many of these suggestions seem to aim at a boring diet, keep in mind that we are omnivores, meaning we can eat a variety of foods.  Treats should be viewed as treats and not staple foods.  Enjoy your foods.  Enjoy a variety of foods and drinks.             

     We should simply be mindful of the nature of the foods and quantities.  Try eating cooler foods in the warmer months for Wholistic Living.  

One response to “Wholistic Living – Summer Foods Are Cool”

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