Tips to Keep Your Cool This Summer
written by Marjorie Nass
I'm so excited to introduce you to my Ayurveda wellness coach and friend Marjorie Nass. She was kind enough to share her knowledge in this blog. Please enjoy these awesome tips!
The sun in the Northern hemisphere sits high in the sky this month. The early sunrise rapidly warms the atmosphere, and the sun is still shining brightly into early evening, often the hottest time of day.
To help manage summer’s heat, consider the roadmap of Ayurveda, yoga’s wellness branch. Ayurveda, the science of life, utilizes the five elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth to create balance.
Fire, which dominates in summer is hot, penetrating, and ignites powerful change. Think about this in terms of food; raw and inedible food, with a bit of heat, becomes delicious and enjoyable. However, adding too much heat will make that same food burnt, and once again inedible. (I recommend Michael Pollan’s food documentary Cooked, on Netflix. The titles of each of the four episodes are Fire, Water Air, and Earth).
Fire is transformational and life supporting, but too much throws us off balance, and can lead to irritability, sunburn, hot headedness, and digestive upset. In order to feel cool as a cucumber rather than hot, sweaty and annoyed, follow these simple tips.
Drink plenty of cool, not cold water. Instead of placing ice cubes in water, add sprigs of fresh mint and cool, sliced cucumbers. This tasty combo will cool you from inside out. You can also add a squeeze of lime, another cooling fruit.
Rethink ice entirely. According to Ayurveda, cold, iced drinks, especially with meals, quell the body’s digestion, which depends on heat to transform food to be optimally absorbed and assimilated. This may seem counterintuitive, but cold temperatures shock the digestive system; without enough fire, the body must work harder to optimize this essential process of digestion. Many of my students have finally gotten rid of their heartburn and other GI disturbances by eliminating iced drinks with meals.
Skip the hot spices and peppers, which create too much heat in the digestive tract. In summer, stick with cooling raw vegetables, leafy green and fruits which naturally have a high water content.
Eat three meals a day, rather than frequently snacking. Consider that every time you eat, the digestive system must get to work, which requires the body generate more heat. Before I began following Ayurveda’s optimal rhythm of eating three meals a day (with little or no snacking), I often felt overheated, and not just in summer. Once I stopped grazing all day, there was a surprising benefit: I began to feel less hot. Make more space between dinner and going to sleep; you’ll feel cooler overall.
Bring on the greens. Include plenty of leafy greens including spinach, kale, Swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, bok choy and wild greens like dandelion, nettles, lambs quarters and purslane which have cooling properties. When in doubt, stick with what’s available at the local farmer’s market. Nature always provides what’s needed in season to create balance.
Learn more about Marjorie’s retreats and online programs at https://marjorienass.com/
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