Hot Healthy Summer

IMG_4192Well, it has officially been one month of summer gone.  I am in somewhat of a shock, and hoping that the next two months don’t go by as fast.  And with two more months left, I am going to make it count.

Of course, with Ayurveda, we are all about living with the seasons.  Summer being one of the three that we recognize, it is the month to keep energized and stay cool.  It makes sense.  We don’t want to over heat in the summer and the days are so long, that we don’t want to tire ourselves out so early.  I always find my it’s difficult for my body to stay up later during the first couple of weeks of summer. My body was ready for bed by 8pm.  That’s the grandma status coming out 😉

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Wake up call: First thing you want to do is adjust your sleeping patterns.  Maybe wake up an hour earlier, as the sun rises earlier.  I believe 6am or before does the trick.  Even on late nights, don’t set yourself up to sleep in.  You would be surprised to know how your body may want to get up earlier, then you would expect.  Just listen to it and try not to excuse yourself with that snooze button.  You want to get the maximum amount of energy for the day ahead.

Coconut oil:  Coconut is a cooling fruit.  If it comes from the tropics, it is most likely because it’s made for a more hot/humid climate.  Although I can name about 5 different uses for coconut oil, the one I would like to talk about is a coconut oil massage.  Before a shower, massage the coconut oil over your body.  This will not only get your skin and organs stimulated, but also moisturize and cool your body down before the day starts.  Amazing!  Once you get into the hot shower your pores will open to allow deep moisture.  I recommend a short cold shower after your daily wash.  This will minimize your pores once again and lock in the moisture.  If you still use soap in the shower, I recommend a quick sweep of the coconut oil when you get out.

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Food!!

Enjoy summer’s abundance of fruit.  Your body in the summer will naturally crave sweeter foods.  Keep it healthy and trimming with the fresh berries, peaches, and melons, to the more tropical fruits from other parts of the country.  Papaya’s, mangoes, and pineapples are some of my favorite go-tos.  With the sugar and carbs from the fruits, you will have lasting energy throughout your day.

Raw food is great!  Your body is ready to better digest hearty raw salads, cereals, and yummy side dishes.  Grilled summer veggies such as peppers, zucchini, and corn are also amazing.  Big Plus! Ice cream is A-ok in the middle of that summer hot day.  Cooling milk and yogurts are great for those who overheat easily.

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Avoid high fat proteins and that fried goodness.  I know those summer burgers and french fries look tempting, but make that a once in a blue moon kind of thing.  I find it so much easier to be vegetarian in the summer.  When eating out or want a nice piece of protein, go for the seafood.  Trust me, you want to keep it light during this season!

You may also want to limit your amount of high fermented products, such as kombucha and kimchi.  They tend to be heating to the body.  For your probiotics stick with a cooling yogurt.

Cool Hydration: Coconut water!  Full of electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium.  It is perfect for a post work out drink.  Mix with fruit and frozen banana’s for a cooling summer smoothie.  Fresh juices are perfect for this season!  I find it so much easier to drink a green juice in the morning or a random carrot-orange juice when it’s not freezing temps outside.

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Exercise:  Don’t go crazy.   I know it is summer, and everyone wants that hot summer body, but let’s think realistically.  You already expense a lot of energy through the longer days and warmer climates.  Plus, there is already a decrease in the heaviness and fat content in your meals.  You’re workouts as well should be a less intense.  I practice hot yoga, and during the summer the room is actually a lot less hot then in the winter.  At times there is no heating at all.  If you run, run in the morning or closer to sunset.

Hope this helps!  Of course there are many other tips and tricks, but I find these are the some that work best for most, including myself!

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PS.  If you’re one who enjoys a drink, stay close to refreshing simple cocktails and white wine!  Those do the trick to keep it cool and light during the summer months.

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