In Ayurveda – an ancient form of East Indian Healing, summer is the season of Pitta. The elements that make up Pitta are fire and water. Pitta emits heat so the summer diet and lifestyle must be full of foods and practices that reduce that fire. If we don’t take in the cooling and light foods that are naturally available to us at this time of year we can become overheated, intense, fiery, irritable, overly competitive and critical, have anger outbursts and be more prone to sunburn, inflammation and irritation from mosquito and other bug bites.
When we are aligned with the perfection and wisdom of seasonal eating and eat the cooling and light foods throughout summer, we stay balanced. Ayurveda teaches us that wellness does not come without balance.
This season Mother Nature provides us with sweet, bitter and astringent foods to cool us, pacify the heat and provide us the high energy we need for the long days and nights. Some of the best and most balancing foods to incorporate throughout the summer are:
- Summer squash
- Green and yellow beans
- ground flaxseed
- hemp seeds
- white wild-caught fish (pickerel, sole, cod, halibut)
- raw honey and bee pollen
The most important lifestyle practices this season are to have fun, be spontaneous, try new things, stay cool, swim, play, vacation and take time out from busy, rigid schedules and deadlines and just be. If we don’t take time out to relax then we create excess Pitta in our body, mind and soul.
One of the areas you can try to be adventurous is with your food. Remember how we do life is how we do food. If you are adventurous and try new things in your diet then you can be adventurous and try new things in your life. I recently had a client who told me she was trying so many new proteins in her diet and realizing that she liked a lot of new foods she had never tried and that she was having a lot of fun experimenting and being open. She realized that she was doing the same in her life as well.
The new food we tried in our family the last few weeks was Kohlrabi – a nutritious, delicious, seasonal and local vegetable. You can eat this vegetable raw – simply peel it and slice it for a sweet, crisp and refreshing veggie (my kids love it!). Add it in to salads and shred it into slaws. You can also roast it like a potato. Julienned, it can be stir-fried with a little butter, lemon and parsley. According to the Organic Cook’s Bible, “Kohlrabi is packed with nutrition. A cup of boiled Kohlrabi provides the full daily requirement of Vitamin C and more than 25 percent of a person’s daily potassium needs.”
So get out there my friends! Enjoy the summer, love on the Farmer’s Markets, embrace new foods, eat sweet, bitter, astringent foods to stay cool and balanced, try new things, be adventurous, take time out to enjoy life and pacify the Pitta heat with all the best foods and fun summer has to offer.