Most people love summer.
And it’s not hard to see why.
School is out, everything is green, and life just feels more free, easy, and fun.
But with rising temperatures summer is also an easy time to become imbalanced on the health and wellness front.
Traditions like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda recognize this better than modern conventional medicine.
Because although hospital workers might observe that the number of heat stroke patients goes up when the sun is strong, they don’t ever acknowledge the more subtle impact the heat can have on us.
But the impact of heat is real my friends.
And it’s a serious issue.
Because if you eat too many heating foods and do too many heating activities, it can throw your whole system out of whack.
And this can happen anytime of year.
But, for obvious reasons, you’re especially vulnerable to excess heat in the summertime.
So what does too much heat look like in a person?
When you have too much heat in your system, it can lead to symptoms like:
- Acid reflux
- Acne, rashes
- Red face
- Sharp pains
- Burning sensations
- Migraine headaches
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Hormone imbalance
- Bad breath
- Strong body odor
- Angry outbursts
- Mania (or feeling like a crazy person)
And if you’re an ambitious mother, you want to make sure that you keep yourself balanced and don’t let the heat get to you!
Because these symptoms are straight up uncomfortable.
And they can lead to more serious health problems down the line if you’re not careful.
So here’s what you should do when the weather is hot:
1. First off, know yourself.
Do you tend to run hot or cold in general?
If you know that you’re sensitive to heat, it’s a good idea to be extra strict with yourself in the summertime.
But if you tend to run cold it’s another story.
If these symptoms don’t really come up for you, then you know that you don’t have to worry about heat affecting you as much as your more hot-headed counterparts.
Just pay attention to what your body and emotions are telling you, and adjust your diet and lifestyle accordingly.
2. Eat cooling foods.
This one’s a little tricky, because the food you should eat depends on the strength of your digestion.
If you have a strong digestive system then you can eat more raw, crunchy, and cool foods in the summertime.
If your digestion is anything other than ideal, however, you’re going to want to be more careful.
What does strong digestion look like?
1-2 well-formed bowel movements every day, without straining, bloating, gassiness, looseness, foggy-brained feeling, or discomfort.
Anything other than that means that your digestion isn’t strong enough to handle raw or cold foods.
If this is you, stick to lightly cooked meals with lots of fresh herbs and plenty of hydration.
3. Eat cooling and hydrating flavors.
The best flavors to eat in the summertime are naturally sweet foods (like yams, carrots, and whole grains), occasional pungent foods (to induce sweating), bitter foods, and sour foods.
Avoid eating anything that’s too salty or astringent because it’ll make you feel worse.
4. Use cooling and hydrating cooking methods.
In hot weather the best cooking methods to use are steaming, blanching, light and quick cooking, sauté, and poaching.
5. Avoid foods and activities that add heat to your system.
The foods to avoid include:
Excessively hot or cold foods
Greasy, creamy, and heavy foods
Processed or baked goods
Stimulants like caffeine
Overly spicy food like hot sauce and hot peppers
As for activities, just be smart about it.
Don’t garden outside at noon when the sun is high.
Don’t slave away in a hot kitchen.
Instead, go outside early in the morning and in the evening when the weather is cool and comfortable.
Stay in the shade when the sun is hot.
Be social but also make time for yourself.
And when you do all that, you’ll have a healthy happy summer.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What’s your favorite summertime activity?
Leave a comment, I’d love to know!