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Spicy summer – foods for this season

The summer is finally here with its yang energy associated with expansion, growth, lightness outward activity, brightness and creativity. Let your diet and lifestyle be in harmony with the fire element of the summer. Here are some suggestions:

Get creative, let your meals be colorful, varied and light. Sauté, steam or simmer food for short times, use little salt and lots of water. Add a little spicy, pungent or fiery flavor.

On the hottest days avoid cold drinks or ice cream. Very cold foods weaken the digestive organs; cold causes contraction, holding in sweat and heat. Better drink hot liquids and take warm showers to induce sweating and to cool the body. Sweating is a really good way of detoxifying the body but you are also losing minerals and oils and that can cause weakness. Replace them by enjoying the variety of foods that the summer offers.

Cooling fresh foods are: salads, sprouts, fruit (apples, watermelon, lemons and limes) cucumber, flower and leaf teas (chrysanthemum, mint and chamomile). Some hot spices (in small quantities) are appropriate for the warm weather: red and green hot peppers, cayenne red pepper, fresh ginger, horseradish, and black pepper. By bringing heat to the surface of the body one is less affected by the hot day. But be careful not to have too much of these hot spices or weakness can result.

Avoid too much heavy foods such as meats, eggs, lots of nuts, seeds and grains.

Let the light and the warmth of the sun into your heart and ENJOY the summer.

*Reference: Pitchford, P. (1993). Healing With Whole Foods. Berkley: North Atlantic Books

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