Your Summer Outline for Optimal Health!
The solstice has finally come and blessed us with its light and warmth! Summer and Pitta season has officially begun and with that comes more opportunity for travel, hanging out with friends and family and enjoying life with the longer days and warmer weather! With this transition, there are going to be some adjustments that most of us may not think we need; however we very much need to be conscious of. Pitta season means heat! We wanted to share some ways to help maintain a healthy balance within your gut, body, and mental health during this incredibly exciting season.
Summer blesses us with the most colorful array of fresh fruits and veggies for the season. Picking foods with vibrancy and lots of life will benefit your physical well being as well as your mental well being. Maintain a healthy gut through the summer based on your dosha too!
In summertime, the weather is hot, light, mobile, and oily. The body also holds these qualities, which elevates pitta. Summer requires more energy which is why high-sugar fruits are naturally available. In general, avoiding hot and heavy foods that slow you down while sticking to cooling, light foods is a good rule of thumb. Summer naturally produces foods that aid in this. Watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, lettuce, zucchini/squash, stone fruits, and cucumbers all help to cool down the body while aiding in digestive strength and providing a great energy source. However, how can you tailor your diet to encourage stronger digestive fire (agni) during this time for your dosha?
Signs of Excess Pitta During Summer
Sensitivity to heat, irritability, impatience, skin rashes, occasional acid reflux, occasional stomach ulcers, lethargy, occasional heartburn, sarcasm, boils, acne, low blood sugar, and difficulty falling asleep.
If you experience these symptoms, make an Ayurvedic consultation, and follow the guidelines for summer!
Summer is the season that elevates all your qualities so be mindful as to stick to cooling foods. Also, take this time to relax and try not to overwork yourself.
Reduce diary such as yogurt, salty cheese, sour cream, and buttermilk
Avoid hot, spicy, oily, salty and fermented foods
Simplify your exercise routine to be less intense
Drink fresh cucumber juice with mint or watermelon with mint
Use coconut oil in your cooking and avoid sesame oil
Indulge in sweet ripe fruit such as grapes, avocados, and coconuts
Avoid heating spices such as cayenne, chili, cumin, cinnamon, and garlic
Summer is a great season for you, and you may feel your best when summer rolls around. You might feel dry and cold during winter, but summer allows you to feel more in balance.
Ghee, coconut oil, and avocado can be light for digestion while also providing some more oily qualities
Most spices support your agni, so indulge in summer, but avoid overly spicy dishes.
Sweet treats are great in summer, but avoid dairy and go for chai, spiced milk, sweet and spiced yogurt.
Watch out for increased heat and drying properties from alcohol, sour cream, cheese and red wine.
Foods like salad, raw veggies, broccoli, cabbage and potatoes can still be taxing on your delicate digestion. Make sure to use oil and spices to help your digestion and eat them for lunch.
Practice self massage (Abhyanga) to ground and relax your nervous system
Kaphas, you are primarily oily, liquid, heavy and cold. The heat of the summer will be good for heating your body, however be mindful of eating too many oily and sticky foods.
Your strong digestion allows you to eat an abundance of foods this season. Fruits like apricots, berries, dried fruit, peaches, apples, and cherries are perfect for you.
Have your fill of veggies, raw or cooked
Make your meals flavorful but favor cooling spices such as mint, fennel, and turmeric
Focus on light, small portions, don’t overdo smoothies
Sweet treats you can indulge on are rice puddings, spiced chai, and spice yogurt
Minimize heavy and watery fruits like bananas, coconuts, figs, watermelon, and summer squash
Minimize heavy carbs like pasta and cooked oats
Summers light and mobile qualities can help the static kapha get into more activities outside, but avoid the hottest times of the day for activity. Use your mornings for activity and movement.
Minimize daytime naps
Stay Hydrated and keep your reusable water bottle on you at all times filled with non-chilled water.
Prep meals for long days! If you know you are going to be out, planning or packing your meals will help you stay focused on eating a more colorful diet this season.
Rise and fall with the sun! In summer, aligning with this clock can help you tremendously. Your body’s internal clock will naturally find this sleep schedule very accommodating.
Make time to be in nature! Hiking, camping, walking, beach barbeques, road trips, etc…make time for it all.
Enjoy the beautiful bounty that summer has to offer! More light, more fruits and veggies, more movement and more time to be out in nature! Stay cool and hydrated while also taking time for self-care. Take the blessed time for what the summer season has to offer you and keep in touch with your mind, body, and spirit.