5 simple tricks to go through summer without overheating
Ayurveda, a thousand-year-old science founded in India, uses the logic of the elements of nature to deal with the imbalances causing illness and disease. Ayurveda aims first and foremost for a better knowledge of itself and its own needs as well as prevention. The 5 elements of nature are space, air, fire, water and earth and we enter the season Pitta is the season of fire.
In summer, the sun is naturally stronger and warms us. It is only natural that as a North American, we want to make the most of the long awaited rays! Excess Pitta (fire) can however cause inflammatory problems, gastric burns or reflux, loose stool or diarrhea, acne etc... On the psychological level, an excess of fire will make you irritable, Impatient to see even angry.
Whatever your doshas (categories of elements most present in you), you must make sure not to accumulate an excess of Pitta. Excess Pitta will for example drying out for Vata types, will melt the mucous membranes for Kapha creating congestion and other problems and will be even more devastating in the Pitta types who already have a strong fire element in them. In short, avoiding an excess of Pitta is good for all!
Let's see how to enjoy the summer without accumulating an excess of fire.
Avoid sun exposure between 10:00 and 14:00
Dermatologists have been saying this for years, these hours of exposure to the sun are the most dangerous. These are also the hours during which you will accumulate the most fire.
Eat your biggest meal at lunch time
Pitta is the dosha that needs protein the most to be satisfied. Moreover, your digestive fire is at its strongest at lunchtime and your food will be more easily digested and processed. Taking the time to eat a good meal balanced lunch will help pacify Pitta.
Eat a lot of greens but not too much rawveggies
Aside from spinach, green leafy vegetables are excellent for the season. But do not overdo raw foods that will affect your digestive power. Prefer steamed cooked steaks or pan-fried.
Hydrate without freezing your digestive fire
Drink especially fresh water or juice. Coconut water is also excellent during the summer season. But watch out for the ice cubes! They kill the digestive fire. It is better to drink at room temperature or slightly cooler if the days are very hot.
Avoid intense exercise at middle day
It is best to exercise early in the morning before 10:00 am or exercise more moderately after supper. Running or practicing intense physical activity at lunchtime during the summer will surely raise your fire level.
RECIPE: MELON REFRESHING SMOOTHIE
(source: The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, Kate O’Donnell)
The melon is moisturizing, refreshing and delicious. However, it does not digest well with other foods. It is therefore best to drink this refreshing drink one hour before another meal or two hours after.
4 cups watermelon, cantaloupe or honey melon pitted
4 large mint or basil leaves
1 pinch ginger powder (optional)
The juice of a file
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
Basil or mint leaves and lime wedge to decorate
Place the melon, basil or mint leaves, ginger powder and lime juice in a blender. Add the water. Mix at high intensity until the leaves are well crushed.