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How to keep cool this summer...the Ayurvedic way


June 21st marked the longest day of the year - June solstice. That means summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) is officially here! Well, that is if you live outside of San Francisco, unlike me 🥶

With several heat waves on the horizon we should start thinking about how to stay cool during the hot months. An obvious choice would be to drink icy cold beverages or scoop through several pints of ice-cream. However, that would not be your best or healthiest solution.

Ayurveda advises against consuming food and drinks that are cold in temperature as they disrupt the body’s natural internal temperature and constrict channels in the body, leading to poor circulation. Additionally, cold foods reduce the optimal temperature at which our digestive system functions and can therefore cause impaired digestion, poor nutrient absorption and health imbalances. Not to mention, the cooling effect of cold foods and beverages is actually quite brief. What can we do instead?

Well, did you know that foods have post-digestive heating or cooling properties that directly effect the body? In fact Ayurveda talks about cooling or heating the body from within by consuming appropriate foods. You will find that making a few adjustments to your diet and food choices will help you stay in balance through the seasons.

Here are some cooling foods you can opt for this summer.

Water-based vegetables such as cucumber, celery, lettuce, peas, snap peas, asparagus, leafy greens, summer squash (eg. zucchini), bittermelon, fennel, avocado, sweet tomatoes such as heirloom and cherry tomatoes.

Fruits (must be fully ripe and sweet for cooling properties)
Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew), stone fruits (pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, apricots, cherries and mangos), blackberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, strawberries, figs, pomegranate and pink grapefruit.

Coconut water, sugarcane juice, watermelon juice, barley water, rose milk, milk, coriander water, basil seed water, hibiscus tea and mint tea.

Fennel, coriander, mint, parsley and basil.

Tip: Stop by your local farmers market to see what is in season. You will find that nature gives us just what we need in order to stay cool or warm based on the season and climate.

Reduce the following heating foods and drinks
Sour fruits, pickled foods, garlic, cayenne, hot sauces, coffee, chocolate, black teas, all chili peppers, onions, kombucha, sour dairy (ie: sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk), fermented foods and alcohol.


🎯  Quote of the week

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.
— Joseph Addison

🍶 Recipe of the week - Barley water


Not just a cooling drink for the summer, but barley water comes with many other health benefits. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is excellent for digestion and improving constipation. The cooling properties of barley water also make it an excellent remedy for urinary tract infections. 

Here is a very simple and basic recipe. 

* ¼ cup of hulled barley (or pearl barley)
* Rinse well and soak for at least 5-7 hours
* Strain the barley and add 4 cups of water 
* Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the barley is soft and tender
* Once the barley is cooked, let it cool down. 
* Strain the water or enjoy the drink with the cooked barley for added nutrition. 
* Add a pinch of cane/palm sugar and a squeeze of lemon for some flavor.

Let me know if you try this recipe. I’d love to know your thoughts :) 

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