Do you ever feel drained of energy during the summer, a time when you really want to be out having fun? Do you get embarrassed because of skin rashes, bad breath or canker soars? Do you have to watch what you eat at parties because of food allergies, ulcers, hot flashes or heartburn?
If so, you’re not alone. So many people struggle with these imbalances in their bodies, especially during the summer.
Ayurveda believes that if we don’t adjust our diets and lifestyles to balance out the inherent qualities of the seasons we are more likely to struggle with unpleasant symptoms like the ones listed above.
Summer is referred to as pitta season by ayurvedic practitioners and devotees. Pitta is just a sanskrit word meaning “that which cooks” and refers to the combination of the elements of fire and water. Summer is pitta season because the qualities of nature are bright, hot, moving, sharp, liquid, acidic and oily. Physical activity seems to naturally ramp up and the sun is beating down strong.
In ayurveda we are given the opportunity to work with pitta season in order to experience more health by minding the delicate balance between hot & cold. If we have too much of the pitta qualities in our body and mind we can develop things like ulcers, inflammation, heartburn, skin rashes and liver disorders. On the other hand, if we cool ourselves down too much we put out our digestive fire, metabolism slows down and we lose our courage and drive.
The solution to leading a balanced summer is pretty simple:
Do less stuff that adds “heating” qualities to your life.
Do more stuff that adds “cooling” qualities to your life.
Let’s dive into the specifics of food since it has some of the greatest impact on your health.
In general, and especially during summer, it’s best to avoid excess salt, spicy foods, yogurt, sour fruits, tomatoes, red meat, soy, alcohol (sorry), and fermented foods. These foods all have “heating” qualities to them which will send pitta shooting up in the air like a firework, increasing emotional, mental and physical fire.
What works is favoring the sweet, bitter and astringent tastes by eating:
* fresh sweet fruits like mango, coconut, berries and peaches
* bitter greens like arugula, kale, asparagus, and bok choy
* astringent veggies like lentils, cauliflower and cilantro
* other foods that have “cooling” qualities like cucumber and watermelon
One of my faaaavorite drinks that’s great for balancing out the heat of summer (and is excellent for sharing) is Watermelon Lemonade. Here’s the recipe:
* 4 C watermelon
* Juice from 2 Lemons
* Coconut nectar or stevia to taste (optional)
In a blender, blend watermelon and lemon juice.
Add agave to taste.
If you want more recipes and information about how to follow the ayurvedic lifestyle during the summer, check out this free Ayurvedic Summer Guide I’ve put together just for Yoga Today readers.
The special guide includes:
* A summer Ayurvedic grocery list for you to keep as a resource
* 3 easy-to-make beverages
* 2 killer appetizers
* 2 satisfying salads
* 2 entrees friends and family will love
Have fun incorporating Ayurveda into your summer!
As a Wellness Educator, Heal Coach, Cleanse Specialist + crusader for whole-body nourishment, Ashley Pitman supports thousands of people in achieving a hot body and radiant beauty with a blend of raw food education, Ayurvedic inspiration, guided detoxes + courses, and lots of loving encouragement. All the action takes place at Vixi.com, a digital ashram for wellness-inspired people looking to use food as medicine and health as a spiritual practice. Stay devoted to your radiance and well-being by joining the free weekly newsletter with health and lifestyle tips that work. Click here to get on the list (it’s free).