Cooling Summertime Eats

The sun is strong and you are hot ~

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Stay cool and hydrated easily.

 You’ve heard it plenty, “Drink lots of fluids.” But did you know that certain herbal teas, such as chrysanthemum, mint & chamomile, have cooling properties? Mix up a batch and sip throughout the day to satisfy your thirst and provide some internal cooling action.

And summertime is famous for local farm stands. Pick up some seasonal fresh fruits known for their ability to help keep you hydrated. The number-one favorite is watermelon; it does a great job replenishing lost fluids and is deliciously satisfying. Cucumber is also a fantastic choice, especially for toddlers.

To feel lighter when the heat is oppressive, try eating smaller quantities of each meal, and choose foods that are easier to digest in hot summer months: soups, salads, fresh fruits and veggies.

I often get asked, “What does Chinese medicine think about fasting?” In general, fasting is not recommended because it depletes the body. But in other healing systems, fasting is an excellent opportunity to reach higher levels of awareness. If you choose to do any sort of fasting, these hot summer days will keep your body temperature healthy, to compensate for the lack of warmth normally provided by food. So now is the time.

Summertime Eats ~

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Sweet Spritzer: a quick refreshing beverage to satisfy that sweet tooth. Squeeze fresh lemon and lime into 1/4 cup pomegranate juice. Add seltzer and fresh mint. If you are experiencing leg cramping, substitute tonic water for seltzer and watch those leg cramps melt away.

Pressed Cucumber Salad: slice cucumbers paper thin, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup water, soak cucumbers in water for 30 minutes, then drain and dry slightly between paper towels, sprinkle with fresh dill and serve.

Jade Green Soup: saute 1/2 cup diced tofu; add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 2 cups leafy greens chopped. Add 3 cups vegetable broth and simmer until greens are brightly colored. Dissolve 1/2 tablespoon kuzu in 2 tablespoons water and add to soup. Simmer until it thickens. (Kuzu is a tuber from Japan that thickens soups and helps cool and soothe the stomach.)