Summer is the season for reducing stress, relaxing, playing outdoors and spontaneity. The sun is at its highest and brightest during the summer, as a result, can easily lead to self burnout. It’s important to take time for relaxation and deep breathing to cool the body and the mind.
This blog post was inspired by a book thats very near and dear to my heart –
Your Irresistible Life 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda and Yoga Practices That Work
Co-written by an inspiring woman who I had a pleasure of teaching under.
Thank you Melanie Phillips
SUMMER MORNING RITUALS:
- Strive to wake up at 6am to support the natural rhythm of the sun
- Before you drink anything scrape your tongue using a tongue scraper (I bought mine on Amazon– I prefer the metal kind)
- 2-3 mins of oil pulling (swishing coconut oil in your mouth)
- Drink warm water with lime and/or fresh mint
- ¼ cup aloe vera gel or juice on an empty stomach to lubricate and cool the body, support digestion and stimulate the elimination of toxins
- Self massage with coconut oil every morning or night to help relax the nervous system, detoxify the blood and nourish the tissues
SUMMER MEAL ROUTINES:
- Eat consistently at the same time every day to support and balance the digestive system
- Practice mindful eating everyday by swtiching off the tv, phone, or computer while enjoying your meal
- Digestion is weaker in the summer because our agni “digestive fire” that is used to fire up and support our digestive organs in the winter is now being redirected to the surface of the body to cool us down through sweating
Cooling Foods For Your Summer Lifestyle
Coconut is extremely hydrating for the body especially helpful to add into your diet during this summer heat wave we are experiencing! There are so many fun ways to incorporate coconut into your diet such as adding coconut water into your morning smoothie, indulging in creamy coconut ice cream, and using coconut oil in salad dressings. Not only is coconut healing to eat, it’s ridiculously hydrating to use topically on your skin. After those long beach days in the sun, try massaging yourself with coconut oil to cool your body, calm the mind, and rejuvenate the skin.
Aloe vera juice and gel are my go to summer must haves for a few different reasons. Alcohol can be challenging to avoid in the summer because in all honesty there’s usually always a BBQ, pool party or patio gathering that’s happening on the regular. Alcohol is extremely heating for the body and can, as a result, be very aggravating for our digestive system, mood, and skin. I’m not saying that you need to completely cut out alcohol and avoid all social functions, however, its important to maintain balance within the body in whatever form that looks like – drinking alcohol or not. A great health hack I like to do after a late night of a few too many kombucha cocktails is to take a shot of aloe vera juice or gel before going to bed and first thing when I wake up. Not only is aloe extremely cooling for the digestive track, it’s also very hydrating for the body. My favourite brand is Lily of the valley (inner leaf).
Cilantro, Mint, Parsley
This herb trio is amazing in fresh summer cuisine. Pick up a few bundles at your local farmers market and try adding them into your smoothies, salads, or fresh salsas. I especially love infusing fresh mint into my water bottle for morning yoga classes or steeping a few leaves in my tea cup after a long day. These herbs are particularly cooling for the body and help to reduce overheating both physically and mentally.
There’s a lot of hype about lemons in the summer but lets not forget about its close competitor limes! I love squeezing fresh lime juice into my homemade guac, infusing it into my water or enjoying some zesty lime coconut balls (recipe coming soon on the blog).
Cucumber is a very water dense vegetable. I literally can eat an entire cucumber in one sitting with some fresh hummus or sea salt. Cucumbers add a delicious texture to salads whether they are cubed, sliced, or spiralized. I take infused water really seriously if you haven’t already noticed. I must say adding cucumber into your water is beyond refreshing!
Who can resist a fresh slice of watermelon on a hot summers day? There’s literally nothing more liberating then devouring a slice of this hydrating fruit like you did when you were a kid … stickiness all over your face and dripping hands. Watermelon salad is the best in the summer with fresh mint and dairy free “almond feta” cheese. Watermelon is also fantastic for hydrating your skin in the summer. I love this watermelon slushie face mask recipe from Your Irresistible Life 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda and Yoga Practices That Work
(see full recipe insert below from this amazing book!)
Summer Face Slushie
Helps to keep your skin bright, cool, and glowing by protecting it from oily blemishes and harsh rays of the sun.
- 1/2 cup watermelon pulp
- 1 tbsp aloe vera gel (whole leaf or inner leaf)
- 1 tbsp whole milk plain yogurt (dairy free options could work as well)
- 3 drops geranium, rose or lavender essential oil.
Mix together and apply generously to face. Lie in your hammock, outside on your deck, or in a cool place inside. Leave on for 10-15 mins. Wash off with cool water.
Most of us associate summer squash with a typical green zucchini. However this group of vegetables is very abundant in the summer and comes in all different shapes, sizes and flavours. Try making roasted patty pan squash, grated yellow squash muffins, or a cousa squash veggie stir fry. I eat zucchini a tone in the summer because its super cheap to buy and extremely versatile to cook with. It’s also really low in carbohydrates which is really helpful when tying to keep your blood sugar balanced. I love to steam and freeze cubes of zucchini for an excellent high fibre smoothie filler or slice it into one inch thick rounds and roast it in the oven with a little sea salt.
Avocado is literally the bomb! I couldn’t imagine having to actually remind myself to eat this food because it tastes so ridiculously good. However if you are in need of some avo-inspiration you are in the right place. Combine avocado, cocoa and dates in your high speed blender for a creamy chocolate pudding, mash it up for a crowd pleasing guac or spread it on your morning toast…hello nature’s mayonnaise! This whole food is an extremely nourishing source of healthy fat that helps to keep you fuelled for hours.
Daily Yoga to Stay Cool as a Cucumber
Benefits: Lowers body temperature, cools the mind, hormone balancing, and reduces hot flashes.
- Sit in a comfortable position (in a chair, with your back against the wall, or crossed legged) – wherever you can have an elongated spine.
- Establish a slow, calm, and steady breathing pattern in and out of your nostrils.
- Stick out your tongue and curl the edges of your tongue to create a tube.
- Take a long, slow, steady breath in through the tongue. Focus on this cooling air entering the body.
- At the end of your inhalation, close your mouth and exhale through the nose.
- Repeat 10-50 times.
Tip: If you are unable to curl the tongue like a tube then open your mouth really wide, but keep your teeth together. Inhale the breath through the teeth and follow the above directions.
Instructions and tips provided by Your Irresistible Life 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda and Yoga Practices That Work