Everyone talks about eating seasonally.
It’s the way humans ate for millennia (we didn’t have a choice!), and suddenly, it’s trendy.
But what about the rest of your life? Do you make seasonal adjustments?
(And I’m talking about more than just swapping out your wardrobe!)
Ok at first glance, adjusting your routine and lifestyle for the season might seem crazy! I’ve finally figured out a routine that works for me, and now you want me to change it?!
But stick with me here. Adjusting your life for the seasons makes a lot of sense. That how humans lived forever (until very recently when our modern food supplies, electricity and careers enabled us to do, eat and be exactly the same, every single day.)
I’m all about modern conveniences! But there’s something quaint and comforting about living in sync with the seasons. It just feels right.
And I believe that if you just make a few small adjustments for the coming summer season – you’ll feel better too. Here’s how.
Summer Tweak #1: Eat more cooling foods.
This is partially eating seasonally (what is available), and partially common sense.
You know this, intuitively.
In the summer, do you want to eat heavy stews and chili with cornbread? No.
Your body craves light, water-filled, crunchy, crispy, cooling foods. (And the occasional cool, creamy ice cream!)
Thinking about foods as cooling and warming has been around for thousands of year. The traditional medical system in India (Ayurveda) spends a lot of time looking at the properties of foods, and which foods work for different people and different seasons.
There’s a similar system of cooling and warming foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and also in the traditional European system of ”humors’ in Galenic medicine.
But you don’t need to know any of that to eat cooling foods.
This summer, when it’s hot outside, simply choose foods that are fresh, light and crunchy – and filled with water. Good choices for cooling foods are lettuce, cucumber, watermelon, (most vegetables, apart from root veg like potatoes and carrots), and sweet fruits.
(If you live in London and we get another sudden summer cold snap – feel free to disregard this and resume eating your warming soups and stews!)
Just tune into your body. It will tell you what foods you want to eat!
Summer Tweak #2: Enjoy the longer days (and sleep less?)
Here in London, it stays light until 10pm in the summer. (As opposed to getting dark at 4pm during the winter!) It feels amazing.
Unless you live on the equator, you’ll get longer days during the summer too.
So this summer, really make an effort to appreciate them.
The summer gives us extra ‘found’ hours of daylight. So don’t waste them in front of the TV! Get outside and do something.
- Spend as much time outside during the summer as possible (even 10 extra minutes during your lunch break!)
- Drink your morning coffee/tea outside. Eat dinner outside.
- You may feel like sleeping less in the summer. That’s ok! Go with what your body wants.
Summer Tweak #3: Drink some summery herbal teas.
Put down the chai!
Summer is not the time of year for warming, spicy teas with ginger, black pepper and chili.
Instead, add some cooling herbs to your daily tea. (Or if you’re not in the habit of having herbal tea everyday, why not try adding a cup – hot or iced – this summer?)
Tasty and cooling herbs include: chamomile, peppermint and rose.
Here are some ideas:
- Chamomile & rose for relaxation and emotional balance
- Chamomile to help you sleep
- Chamomile & peppermint to boost digestion
- Peppermint for an invigorating tea (especially good iced!)
- Black tea & peppermint (really stimulating with the caffeine. DELICIOUS iced!)
- Green tea and mint – Moroccan inspired – and they’re experts in what to drink when it’s hot outside!
- Green tea and rose – for a gentle, floral lift. Would also be delicious iced.
Summer Tweak #4: Try new things.
Summer is the time of the year for growth and expansion.
If you think about the cycle of the year from an energetic perspective:
- Summer is the time for growth, change and high energy.
- Autumn is about ‘reaping what you’ve sown’, reassessing and weeding out what doesn’t work in your life.
- Winter is about nourishment, restoration and reflection.
- Spring is about cleansing, planting new seeds and starting fresh.
So this summer, go with the energy of the season. Get outside, try new things, push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone.
That might mean trying a new sport, travelling to a new location, growing a new plant in your garden, trying a new food, finally going to that museum you’ve always wanted to visit… whatever feels right to you!
Your Turn: What little tweak are you going to make, to get the most out of summer? Leave a comment and let us know!