Keeping Cool from the Inside Out
You may not have control over the outdoor temperatures, but you can affect your natural body temperature with your food choices. We naturally crave cold drinks, ice cream and salads in the summer because our bodies are always seeking balance in order to counteract the effect of the weather.
Use these guidelines during the summer months to follow the wisdom of seasonal eating:
- Favor foods that are raw, cool and liquid. Include foods that are sweet and astringent like fruit, and bitter like dark, leafy greens.
- Minimize foods that are cooked and heated, as well as spicy, salty or sour foods, which create heat in the body.
- Favor light proteins such as fish, seafood, chicken and turkey in moderate amounts.
- Minimize caffeinated products like coffee and soda because they are dehydrating.
- Choose foods with high water content – all fruits, vegetables, and cooked cold grains such as brown rice and quinoa.
Additional Motivation to Incorporate Raw Fruit into Your Diet
The availability of fresh, summer produce makes it easy to think: fruit! Fruit is easy to digest, naturally cools our body, and satisfies our taste for sweetness without the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruit is filled with fiber that helps to move the waste through our bodies. If you eat every color of the fruit rainbow, nature will provide you with all of the vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that your body requires.
Here are a few ways to incorporate fresh fruit into an early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat:
- Frozen grapes
- Frozen banana dipped in melted dark chocolate;
- Fruit juice popsicles;
- Lime juice ice-cubes in seltzer or iced tea
- Plain yogurt or cottage cheese with cut-up fruit or berries; optional: add raw almonds or walnuts.
- Bananas or berries over cold, unsweetened cereal
- Mixed fruit salad with nuts, yogurt, or frozen yogurt on top
- Smoothies—see below
My Favorite Smoothie
This is the way I like to create my smoothies, but the possibilities are endless. One of the most potent ingredients in all of my combinations is a raw, leafy green which works well with yellow fruit. Enjoy!
Yield: Two servings
1 ripe, frozen banana, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks (pre-freeze banana without skin)
6 oz of cow’s milk or coconut, rice or almond milk (more or less to taste)
1-2 tbsp almond butter
Big handful of baby spinach or other greens (adds great texture, fiber & vitamins)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peaches, mangoes or pineapple (yellow fruit)
Extra water, as needed to create perfect consistency
Other options: fruit juice, plain yogurt or coconut water in place of cow or nut milk; kale in place of spinach; frozen or fresh berries, apples or papaya.
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl at top speed for approximately one minute or until smooth. The consistency should be thick. Note: If you are using a room-temperature banana, and no other frozen fruit, you may choose to add a few cubes of ice. Try different combinations every time you make it!