Welcome to July!
Summer is here! Let’s reconnect to this lovely time of year and take advantage of what it has to offer us.
Stay Cool, Calm and Hydrated
Nature’s super cooling foods are harvested at the end of summer to move the excess heat out of the body.
This gift of extra fruits and veggies is nature’s antidote to the hot and dry weather.
You may notice an abundance of fruits and vegetables on the grocery shelves or at your local farmer’s markets—these are naturally cooling, cleansing and supportive to the blood, skin and liver.
Remember the starchy foods likes grains, pasta, beets, carrots, potatoes and other starchy foods won’t be fully in-season until late summer, so for now, hit the veggies hard.
July Seasonal Eating Tips
EAT MORE: Asparagus, cilantro, broccoli, leafy greens and summer squashes.
To stay satiatied, fatty foods like avocados, seeds, nuts like coconut, pumpkin and sunflower, eggs and raw cheeses (in moderation), and fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
Staying cool, calm and hydrated is key. Sip cool or room temperate water with some cucumber slices, make coriander tea and eat more of all the ripe fruits.
Other cooling, summer teas: chicory, dandelion, and mint.
My Favorite Early Summer Food: Cherries
During late spring and early summer, berries and cherries are harvested.
Both are loaded with powerful antioxidants that are best known in Ayurveda as “lymph movers.”
Cherries are the last chance of the season to capitalize on these potent lymph-moving antioxidants.
While the benefits of sweet cherries are noteworthy, it’s the tart cherries that are truly the lymph’s best friend this time of year.
You can find them at your local farmer’s market or in the frozen section of your grocery store. Organic is best, of course!
Tart cherries are loaded with phenolic compounds, anthocyanins and other nutrients in much greater quantities than sweet cherries.
There is compelling research that supports the benefits of cherries.
Studies suggest that, due to their superior phenolic and anthocyanin content, tart cherries may help reduce the risk of joint, muscular, cardiovascular, weight and blood sugar concerns, as well as issues relating to memory and cognitive function.
We RecommendWhy You Should Eat Cherries In The Summer
Ayurveda says fruit should be eaten alone for optimal digestion and health.
During the summer digestion is a little lighter, allowing you to enjoy fruit as a full meal. Experiment with this by having fruits (alone) for breakfast and seeing how long it will last you through the day.
We RecommendFruit: Ayurvedic Food Combining Guidelines
Herbs to Consider during Summer
During the summer, care for both the inner and outer skin is critical. Here are a couple of my favorite herbs to take during these hot and dry months:
Ayurveda’s most powerful support for healthy inner and outer skin. Cooling for pitta, neem is harvested in spring and eaten all the way through October.
Neem is a boon for the skin from several different angles. Internally, neem cleanses the protective skin of the gut wall and works to restore balance to the microbe populations living on both the inner and outer skin.
Neem oil also acts as a natural bug repellent, but always mix it will a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Do not use it on broken skin.
Via its cooling and rejuvenating properties, brahmi supports energy and mental clarity while simultaneously encouraging deep, restful sleep.
Famous as a tonic for nerve and brain cells, cerebral circulation, memory, intestinal health, and sleep, brahmi is revered as one of the most powerful and spiritual herbs in Ayurveda.
Amalaki, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is a small fruit from the Amla tree.
Amalaki may be most well-known for its support of antioxidant activity and healthy skin via the encouragement of collagen and elastin production.
In this way, amalaki supports not only the health of the outer skin, but also the inner skin that lines the gut, respiratory tract, and all the mucous membranes of the body.
Avoid exercise in the midday sun. Read up on nose breathing exercise to keep the body cool.
If your diet and exercise regime, you might notice some aggravated pitta, which will manifest as lethargy, extra acid production, irritability, impatience, heartburn, stomach irritation, sensitivity to heat, emotional or irrational behavior, anger, skin irritation, and even blood sugar highs and lows.
3 Summer Tastes
Eat more foods that are Sweet, Bitter, Astringent / Cold, Heavy, Oily: such as salads, steamed vegetables, fruit and coconut oil.
Eat less foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Sour, Salty / Hot, Light, Dry: such as coffee, chips and salsa and spicy foods.
All the foods marked with an asterisk on the Summer Grocery List are the superfoods for summer. Try to eat more of them!
Reduce or avoid the following foods if you have a strong pitta constitution:
- Spicy foods
- Red meat
- Yogurt or cheese
- Fermented foods (ie. pickles, sauerkraut, soy)
It is important to be mindful that our digestive fire is weaker in the summer, and thus we will have a harder time digesting heavy, fatty and rich foods.
Nature is cooking all the fruits and veggies on the vine all summer long, so the need for us to turn on a big furnace of digestive acid to cook foods that are already pre-cooked by the sun is unnecessary.
So think twice this summer before indulging in barbecued ribs, milkshakes, breads and cheese, as these are winter foods that are a challenge to digest.
Please print out our free Summer Grocery List. It is simple to use: just circle the foods on that list that you like and give yourself permission to eat more of them.
Do your best to get:
- 50% veggies
- 25% protein
- 25% starch
For brain, gut and fat-burning benefits, have 1 teaspoon of coconut oil with each meal.
Add very small amounts of ferments to each meal. (Avoid if you have a strong pitta constitution).
Fermented foods are heating, so just a couple of olives will do the trick in the summer.
July Seasonal Posts:
Travel Tips: Stay Healthy, Calm and Energized This Summer: While we all look forward to a summer vacation, many folks dread the travel. From an Ayurvedic perspective, the vata dosha (or air energy) can easily become disturbed from flying or while traveling.
The Benefits of Cilantro and Coriander in the Summer: Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a summer delight that offers much more than just great taste to a summer salad or to top off a soup, kitchari, or gazpacho. Typically, cilantro is planted in the early spring or early fall for some fresh late-summer cilantro.
Amalaki: The Best Vitamin C Berry: The Indian Gooseberry, also known as amla or amalaki, belongs to a group of herbs that, according to Ayurvedic texts, promote longevity, induce nourishment, and prevent the effects of aging. Today, modern science has been equally fascinated by what one study calls “the wonder berry,” which supports everything from digestion to elimination, immunity, and inner and outer skin health.
July Seasonal Recipes:
These fantastic recipes are gifted to us by the lovely Emma Frisch: cook, blogger, freelance food writer, and former farmer. She is Co-Founder and Director of Culinary Experience at Firelight Camps and was a top finalist on Food Network Star, Season 10. Emma’s recipes fall right in place with the rest of our diet and seasonal eating recommendations.
All photos and recipes by Emma Frisch.
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Introduce yourself to your new community! Let us and your fellow challengers know why you’re looking forward to the next year of living and eating with the seasons. Post inspiration, photos, recipe ideas, and more to social using hashtag #3SeasonDiet.