Some Foods to Keep You Cool this Summer

The buds of spring have made way for the more succulent fruits and vegetables of summer. Nature has provided us with a natural array of foods that balance the intense heat that marks this time of year for us. Now is the time to consume more liquids and raw, fresh foods. Generally, a lighter diet this time of year is better unless you do intense physical activity. It's good to reduce foods high in fat and protein to allow for simpler foods to fuel our bodies. Cool yourself from the inside out with this list of  foods to add to your diet this season. No A.C. required!

Melons - Eat more cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and papaya! These juicy gems keep you hydrated as well as fortified with lots of vitamins. They have a diruetic effect which can help reduce the puffiness often experienced when the humidity hits the roof.

Sprouted Grains - Here's a great link for a do it yourself sprouting at home. Sprouted grains encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut,  are high in protective antioxidants, and are a good source of fibrer and protein. Because they are easily digestable, the body uses less energy to integrate them into our system, keeping us cooler after mealtimes.

Berries - Besides being loaded with antioxidents and flavonoids, these delectable treats are energetically cooling. They are fluid-filled and very hydrating. They can also do wonderful things like boost memory, delay the onset of alzeimer's, help you loose weight and stabalize your blood sugar. While more is better, as little as two servings a week can make a real difference in your health.

The 3 C's- Cabbage, Cucumber and Celery. Cabbage is alkaline in nature and is great for soothing a "hot" stomach. Cucumber and celery are mostly liquid, so they can aid in hydration.  All three of these cooling summer harvests are loaded with phytochemicals and vitamins. They help move the bowels, are mild diruetics and have been lauded for their anti-inflamitory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Mint - It's no coincidence that mojitos are so popular this time of year. Mint is cooling and a good relaxant.  It induces sweating, which lowers your body temperature. Mint juice can also be applied topically on sunburned areas of the body to heal and soothe them. Mint is also beneficial for relieving nasuea and headaches which can occur in cases of overheating.  Try adding fresh mint to your water, tea or even your fresh fruit salad.

 

 

Tips for staying in balance with the summer season:

 

Remember that what is happening outside is also happening inside of you.  Yang energy is at its' height on the summer solstice, which is June 21st.  We too should be experiencing this movement.  You might notice that you are more active and have more energy to expend.  Here are some helpful tips for harmonizing yourself with this season:

1. Eat cool foods -  Adding foods like cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and mint, will help to keep you hydrated and are energetically cool so they can keep you from overheating.

2. Mind your social calender -  The summer season is about connecting with people so if you tend to be a loner, make sure you add some social activities to your schedule each week.  If you are a social butterfly, be careful not to overdue it; schedule some alone time so that you can connect deeply with yourself.

3. Laugh it off - Laughter and joy are some of the gifts of the summer so make sure you take time to bring them into your life. Go visit a comedy club or see a funny movie with a friend.  Spend time giggling with children and "play". This is the season for it.

4. Light your fire - Intimacy and passion are important aspects of the fire element. Plan a romantic evening with your loved one. If you aren't in a relationship, make a date with someone close to you and with whom you can have a real heart-to-heart conversation. 

5.Take a vacation - You work hard all year and you deserve a break. Get away if you can, even if it's just a day trip. Now is the time to relax and have fun!

 

 

 

How’s your fire?

The summer season is upon us and we have moved into the element of fire. For those of you not familiar with the Five Element model, this season represents the height of yang energy. The potential of life has burst forth and is moving into its' maturity. The warm sun shines longer, the trees are fuller, and creatures big and small are out and about in the world. We are wearing fewer clothes and fun things are happening!

The Fire is about passion, friendship, joy, and laughter. This is a time to focus on our connections with each other and to cultivate meaningful encounters with our loved ones. How do you experience this season?

The Fire element in balance, allows a person to be open to others and for ability to experience the deep love of an intimate relationship. It’s what lets us enjoy the humor in life, to be spontaneous and calls us to express ourselves passionately in the world.

Fire out of balance can take many forms; it can be either in excess or lacking. If this element is excessive in us, we will literally overheat and be flushed easily. There may be restlessness and agitation, almost manic in nature. If it is lacking, there may be a tendency to wear your heart on your sleeve and to hold an intense fear of rejection. People with issues in this element often have difficulty in sustaining relationships and can feel extremely vulnerable in both social and intimate settings.

Stay tuned next week, for some tips on how to keep your fire healthy and balanced …

In the meantime if you feel your fire is need of help, schedule an acupuncture appointment this month. The Summer Solstice is almost here and now is the best time to get this element on track!

5 Tips For Making Your Acupuncture Treatments Last Longer

 

We are often asked, "How can I get the most out of my acupuncture treatments?"  We reply, "We see you for one hour a week, what are doing for the other 167 hours?" Your choices make a difference and if you want to make your treatments to last longer, here are some tips.

 

 1. Drink More Water - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body is made up of approximately 72% water; every cell requires it to do its job. We recommend half your body weight in ounces per day (i.e., if you weigh 150 lbs., drink about 75 ounces per day).

 

2. Get More Sleep -Studies show that long term sleep deprivation effects your long term health. Part of what we are doing in your treatments is to create balance. Your body needs rest just as much as it needs activity, which leads us to #3.

 

3. Move the Qi - We are not talking about doing a Tough Mudder, a half hour of moderate exercise, 5 days a week is enough. Get a dog, walk with a friend, just do it!

 

4. Turn "off" the noise - We admit we are NPR junkies, but turn it off for even just a little bit everyday. It's amazing how peaceful a car ride can be when its silent. We are also talking about facebook, TV, messaging, music...all of it needs to be off. Choose a time to disconnect from everything for a few minutes a day and turn "on" your connection to yourself.

 

5. Eat Mindfully - This doesn't mean hardcore changes; eat at least one meal a day prepared by you at home without distractions. Choose nourishing foods.  Sit down to eat at a table, take your time, chew your food, enjoy the flavors, smells, textures, and stop when you are full.  If we could eat every meal this way, Prilosec would be out of business!

 

To sum this up, it's easy to make simple shifts that can make a world of difference. Try it!