Throughout the last year, I have been posting about each season, and how we can alter our lives a bit to better our health and wellbeing. To be in alignment with the seasons gives us a needed connection to the earth from which we came. Seasonal eating is about eating the plants that are ripe and abundant so we get the most nutrition out of them.
To check out the other posts as the seasons change, click on the links below:
Summer is short here in my part of the world. It is short, but it is magnificent! By the time it rolls around, everything is so green and lush, the gardens are in, the flowers are growing, and the days are long.
There is excitement and energy in the air, and people are outside in their yards, neighbourhoods, and parks. Having the sun caress our skin is one of the most amazing parts of being alive and on earth. It is so incredible.
In this post, I go through the mental and physical changes that we can make in the summer, as well as the summer diet and activities you may want to add to your daily routine.
Our Connection To Summer
This time of year is the time when the fruit trees, gardens, and other plant life is growing and maturing. Our little seedlings are no longer, and we now have gardens that are creating food consistently.
It is a time of action and growth both in the natural world and in our lives. We must work at keeping the natural energy flow in our bodies free from blockages and stagnation.
Without going into too much detail about energy, you will know you have an energy issue when the body, mind, or spirit gets ill. All of these are connected to each other and to the body’s overall health.
To seek out an energy healer to begin work on any of these areas is a great idea. Acupuncture, reiki, homeopathy, cranio-sacral therapy, reflexology, acupressure, etc. would all be great places to start. Listen to your intuition to find the right healer for you and your body.
In Chinese medicine, intuition is an attribute linked to the summer. You may already have a good awareness of your intuition, but if you do not, start to listen to that gut feeling more often. Work on growing your connection with your intuition to get on the path to your best self and your truth.
Summer is usually a time of heat, so you may have already noticed that you gravitate more to the lighter, wetter foods. Fruits and veggies are at the top of this list.
For the first time in my life, I have noticed that I am craving more fruit right now, so I am letting myself eat more.
Nature is perfect – summer is the time when nature is working on growing fruits and vegetables full of life and water and this is also the time when our body needs this food more. This is no coincidence. This is the infinite wisdom of nature and the earth.
Have you ever noticed how on a hot hot day you dream of a watermelon right out of the fridge or sliced oranges? The juicy fruits are the most desirable foods on those lazy, hot days, and they are being supplied to us right from the earth.
Altering the diet at this time of year to include more of these delicious foods keeps our bodies going strong.
While increasing fruits and veggies, you find that you are naturally decreasing the higher/heavier protein, fat, and carbohydrate foods. Tempeh, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all foods that can be a little heavy in the summer.
I am not suggesting to remove these foods from the summer diet – that would not end well. I am recommending lowering these foods right now. This will help with digestion of food and assimilation of all the necessary nutrients.
As with any recommendation, please listen to your body. This is where your intuition comes into play. If you work hard outside all day, you may find you need more of the heavy foods to keep you going – great! Even if you do not do physical labour, but you feel you need more protein, please eat more protein.
The whole point of eating seasonally is to eat what your body is naturally craving and what the earth is naturally providing. Listening to the body is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves and our long term wellbeing.
Activities For Summer
Food is so important for general health, but so is movement and exercise. This is a great time to get outside to workout.
Daily activity, beyond regular work and life movement, is great for circulation, elimination, heart and lung health, weight management, and general self satisfaction to name a few.
Different categories of activity
- Weight bearing – weight lifting and resistance training and will increase muscle tone and strength.
- Cardiovascular – running, cycling, swimming. This category is great for heart and lung health, sweating, and endurance/stamina.
- Flexibility/Stretching – yoga, tai chi, pilates, stretching after another type of workout. These aid flexibility, coordination, relaxation, and strength.
Having a combination of all of these throughout a week is a great way to keep all aspects of your muscle/skeletal system healthy. Take your time finding the exercises or workouts that you enjoy doing. Try many to see if they suit you and what you want out of them.
In the end, the best workout is the one that you will actually do! If you are just starting out on your exercise journey, start slow. Feel good about how your body reacts to exercise and do only what you can. The saying ‘No pain, no gain’ is a total myth.
Summer is calling, so get outside and get some movement in. You will not regret it – promise.
Summer is a time of action and doing, and you may find that you are just naturally more active this time of year. Work on eating lighter foods full of water and getting outside to move the body.
Listen to what your body is telling you through your intuition, and you will be well on your way to better health and happiness.
If you have any comments or questions, please join the great community we have on Facebook – Vivacious Vegan Women. Here you will find many women full of the same compassion and love that fill your heart.
Yours in plant love,
Elson M. Haas, M.D. “Staying Healty With the Seasons.” New York: Celestial Arts, 2003. 63-90.