Do you notice skin issues, looser bowel movements, or more acid indigestion this time of year? These experiences are all aspects of Pitta (the energy of fire) showing up more prevalently in the Summertime as the heat in our environment builds. Ayurveda, the Sister-Science to Yoga, is all about living in alignment with the rhythms of the seasons AND balancing with the Wisdom of Opposites.
With the world changing rapidly with a global pandemic, and racial injustice needing to be addressed, we have stepped into the fire of transformation that is the essence of the energy of Pitta. Knowing how to care for ourselves, and keep our inner fire in check, allows us all to show up to the larger conversations in the world from a place of balance and nourishment.
We are all affected by the energy of Pitta this time of year, but those who have a Pitta-predominant constitution will be particularly aggravated. We can all find ease in the heat with these following food tips for Summer. I suggest picking 2-4 of these recommendations to try out and see how you feel, then expand from there. Go slow and notice what shifts for you.
Food Guidelines for Summer (PITTA) Season
– Eat in Season - what is growing in your environment? -- Favor sweet, bitter, astringent foods
– Avoid pungent (spicy), sour, salty in excess- these all increase heat in the body.
– Avoid red meat, pork, lamb, bison and bacon
– Drink cooling herbal teas. Some nice summer options are mint, hibiscus, and lemon balm.
– Avoid alcohol (especially red wine) and caffeine - both are very heating and are very challenging to the nervous system and liver when it is already hot in the environment.
– Eat sweet fruits, avoid sour and acidic fruits
– Eat melons 1/2 hour before, or 2 hours after, other food - melons digest super fast and if they are in the stomach with other foods, they ferment, leading to toxic buildup in the gut.
– Eat lots of seasonal vegetables, especially leafy greens and veggies that grow above ground like zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, fresh herbs, etc.
– Green smoothies! Try adding nutrient rich wild plants like dandelion, thistle or plantain. Make them simple with water and fresh ingredients.
– If you have acid reflux or heartburn, drink psyllium in water between lunch and dinner
– Make sun or moon tea – place herbs in a jar filled with water and leave out in the sun or overnight so that the moonlight infuses the herbs into the water. The energy of the sun is energizing, the energy of the moon is cooling and calming.
Changing how we live little parts of each day can make a huge difference for the body, mind and spirit. Experiment with what foods feel good to you and make a difference in your energy, digestion, and sleep.