Diet & Cooking Tips For Spring/Summer

Category: My Blog Comments: 6 comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I had a really great demo at Whole Foods last night. I try to give one free class a month to meet new people and open up more minds to a healthy plant-based diet. This class was called Summer in The Raw, which featured 3 delicious raw vegan recipes; my very own Cheezy Kale Salad and Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse, and a soup recipe from my friend Ani Phyo’s new book, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. I don’t promote a high raw diet, but with warm weather approaching it made sense to give a raw food uncooking demo. It’s my opinion that a 100% raw food diet is not healthy or sustainable for most people. To combat certain health conditions I think it can be great. A high raw diet can be used as a tool or stepping stone for greater health, but from a holistic point of view it’s too cooling and unbalanced for large periods of time.

That being said, in the warmer months it makes sense to eat more cooling foods. Intuitively our bodies want water dense foods in the heat of the summer to cool us off and give us more hydration. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat raw all Summer. Here are some tips on how to cook seasonally and get the most out of your diet during warmer months.

1. Eat Organic, Local, Seasonal Foods

For the health of the planet and to keep your body in balance with your surrounding environment, it’s best to eat as much local, organic, seasonally grown produce as possible. In the Summer this should be easy because no matter where you live you should have access to local (within a 300 mile radius) food via your local natural food store, farmer’s market or CSA.

Foods that Support You in Summer:

Grains: Corn, maize, amaranth, quinoa, millet, soba noodles

Vegetables: Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Bitter greens like Kale, Collards, Arugula, Mustard, Yellow Squash & Zucchini, Sprouts, Fresh Herbs, Beets, Mushrooms, Cauliflower

Beans and Pulses: red lentils, chickpeas, mung beans

Fruits: apricot, guava, strawberry and other berries, persimmon, avocado, melons

2. Use Cooling Cooking Methods for Spring/Summer

Use lighter cooking methods in warmer months like steaming, blanching, water saute, raw or chilled soups, raw salads, and even lightly grilled is good for summer. Make quick-cooking grains and legumes like the ones listed above. Having noodles or cracked-grains like couscous, polenta, and bulgur can be great for summer too. Intuitively, your body doesn’t crave baked foods, oil saute, or longer cooked meals in the Summer because those aren’t balanced for the season. Your body wants water-dense foods like cucumber, summer squash, fruits, lettuce, and greens.

3. Stay Hydrated

I know you’ve heard this before, but in the warmer months it’s even more important that you are drinking plenty of water and staying away from sugary and caffeinated beverages. Keep in mind that you can get a lot of hydration from your food, so eating high-water content food helps your cells stay hydrated as well.

4. Keep It Simple

Summer is a great time to simplify your diet. There is nothing wrong with having a simple meal of quinoa, steamed greens, and beans, eating a huge raw salad by itself, or having a smoothie for breakfast. The less energy you expend making gourmet meals the more energy you will have to keep you going in the heat. Also, you won’t be working up a sweat in the kitchen! 🙂

5. Lay Off the Animal Foods

If you aren’t already totally plant-based (vegan) Summer is the best time to make the plunge! Or if you are vegetarian, now is a good time to dump the dairy. Animal foods are known for their warming effects on the body. One thing I noticed after going vegan is I don’t sweat as much and I don’t get so aggravated by the heat of the summer. Animal foods are so much work for our bodies and digestive systems to process, they literally steal your energy away.

And with all that being said, have a blast and wear lots of sunscreen 🙂

Comment List

  • George Vutetakis 13 / 05 / 2010 Reply

    Another great post. These are the core secrets to longevity. Everyone should post this on their to-do list or at least hang it on the fridge.

    • Christy Morgan 17 / 05 / 2010 Reply

      Thanks George! Hopefully we will all start cooking with the seasons and eating organic foods.

  • Kim 13 / 05 / 2010 Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to put this down in writing. These tips are important and a great reminder of what really matters.

  • Helga 14 / 05 / 2010 Reply

    Watermelon makes me happy. Just…happy. Even the picture of watermelon makes my heart sing!

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