Well friends, it is officially here: The. Crazy. Summer. Heat.
After living on the beach for so many years, I am really struggling with this summer. Being 15 miles instead of just a few steps from the ocean makes a huge difference in the temperatures. And as a lover of the outdoors, it has been a little heartbreaking to spend so much time inside.
To adjust, I've come up with a few tips to keep cool, and today I want to share them with you in case you also struggle with adjusting to the weather this time of year.
In the cooler seasons, I tend to drink, and encourage my clients to drink, warm or room temperature water throughout the day, especially around mealtime. Cold water can shock our internal system, and can dilute our digestive enzymes, making it harder for our body to break down our food properly and kill invading bacteria and pathogens.
However, during the summertime when the temperatures are soaring, I crave the refreshment of cool water much more often, especially throughout the afternoon.
One of the best ways to regulate your body temperature is to STAY HYDRATED.
Up your water intake by infusing it in batches, to keep things from becoming bland. Add a squeeze of citrus, sprig of fresh herbs, a few muddled berries, cucumber slices, or any other ingredients that sound good to you to a large vessel. Muddle them gently with the back of a wooden spoon, and fill the container with filtered water. Place in the refrigerator overnight to infuse.
You can find endless flavor combinations online, but for starters, a few of my favorite summer combinations include:
Strawberries + Basil
Blackberries + Mint or Thyme
Cucumber + Mango + Lemon
Play around with the ingredients in your refrigerator to find your favorite flavor! Soak for 24 hours, and then enjoy, refilling the water vessel again once more to yield a second steep from your fruits and herbs. (Discard the fruits and herbs after 48 hours).
You can also enjoy this same concept with carbonated water! Add your fruits and herbs to a jar or drinking glass, and muddle slightly using the back of a spoon. Add a couple ice cubes, and top with your sparkling water. The carbonation will help the flavors infuse sooner, so no need to steep overnight.
In addition to drinking enough water, there are certain foods loaded with water that help keep us (and our digestive tracts) hydrated throughout the summer. Such foods include:
Peaches (and other stone fruits)
Leafy greens (and other lettuces)
Zucchini (and other squashes)
Broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies)
You can find a more complete list including beans and grains here.
My favorite way to enjoy these foods is by combining them onto a salad. With a splash of apple cider vinegar, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (or get fancy and buy yourself a garlic-infused olive oil), and a generous pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper, you can turn any plate of fruits and vegetables into a comprehensive meal. A few of my favorite salad topping combinations include:
Watermelon, Mint, Feta
Burrata, Stone Fruit, Microgreens
Goat Cheese, Strawberries, Beets
Heirloom Tomato, Avocado, Basil
You can find endless inspiration in any search engine for salad recipes. So get searching, and get crunching! You'll feel lighter, and much cooler after a meal of water-rich fruits and veggies on a hot night.
In the peak of summer, smoothies are a LIFESAVER.
Too hot to cook? Just blend.
Too hot to eat normal food? Simply sip (or scoop!).
Cool, refreshing, and packed with the nutrition of an entire meal delivered through a straw (or spoon!). Is there anything better? A few rules I like to stick to when building out my smoothies include:
At least 2 Tbs. of a fat source
At least 10g protein
Use unsweetened (preferably homemade!) nut milks, water or unsweetened coconut water
Add superfoods, adaptogens, herbs, spices, or unsweetened dried fruit to enhance the flavor and nutrient profile
So, what does this look like in the blender?
1 fresh peach, stone removed and discarded
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 Tbs. coconut oil or coconut butter
1 Tbs. cashew butter
1 serving unflavored collagen powder (pasture-raised, free range)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ice
Dash of ceylon cinnamon
To make your smoothie into a bowl, as I love to do, blend it really thick (so play around with liquid to frozen ingredient ratios), add to a bowl, and top with your favorite things. Homemade granola, fresh fruit, a dollop (or three) of yogurt, hemp hearts, dried flower petals, fresh edible flowers, dried unsweetened fruits, raw nuts, etc.... You could really never run out of ideas!
Plants in the mint family contain menthol, which provides a cooling sensation both internally and externally. While it may be too hot to drink peppermint tea, steeping it for a cool foot bath is quite possibly one of the most refreshing ways to spend a few moments on a warm summer night.
Here's how to make one for yourself:
Steep 2-3 peppermint tea bags in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes.
Fill a large bowl that will fit both of your feet about halfway with cool water.
Optional: Add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil to the soak.
Optional: Add 1/2 cup epsom salts to the soak.
Transfer the tea to the soak, and if the temperature raises too much, cool it with a few ice cubes.
Create a sanctuary ambiance with plants, flowers, and your favorite stones or geodes.
Place your feet inside the soak, and relax for 10-20 minutes, or until you feel satisfied.
Optional: While preparing the tea, dampen a clean kitchen towel with water, and place in the refrigerator. When you're ready to soak, remove it from the refrigerator and place over your forehead or shoulders for added relaxation.
I hope this has been a helpful guide to get you feeling cool and relaxed this summer. If you have other favorite tips for managing the heat, please send them in a comment below!
That's all for today,