In our climate, we can hardly wait for summer to arrive – it always feels too short – and because of this briefness, we may not have enough time to acclimate to the higher temperature. By eating and drinking for the seasons, this transition becomes smooth and effortless.
Foods that are in season help our bodies to adjust through different actions and by affecting different organ systems. In the spring, we eat the new sprouts and fresh green things to stimulate the Liver and move the Qi through the body – anything green can be categorized as a Liver food. The flavour that Liver is associated with is sour – citrus is a very common food that helps to cool the Liver and move the Qi.
Drink one glass of warm or room temperature lemon water in the morning before consuming anything else. This helps to set your digestive system up for success and helps with regulating mood – especially if you feel rushed, irritable, or stressed in the morning.
The summer corresponds the Heart and resonates with all red foods – berries, tomatoes, watermelon. The flavour that it responds to is bitter – think schizandra berry. Because of the heat of the summer, the red foods typically have a cooling and moistening property.
Watermelon is one of my go-to summer foods. Eat on its own as a snack, blend into a cool drink, or enjoy as a salad. Don’t throw out the rinds! Rubbing the white part of the rind on a sunburn helps to remove the heat and moisten the skin. Store some pieces in the fridge or in the cooler at the beach. In TCM, there is a herbal formula for canker sores which has one ingredient – dehydrated watermelon rind ground into a powder.
Staying hydrated is one of the main keys to feeling well through the summer. If you don’t love to drink water like I do, make it fancy. Simply slice up some of your favourite fruits, veggies, berries, or herbs – here are some of my favourite combos to get you started…
- Lemon + cucumber
- Lemon + lime
- Lemon + orange
- Lemon + lime + orange
- Blackberries + lemon + cucumber
- Cucumber + mint
- Watermelon + mint
- Hibiscus + orange + mint
No matter how you like to enjoy your summer, I sincerely hope you are able to bring an element of fun and orient to pleasure and joy.
With gentle kindness,
Jessica McDonald is a Registered Acupuncturist, and Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, and is in training for Somatic Experiencing. She has advanced training in Cupping Therapy, Facial Cupping, Medical Qi Gong, Yoga Nidra, Mindfulness Meditation, and much more. Jessica brings calm and gentle attention to each treatment and holds space for everyone to feel welcome and safe. She practices at 2 convenient locations in Calgary – at 360 Brain Body in Marda Loop, SW and from her home clinic in Parkdale, NW. Booking can easily be made through online booking for the Marda Loop location and all other inquiries and to book at the Parkdale location, please contact Jessica directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-606-3372.