It’s summertime! Light, sharp, hot, intense…
A fundamental principle of Ayurveda, the Science of Optimal Living, is that we adjust our lives with the cycles of nature so we can experience radiant health and achieve deep healing. Thus, it is time to make a conscious effort to adjust our lifestyle in order to stay cool and calm throughout the summer. Such adjustments must follow another very simple yet very profound principle of ayurvedic healing: like increases like and opposites balance. So as we move through the hot summer (Pitta) days, we should look for dietary choices and routines to counteract the qualities of summer. In this case, we look for cooling foods with high-water content in our diet, while limiting or avoiding heating foods.
In general, cooling foods include ghee and milk from happy cows; fruits like melons, cherries, grapes, mangoes, pears, and avocadoes; vegetables like cucumber, summer squashes, broccoli, and leafy greens; and grains like white basmati rice, quinoa, and oats. Coconut, cilantro and mint are especially cooling! Heating foods include hot spices, yogurt, cheese, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onions, fermented foods, alcohol, vinegar, and fried foods.
Here is one of my favorite ayurvedic recipes to keep you cool and calm this summer!
Coconut Cilantro Potato Salad
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 ½ inch fresh ginger
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon mineral salt
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup celery chopped
- 4 whole potatoes – medium size
- Mint leaves for garnishing
Boil potatoes with half of the salt until tender and let cool. Meanwhile, put the ginger, coconut, cilantro, the rest of the salt and the ½ cup water into a food processor and blend until liquefied. Pour over the potatoes, mix in the cumin seeds and celery and garnish it with mint leaves. This dish served with steamed tempeh or tofu and sautéed greens makes a perfect balanced summer lunch!
When we adjust our lives with the cycles of Mother Nature, we feel better and function more effectively. A few simple changes can dramatically increase health and vitality. This is the real “going with the flow of life.” When in the flow, we will find life to be more easeful and more enjoyable!