Are you ready to go back to work energized and inspired yet a little bluesy to leave the summer behind?
Here are 3 ways that you can still capitalize on the late summer energy this September. Summer energy is the energy of the sun and it really powers us wonderfully in life. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the late summer energy has specific properties that differ from the early hotter summer energy. Late summer begins in August and ends, this year, on 9/28. What you crave to eat and how you cook will differ. The late summer energy corresponds to the soil element and it will make sense when you read on.
Tip #1. Eat as much late summer fruit and vegetables as possible.
In the late summer, fruit and vegetables reach their peak maturity, ripeness just as the scorching summer heat settles and the temperature begins to cool a little. Sweet is the taste associated with late summer. The ripe and sweet plants help to restore the integrity of a burnt and dried out outer and inner skin. They rehydrate. In traditional Chinese Medicine, late summer plants (august to September) with their downward energy also strengthen the organs most active at this time of year, that is the stomach, spleen and to some extent the pancreas. The downward energy is also called soil energy. The plants grow closer to the ground such as onions, cabbage and rutabagas. Naturally sweet, settling foods like sweet brown rice and millet are balancing for the body and support spleen function. I’ve been craving and making weekly my vegan risotto (I’ll share the recipe this weekend on my blog).
Here are examples of plants you can eat more of now:
The other more cooling vegetables of the summer like cucumber, tomatoes, lettuces and such are less appealing (last round for tomatoes until Summer 2021 everyone!!!) as too cooling for lowering weather temperature and they may start create dampness in the body. I have stopped craving raw salads and juices and started craving my gluten-free homemade vegan pancakes every morning and more cooked foods, which leads me to my third tip: adjust your cooking methods.
Tip #2. Change Your Cooking Method
Some methods are cooling, other warming, some are drying others hydrating, etc. as I explained in my book, As the season change, so should our cooking methods because the cooking method alters the food’s energy.
In the hot July month, we crave raw cooling foods but if we keep eating this way in late summer and the fall, we’d put out our digestive fire and deplete spleen energy (an issue I see with many of my Fall detox clients suffering from indigestion, bloating and water retention, and why I don’t do juice cleanse in the Fall and Winter personally and professionally). Instead, the late summer balancing cooking methods use a medium flame and mild seasonings. Late cooking summer styles include:
Have you noticed your appetite and food cravings change this past week as well? Share!
Tip #3- Try to spend as much time outdoors as possible and soak up the last rays of summer sun.
No vitamin D3 supplement is as effective as sun exposure in my opinion (and sun exposure bypasses our stressed out and less efficient digestive systems). Vitamin D reduces all-cause mortality better than any other nutrient. It’s quite remarkable. This amazing vitamin helps prevent osteoporosis, depression, cancer, diabetes, obesity and more!
I believe [vitamin D] is the number one public health advance in medicine in the last twenty years.
– Dr. John Whitcomb, Aurora Sinai Medical Center.
In all my many years of practice of medicine, I’ve never seen one vitamin, even vitamin C, have such profound effects on human health.
– Soram Khalsa MD.
Take your lunch break on a bench outside, plan every weekend to be in nature (city park, beach, woods, whatever works), and continue to exercise outdoors. Remember that sunscreen prevents you from getting your vitamin D so allow 30 min exposure unprotected ( I personally allow 90 min in the morning on the weekends at the pool and during the week I never wear sunscreen because my time of exposure is never beyond 30 min at once. I’ve never been deficient in vitamin D. Know your skin). At this time of year, the sun isn’t as strong. I plan to continue swimming Saturday and Sunday outdoors and practice yoga outdoors at the pool, beach or Piermont boardwalk.
Have a good rest of your week and thank you for reading,