Summer humidity in Minnesota is no joke. And while dunking into our many lakes is a great way to keep cool, having additional options is cool too. Thoughtfully choosing your food this time of year in theme with Ayurvedic concepts can help keep your body cool until the trees turn.
What is Ayurveda?
New to the term Ayurveda? You can think of it like yoga’s sister. In fact, it’s considered a “sister science” of yoga.
The Ayurvedic approach is over 5,000 years old. Originating in India, Ayurveda is best described as a holistic lifestyle science. The goal of which is to increasing one’s vitality and longevity. Eating according to Ayurvedic principles can support all of your bodily functions, which includes keeping cool.
There are a few ways to incorporate this approach into your lifestyle. Locally, we have health and lifestyle coaches as well as formal Ayurvedic practitioners who can help you discover eating habits most harmonious for your body. Check the directory for professionals near you.
“In Ayurveda, there is an overarching idea that if we work with the natural constitution of our bodies, we’re able to create efficiencies and reduce irritation within our bodily systems.
The word “ojas” describes the experience of thriving, or being energized by the food you eat and feeling balanced in your unique constitutional energy.”Nellie Brau MA, NBC-HWC, RYT, Holistic Health Coach and founder of Haus of Ojas
In Ayurveda, one person’s food is another’s poison. Foods works with our bodies to establish balance and life. Ayurveda considers who’s eating what, when, and where.
In this approach, seasons of life and seasons of the year require different foods to maintain vitality. Eating with the season can strengthen the immune system and promote overall health.
“A great deal of balance in the foundational principles is achieved when the diet for the season is followed. Ayurveda works on the principle like increases like and opposites balance.
Hence, if food of the opposite qualities is consume for the season then it can be very beneficial in strengthening the immune system and achieving great overall health.”Vanashree Belgamwar, BAMS, Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of Vanashree Ayurveda
Let’s give Mother Earth some credit! She’s got it figured out. Foods become ripe when our bodies can use them the most. Think about the starchy root vegetables in winter when we need to keep warm, the bitter and pungent greens in spring when we naturally detoxify and shed fats, then the juicy melons in the summer that can help us keep hydrated. Following the seasons and your cravings get your body what you need when you need it!
Choosing Foods for You
Ayurveda says when choosing foods, consider your constitution, any imbalances, and the season to achieve optimal results.
But that doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, our bodies have the ability to naturally select foods that align with their systems and also deliver adequate nutrition. So follow your cravings!
“The trick is, we need to be open enough (and set aside what we think healthy eating “should” look like) to let our bodies lead the way,” says Nellie Brau, Holistic Health Coach and founder of Haus of Ojas.
Keeping in mind that all bodies have unique needs, common cooling foods are seasonal, water-dense fruits and veggies. According to Ayurveda, raw foods are great at cooling the body, but cooked foods are often easier to digest. Be aware of how your body responds to these cooling foods: Melon, Mint, Greens, Celery, Cucumber, Tomato, Peach, Coconut, Rose Tea, and Aloe.
Try a few of Nellie’s cooling summer favorites:
Nellie Brau, MA, NBC-HWC, RYT, Holistic Health Coach and founder of Haus of Ojas
“I offer personal, holistic health coaching, which is perfect for those looking to focus on their relationship with food through the lens of Ayurveda and beyond. If you’d like to explore Ayurveda, take my doshic questionnaire.”
Through holistic health coaching, online courses, and live workshops, Nellie works with you to dismantle diet culture, break up with the exhaustion society, and reclaim the time, energy, and money these cultural fixtures robbed from you. Nellie guides you to food freedom, body liberation, and wellbeing through intuitive eating and holistic living.
Vanashree Belgamwar, BAMS, Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of Vanashree Ayurveda
Vanashree is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of Ayurvedic medicine. Extensively trained in Nadi Pariksha-Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis, she has been practicing in both India and the US since 2011.