Balancing Yang Heat with Yin Food
Thoughtful Eating. One big way we live in harmony during the summer is to eat mindfully. When it is very hot, eat energetically cooling foods. Just as we intuitively feel it is best to practice Qi Gong as the sun rises and sets in summer, we also know it is best to balance our practice with rest when the sun is hot at high noon.
Making Better Choices. We do the same with the food we choose to eat. Stay away from deep-fried food or heavy, oily foods that generate heat in the body. Instead, choose foods that are grown locally and/or in the garden to cool the body, feed our heart, and nurture and detoxify our small intestine.
Local Harvest. As you look at the wide variety of fresh vegetables at the farmers market, remember that foods are the coolest at the green end of the color spectrum. Generally most vegetables are yin, cooling foods. You will see all the colors of fire in vegetables of the summer season like sweet oranges, red, and yellow peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, corn, lemons, oranges, peaches, watermelon and cherries. These are all beneficial as long as you balance them with the addition of green veggies.
Chasing Green. Fresh spinach and all kinds of lettuce, as well as cruciferous vegetables like Chinese cabbage, Bok Choy, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts and radishes balance yang heat in the body. Using some spice in your food actually has a cooling effect because it helps the body cool through sweating. Though it’s best to use moderation with ingredients like hot peppers.
Your Entrée? Fish and sea food are cooling while most meats are warming.
Tea is a cool and refreshing drink. Try not to add ice to fluids you drink with meals. Just remember that drinking icy liquids slows digestion down. It is best to drink icy drinks in-between meals.
Foods that heal and cleanse. Seaweed is always a good addition to the diet at this time. Herbs like mint, dill, cilantro, and parsley are healing and detoxifying. Fruits filled with antioxidants also help your body adjust its temperature and help it cleanse. Adding lemon and/or a cucumber to your water each day will help you stay hydrated. Enjoy!