Saying Goodbye to Summer
By august first our bodies have survived the heat of the summer and are starting to transition into this next season. In the last weeks of July and early August Vata begins to rise and the body responds accordingly. In the heat of the summer our bodies push heat to the surface to maintain homeostasis during the heat of the season. But as the days grow shorter and the temperatures at night begin to drop our bodies can become heavy and our muscles can feel tired. This dip in energy make August the perfect month to take a vacation! This month is also the ideal time to start enjoying progressively heavier foods that will both nourish and moisten our bodies.
Take a vacation!!!
Though we don’t all have the luxury of taking a week off to head to the beach or the mountains for some much needed R&R that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a small vacation. This month is the best time of year to schedule a long weekend where we can relax, recover and adapt.
Many of us live a short drive from a quaint town, a small body of water, or a cabin in the woods. Take advantage of what you have around you! If getting out of town isn’t an option, check out what you can do locally. Camping in your own backyard is a great way to create the feeling of vacation without having to dish out a lot of money. Sleeping under the stars in the cool of the night is a wonderful way to unwind and acclimate with natures transition.
Switching up the diet
As many of you know, heat can still be an issue in the middle of the day. We may begin to crave sweet, salty and carby foods as we move into the vata season, but we should keep these foods to the cooler parts of the day. Continue eating light fresh foods in the middle of the day while enjoying a few potatoes or root veggies at dinner. Avoid overly astringent foods during this time of year, enjoy cooling sour foods in the head of the day, like grapes or tart apples, and ease into chicken and potatoes at night for the added fats and nourishment. Remember, this month is only the beginning, so don’t over do it. It is important that we don’t bog the body down by overeating.
Don’t dry out
Vata, by nature, is dry. This means that our systems can begin to dry out this time of year causing constipation, dry cracked lips, or dry rashes on the skin. To counteract the dry element creeping in, we can take advantage of a few wonderful habits, foods, and herbs.
Bring back the abhyanga! Daily oil massage is a wonderful way to add a bit of moisture to the body and it will give you instant relief to dry tight skin. Because the days are still warm we want to look at neutral oils such as sunflower oil or jojoba oil to ensure that the body doesn’t over heat.
Licorice root is a wonderful herb that can be added to any tasty tea. Licorice root can soothe dryness and inflammation while encouraging water retention. If you experience a noticeable increase in dryness this time of year you may want to slightly increase your salt intake. Definitely don’t overdo it!!! A small pinch will go a long way. Salt naturally encourages water retention and helps with muscle soreness by balancing electrolytes.
As we talked about before, adding in foods with a higher fat content like chicken is a wonderful way to bring more moisture into your body. Rice that has been cooked with homemade chicken broth can nourish your body and satisfy the carb cravings of this season at the same time.
Almond Cinnamon Banana Ice Cream
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
1 C Banana
¼ tsp cinnamon
When you have a few bananas that are ripe and sweet chop them into ½” pieces and freeze them for 4 hours. Place the frozen banana pieces in a food processor or high speed blender along with the almond butter and cinnamon. Blend the ingredients together, starting slow and increasing speed as the bananas starts to cream. You may need to assist in the blending process by occasionally scraping the sides with a rubber spatula while the blender is off. Once all of the ingredients are combined into a smooth soft creamy texture you can serve and enjoy. If the Ice Cream is too soft you can place it in a freezer safe container and pop it back in the freezer for 20 minutes. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and toasted almonds!